Photo Credit: TLC/Beth Hall
As far as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are concerned, the world could still use more Duggars. The couple, who currently have 19 children (plus two grandchildren and a third on the way), told People that they've started to think about adopting more kids.
"We are praying about it, and we will see what God has in store...The kids are definitely pushing towards wanting us to open our home up to another child or more," Michelle, 45, told the magazine.
It wasn't a secret that the Duggars wanted more children. Just six months after Michelle lost her 20th child in a heartbreaking second trimester miscarriage, she and Jim Bob told Today they were trying for another. But adoption came to the forefront recently, when the family went to Beijing to film the TLC special 19 Kids & Counting: Duggars Do Asia. (Side note to TLC producers: "Duggars Do Asia"? That's the best you could come up with?)
After visiting a Chinese orphanage, Michelle and Jim Bob began seriously considering adoption. They just want to be sure that, per their philosophy on pregnancy, it's part of "God's plan."
"When He gives us a child [through pregnancy], there is no doubt in our minds that is what He wants, but when it comes to adoption, we would have to know for sure that was His will," says Michelle.
If the Duggars decide to expand their brood through adoption, it would take one common criticism off the table -- that the family is contributing to overpopulation. (Michelle has laughed this off, calling the very idea of overpopulation "a lie.") However, international adoption has become increasingly popular among evangelical families like the Duggars, and it comes with its own set of concerns.
"In recent years many Christian groups have embraced adoption and 'orphan care' as the best way to live out their faith," Kathryn Joyce, author of The Child Catchers, tells iVillage. "But the 'orphans' many evangelical groups have dedicated themselves to rescuing often have willing, but poor, biological families that could take care of them."
If the Duggars decide to adopt, says Joyce, they should do very careful research into the agency and the country they're adopting from, to make sure they steer clear of unethical practices. Hopefully they're approaching the issue with thoughtfulness and love. Even your 20th kid deserves careful planning, right?