Offering Children Ministry Guidelines
- Since family is of such fundamental importance in our core belief, couples who are unable to conceive a child have a lingering heartache. Our movement has a wonderful tradition to address this issue through the providence of “Offering Children”. This is a practice where a couple feels called to offer a child to the childless couple enabling the childless couple to inherit a Blessed Child.
- The guidelines offered here are just an introduction to this important area. On our website there are a number of testimonies from members who have received and offered Blessed Children. Please take some time to read these special stories to get a deeper understanding. And hopefully we’ll be able to include your testimony in the future.
True Father’s Guidance
- It is important to know that, although True Parents did not offer much guidance on this topic, they did make it clear that these should be offerings of the heart and not matches or suggestions made by the movement or leadership. True Father said that ideally the arrangement could be made among couples in the same trinity or, at least, by couples with a heartistic relationship. However, two couples who do not initially know each other, can come to know each other and form the bond of heart described by True Father.
Intent of the Ministry
- Arrangements are sometimes made within a community where there is already a relationship between an infertile couple and a couple willing to offer a child. But for couples that don’t have that opportunity the Blessing and Family Ministry would like to help facilitate relationships. This will be done through a prayer list. As we become aware of couples hoping to receive a child we will add their names and pertinent information to the prayer list. In addition to prayers for these couples, families who feel called to offer a child can look at the list and consider if there is a family they would like to offer a child to.
- Since there is a great deal of sensitivity in this area couples who have already participated have invaluable guidance to offer. One of the most important areas where these experienced couples can help is as counselors to both receiving and offering families. When a couple contacts the BFM an experienced counselor will connect with them and help them get through the process with the most fulfilled heart.
- The Blessing and Family Ministry will also facilitate networking, and recommend best practices both internally and practically.
Please note, this guidance is not a directive but based on experience and testimony from experienced families. These are suggestions to help families but each case is special.
- For couples making the offering please be sure that both the husband and wife are in agreement.
- No one should pressure a couple to offer a child. And as mentioned before, True Parents guidance is that offerings should not be arranged by leaders but made as a condition of heart between couples
- The relationship between the two families should be respectful and humble. It is important for the receiving family to try and understand the challenges of the offering family. A receiving mother has never been pregnant or given birth so she might not understand the level of sacrifice being made by the offering mother, or be sensitive to her needs. On the other hand, the offering family is offering the child on behalf and will want to be mindful of and seek to embody God’s heart towards the receiving family. The attitude can be “This is not my baby but I am carrying their baby”.
- Ideally a child can be conceived for another couple and carried for them (not just offered after pregnancy is already established). But this is not a rule.
- The receiving family should be supportive of the offering family, practically, emotionally and spiritually in prayer.
- Ideally, the receiving mother should be the caregiver from birth. Bonding is important both emotionally and spiritually. Try to arrange in advance with the hospital to have the receiving parents present from the very beginning so that the new child can see the loving face of the parents that will raise him or her.
- The 8 day ceremony is a good occasion to make the offering formal. (A possible format for the ceremony will be available on the BFM website under the “Offering Child Ministry”
How to Make the Connection
- The Blessing and Family Ministry (BFM) will consolidate a list of couples hoping to receive a Blessed Child. In addition to prayer, families who feel called to offer a child can look at the list and consider if there is a family they would like to offer a child to. If you are hoping to receive a child or if you feel called to offer a child please go to the Contact Us page and enter your information.
- When a couple contacts the BFM, either a receiving couple or an offering couple, they will be contacted by a “counselor” who has experience in this area to help them navigate this process internally and externally.
- The offering family can communicate with the potential receiving family (the counselor can help with this as well if desired) and a relationship can begin.
- Most adoption laws are different by state and in most cases require preparation and professional legal support.
- It is important to understand the requirements so that advance preparations can be made. Please go to the “Legal Issues” section on this site where there is a testimony about the legal processes in one state and there are also a few links to helpful resources.
- It is highly suggested that you contact an attorney who has experience in this area.