PROVO, Utah The Proclamation on the Family is a document of amazing depth, said Christian B. and Lili Anderson July 27 during the 2002 National Families Supporting Adoption conference.
Brother Anderson, LDS Family Services Salt Lake Agency director, and Sister Anderson, an adjunct professor for the School of Family Life at BYU, said the family proclamation has many applications in the area of adoption.
First, they said, the proclamation emphasizes that children are entitled to birth within the bonds of marriage and that both a mother and a father are essential in rearing a child. "Adoption," Sister Anderson said, "makes it possible for children to receive those blessings in a world where so many children do not experience them."
Sister Anderson added that secular research has recently "caught up" with the revelation, demonstrating consistently that, in general, children who are reared in a single-parent household experience many challenges that those reared in a two-parent household do not. "The proclamation reaffirms basic roles of the father to provide and for the mother to nurture," she said.
Second, the Andersons said the proclamation mentions the eternal nature of the family and temple ordinances that seal children to parents forever.
Brother Anderson discussed sometimes misunderstood sealing ordinances, emphasizing that temple sealings are inclusionary, not exclusionary.
Third, the Andersons pointed out the frequent references to the Plan of Salvation found in the Proclamation.
"Not only does the plan teach successful family life, but the plan is perfectly designed to provide solutions to the problems of mortality," she said. Adoption work involves birth parents who have made mistakes and adoptive applicants, including those who struggle with infertility.
"God's perfect plan never foreordains sin, but allows for lemonade to come from lemons," she said. "Specifically for adoptive parents, the plan can provide healing for the struggle with infertility, which adoption while allowing a parenting experience does not solve."
The Andersons emphasized the importance of healing wounds through understanding the Plan of Salvation and submitting to God's will. "With submission to God and spiritual healing come greater abilities to be healthy, effective parents," she said.