“Over recent years, there has been a welcome focus on the global issue of orphans and not only our responsibility for them, but the opportunity to model the gospel in our care for them. This book commends such concern, but challenges us to go much further. The Bible almost always talks about ‘orphans and widows’, and the authors argue that both must be the focus of our attention. International adoption, they argue, isn’t always the answer, and in some situations may even compound the problem. This book should be on the 2015 reading list for all those in church leadership. It will certainly challenge, maybe annoy, definitely instruct, even surprise and probably provoke. But when the issue is as significant as this, nothing less is neither adequate nor helpful.”

Steve Timmis is the Executive Director of the Acts 29 Network and Pastor of The Crowded House. He lives in Sheffield, England.

“In Defense of the Fatherless is a timely and needed addition to this conversation. It is honest, frank, thoroughly biblical, and offers thoughtful solutions to move forward in caring for orphans and widows. In an age where the church can be tempted to quick fixes and simple solutions In Defense of the Fatherless helps the reader understand the complexity of the orphan and widow crisis while balancing it with the urgency of providing families for children. This book will challenge, convict and fuel a conversation that is much needed today for the church to move forward in international adoption and orphan care passionately, wisely, and ethically.

The authors join the chorus in calling for a revolution in the Christian adoption and orphan care movement while reminding the reader that most of the world¹s orphans are living in vulnerable families. If we want to change the world for orphans we must care deeply for the whole family.

Further, I applaud them for reminding the reader throughout that the calling to make a difference in the orphan and widow crisis reflects the very heart of the gospel and our Savior. The church is the answer to this crisis and we cannot do this alone. I am thankful that Sara and Amanda have provided a much needed resource for the church to take the next step forward in the movement with greater effectiveness, wisdom, and love.

You may not agree with everything written in this book but I believe it offers an important and needed framework that has great potential to bring people from different sides of the conversation to the same table. I believe as we do this greater collaboration can happen, change will take place where needed, and more creative efforts will be imagined for the sake of the orphan and widow.”

Jason Kovacs is the Co-Founder of Together for Adoption. He also serves as a Pastor at the Austin Stone Community Church and the Director of Ministry Development for The ABBA Fund. Jason lives in Austin, Texas with his family including four adopted children.

“As an adoptive mom, I believe that In Defense of the Fatherless presents an important and thought-provoking paradigm shift in how we can view orphan care, orphan prevention, and family preservation through a more holistic lens. In Defense of the Fatherless is the book every adoption and family preservation advocate has been waiting to read.”

Jessica Honegger is the Founder and Co-CEO of Noonday Collection. Jessica and her husband adopted a child from Rwanda in 2011. Jessica lives in Austin, Texas.

“For years I thought adoption was just for couples who were infertile. Then I met some who adopted for compassionate reasons. But it wasn’t until I met Amanda and her husband and watched them walk through their heartbreaking attempt to adopt African children that I became aware of the incredible challenges associated with adoptions, specifically international adoptions. This book has given me a further understanding of the need, and even more importantly, the changed perspective of adoption that is so important for Christians today. Any couple thinking of adopting, any church wanting to be involved in solving this problem should read this book. The problem is more complex than you think; the answer is firmly rooted in the simplicity of the gospel.”

Mary Whelchel is the Director of Women’s Ministries at The Moody Church in Chicago, Illinois.

“In Defense of the Fatherless authors Brinton and Bennett reveal some of the sobering and rather painful realities in overseas adoptions—highlighting the particular problems of some Christian agencies. There are well-intentioned but very damaging mistakes that churches and Christians must avoid and work against for the good of the orphans, their families, and the glory of God. Brinton and Bennett point to a better way through following God’s command to care for the poor. I highly recommend this book for all who are considering or are somehow involved with international adoption.”

Bill Bertsche is the Executive Pastor of The Moody Church based in Chicago, Illinois.

“This book offers careful research, sound theology, and practical resources regarding care for orphans, vulnerable children, and widows. It provides an important perspective on short-term mission trips and investigates some harmful international adoption procedures and practices. You’ll be informed and inspired to care wisely for orphans and vulnerable families and celebrate amazing organizations empowering mothers to raise and provide for their children.”

Lindsey and Justin Holcomb are the co-authors of Rid of My Disgrace and Is It My Fault?. Justin is also an Episcopal priest and teaches theology, philosophy, and Christian thought at Gordon-Conwell-Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. Justin and Lindsey are foster parents.

“In Defense of the Fatherless brings a balanced and unique approach to orphan care and makes us all ask the questions: are we, as the church, caring for orphans and vulnerable children well? And how can we be doing better?”

Megan Parker is the Co-Founder of Abide Family Center, a ministry that strengthens vulnerable families to prevent children from being orphaned or abandoned. Megan lives in Jinja, Uganda.

“Sometimes you read a book that offends you because it forces you to rethink your worldvidew on a key topic. If you read In Defense of the Fatherless with a willingness to struggle and admit past mistakes, as well as a desire to learn, you just might find a new way forward on what it means to care for the fatherless on a deeper, more holistic level.”

Chris Marlow is the Founder and CEO of Help One Now, an orphan care ministry focused on empowering local leaders and strengthening vulnerable families. Chris is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“More than anyone I know, Sara Brinton has lived out the message of this book. Here you will find a wealth of wisdom and a clear challenge from God. Watch out. Your life may never be the same.”

Phil Moore is the author of Gagging Jesus and the Straight to the Heart commentary series. He is also the Leader of Everyday Church in London, England.

“Adoption is close to the heart of God. This book presents a realistic and responsible look at how and why Christians should respond to international adoption. It is heart-warming to see how Christians have responded to God’s call for justice.”

Nola Leach is the CEO of CARE, a leading humanitarian organization based in London, England.