What is the view on abortion and adoption of the Coptic Orthodox Church?
Abortion is not a solution approved of by the Church unless a mother is in medically serious danger. Adoption is a solution for a married couple who cannot have their own children. Adoption can also be a solution for a woman who may have been raped and thereby conceived as a result. If she cannot raise the child, adoption perhaps through a family member or a Christian foster home, will at least, grant the child a decent life and a chance to obtain eternal life.
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me…
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, and that my souls knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them…
And lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139 NKJV).
This portion of the Prophet David’s Psalm is the voice of every unborn child. It affirms the origin of the soul’s precious bond and relationship with God. It also recognizes that even the most intricate details prior to the body formation in a mother’s womb are witnessed and documented. Despite existing and anticipated adversities, God’s unconditional love is confidently realized. The final appeal concludes with a sincere plea to be “lead in the way everlasting”.
Two dearly loved prophets, St. John the Baptist and Jeremiah the Prophet, were preordained before their births for awesome roles in life. St. John the Baptist, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3), acknowledged our Lord from his mother’s womb, “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:44). The Lord, Himself, assured the young awkward youth, Jeremiah, that his call to be a prophet was predetermined before his birth: “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4,5).
Adoption is an extraordinary act of love and mercy. Examples of adoption from the Holy Scripture includes: Queen Esther who was adopted by Mordecai, an older cousin: “When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter” (Esther 2:7). Moses the Prophet was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter: “…she saw the child, and behold the baby wept. So she had compassion on him…” (Exodus 2:6). When David the king wanted to show an act of kindness to Saul’s house and his beloved departed friend Jonathan, he found Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s disabled son in both feet, and had him stay in Jerusalem with him declaring “he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons” (2 Samuel 9).
We, ourselves, were adopted into God’s family. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:4-7).