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Catechism of the Catholic Church about adopting a child.

Mar 09, 2016

Greetings, Im Sean from the Philippines.

I have some questions and hoping that I can get somer answers coming from the perspective of a Catholic priest.

Here are my questions:

a. Is there a topic about adopting a child in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which is promulgated by Pope John Paul II?

b. If there is, can you please quote the exact words and the number of paragraph where it can be found and does it allow adoption?

c. Catechism of the Catholic Church is a catechism promulgated for the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II in 1992. Is this the universal catechism followed by all Catholic priests in the world to cite their Catholic teachings?

I’m hoping for your kind response.

Respectfully Yours,


Thank you,

God bless.

Asked at 07:21 am on March 09th 2016

Hi Sean, I couldn’t find any direct discussion of adoption in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), but here’s a list of references you might like to check out there – as far as I remember, the CCC is freely available online:

Adoption in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Christ is not an adopted son, 2673, 2717, 2740, 2745, 2766

effects of, 654, 1709, 2784

family adoption of abandoned children, 2379

filial adoption makes men co-heirs of Christ, 2009

filial adoption makes men sons of God, 257, 1077

the freedom of God being given in, 52, 257, 1996

God gives adoption through the sacraments, 537, 1129, 1197, 1265, 1279

in God’s plan, 1, 52, 257, 270, 2782

and inheritance of eternal happiness, 1, 294

of man, sons through Jesus Christ, 52, 257, 422, 460, 505, 654, 839, 1110, 1709, 2639, 2782, 2798, 2825

Here’s what St John Paul II said about adoption when in 2000 he addressed families who have adopted children:

To adopt a child is a great work of love. When it is done, much is given, but much is also received. It is a true exchange of gifts… Adopting children, regarding and treating them as one’s own children, means recognizing that the relationship between parents and children is not measured only by genetic standards. Procreative love is first and foremost a gift of self. There is a form of ‘procreation’ which occurs through acceptance, concern, and devotion. The resulting relationship is so intimate and enduring that it is in no way inferior to one based on a biological connection. When this is also juridically protected, as it is in adoption, in a family united by the stable bond of marriage, it assures the child that peaceful atmosphere and that paternal and maternal love which he needs for his full human development.

And here’s a few thoughts on adoption in the New Testament:

Jesus Christ was conceived through the Holy Spirit without a human father (Mt 1:18). To fulfil the prophecies of the Old Testament, he was adopted into the tribe of David by his foster-father Joseph and raised by Joseph, who adopted Jesus as his son. And for all baptized Christians, we become part of the Family of the Trinity through adoption: ‘For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship [adoption]. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father”‘(Rom 8:15); ‘Having predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ…’ (Eph 1:5). So scripture (there are good examples in the Old Testament too) shows both physical and spiritual adoption in a very positive way, with blessings for both sides of the relationship. You could also easily find in what Jesus said when he remarked, ‘whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did to me’ a wonderful encouragement to those couples who can do so, to adopt one of those ‘least’ children in great need of loving parents.

C. Yes, the CCC is the universal catechism not just for all priests but for all the faithful – it’s a brilliant short statement of basic Catholic teaching. Obviously it needed to be supplemented by the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church which came out in 2006 – also freely available online. And of course there’s a lot more to Catholic teaching in faith and morals than could fit into the CCC.

Very best, Fr Brendan

Replied at 11:22 pm on March 16th 2016