P 77 Adoption is for Life, Not Just for a Crisis

There are many people in our congregations who live with the complex impact of adoption. The author believes that the Christian community is particularly well placed to support and care for them. However, if Christians are to offer good pastoral care through the companionship of those who are ready to share both tears and laughter, they need to be well informed about the reality of the adoptive experience - from each corner of the adoption triangle.

In addition, Christians who consider adopting will want and need to address the question of whether God may be calling them to become the parents of children who would otherwise not have a family.

This booklet addresses the need for accurate information about the adoptive experience through the stories of the different people involved in the adoption triangle and by reference to research findings. It explores whether becoming a parent by adoption may be a God-inspired calling and what theological themes may help us understand and be resourced for the task and it offers a challenge to Christian communities to be places of support and encouragement for those who undertake it.
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Author: Ruth Layzell

Ruth has a passion for making links between theology and psychology. She has held posts in social work (including working in adoption and fostering) and teaching (she was Lecturer in Pastoral Care and Counselling and then Director of Counselling at St John's College, Nottingham) and is currently Director of the Institute of Pastoral Counselling ( Alongside her work as a counselling trainer with IPC, she is a BACP accredited counsellor in independent practice. As well as her Grove booklet about adoption, she has written a number of short articles, contributed a chapter on religious abuse to a book entitled Clinical Counselling in Pastoral Settings and is co-author with Sara Savage and Fraser Watts of The Beta Course (

Books by Ruth Layzell

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