No You Didn’t, Pat Robertson

Advice from Pat Robertson: Don’t adopt.

Pat Robertson has long been linked to verbal disaster, but his latest response to a viewer’s question concerning adoption leaves me wondering if he understands what the gospel he claims to believe is even about.

Let’s break it down.

A viewer sent him the following question:

I am the mother of 3 adopted girls. I find the men I date are okay when I tell them I have 3 daughters, but when they find out they are adopted, and from 3 different countries and not my own biological children, they don’t want to date anymore. Whether I tell them upfront or after a couple of dates, all the men are reacting the same way. They say that they would be okay with it if the girls were biological children and came with child support. Why are these men reacting this way?

Suffice to say, men who are okay with a woman’s children so long as they are biological and come with child support are blockheads. But I digress. Pat Robertson’s response runs to verbal disaster faster than Usain Bolt ran the 100m relay final in the Olympics.

Some key quotes:

“A man doesn’t want to take on the United Nations and this woman has all these various children–blended family–I mean, what is it?”

It’s a family, Pat Robertson. We’re talking about 3 little girls, hardly the 193 member states that compose the United Nations. (Also for the record, the United Nations works to assist orphans in need of adoption.)

“You don’t know what problems there are. I’ve got a dear friend–adopted some kid from an orphanage down in Colombia–child had brain damage. You know, grew up weird.”

So many problems with this statement, so little time. 1) You don’t know what problems exist with an unborn child, either, or what problems could exist in the future. Potential problems exist for each of us. 2) Children with “brain damage” (his words, not mine) need a family as much as anyone. 3) Um. Been to a junior high school lately. WE ARE ALL WEIRD.

“And you just never know what’s been done to the child before you get that child–what kind of sexual abuse there’s been, what kind of cruelty, food deprivation, etc., etc.”

Exactly why they need a family.

“You don’t have to take on someone else’s problems.”

First of all, children are not “problems.” They are gifts (Psalm 127:3). Additionally, James 1:27 and its command to care for the fatherless means their distress is ours as well.

“We love orphans. We love helping people.”

Don’t bother, Pat Robertson. Christ loved me when I was an orphan with troubles innumerable, and He made me his child with no strings attached. He didn’t have to take on my problems, but He did. THAT is love. THAT is the gospel.

Without it, I wouldn’t have a prayer.


  1. BRAVO, Tricia!!! Incredibly well-done response. Did you send it to Pat? 😉

  2. You tell ’em, Trisha!!

    I especially liked the junior high comment! Ain’t that the truth!!!

  3. HE obviously grew up weird. There was so much wrong with what he said, but you did a good job of dissecting and correcting his unbelievable statements. Ugh.

  4. Oh, Trisha! So many of these thoughts were swirling around our home today. Thanks for addressing Robertson’s ridiculous comments. I wish he’d stop claiming Christ. He speaks nothing of the truth in Scripture.

  5. lI never have liked Pat Robertson. What he said is just wrong! Thanks Trish for bringing it to our attention and defending adoption. I am so proud of my nieces and nephews for adopting children who need forever homes. What is the matter with this man? Does he read his Bible at all?

  6. Thanks for a great response. I think if I were the co-host, I would have resigned on-camera. This man needs to apologize to viewers for his comments. Talk about out of touch with reality.

  7. obscure one says:

    I used to have a signature line on my emails that said: “Dear Lord, please keep Your arm around my shoulders and Your hand across my mouth.” I certainly need just that, many times! :)

    I like the strong stand Mr. Robertson takes as a conservative, evangelical, etc., but I don’t enjoy his manner which is sarcastic sometimes. His son is much more diplomatic.

    But in defense, just a bit, of Pat’s context, I don’t think that he was saying “don’t adopt because you don’t have to take on somebody else’s problems.” (thus not referring to unwanted children as “problems”) I think he was saying that men don’t have to continue to date a woman with children if the men see her children as a problem. That’s what I got from it anyway. Some single people see a potential mate’s kids as baggage or what have you, and I think he was saying it’s OK if these men don’t want to take on kids who are not theirs.

    His stuff about “brain damage” and “weird” and so on was obviously … well I’m not even sure what to call it. I tend to think he’s forgetting himself more as he ages, and I don’t mean any slur by that; just that his son Gordon is taking on more and more of the ministry. As far as weird brain damage, I worked for a long time with adults with mental retardation, and they were probably the most beautiful population I’ve ever met. Some not in the area of my job had severe behavioral problems, and I have to say that I may not be able to deal with marrying a man who had an out of control child (whether a “weird’ one or not), and I don’t think a man should be offended if I felt it was just too much for me … I do know that I’d feel very thankful that the child had such a wonderful dad who gave the child the very best, either way. :) Everybody deserves loving parents, but loving stepparents too, so I’m sure it’s for the best if a potential mate who has children feels like too much for somebody, that he or she simply doesn’t continue the relationship for the sake of the children as much as anybody. It takes a special person to be a stepparent period, I think. I’m single and it would be very difficult for me in my particular situation to marry a man with kids, so I know it’s something I must not do for the kids’ sake as well as mine. I certainly wouldn’t feel any more concerned about a man’s kids if they were adopted though! Their dad would be a DAD, whereas their biological fathers only literally fathered them.

    All that said (whew!), Trisha, your Andrew is beautiful, and I hope all is well with him. :)

  8. I can’t say how much I love your post. I saw the video on John Piper’s Facebook page (he also being an adoptive parent) and was appalled. What would this man advise a woman pregnant with HER OWN child she discovered that was brain damaged? I don’t want to think about it. He preaches a gospel I know not.

  9. He is a confirmed nut job!! My son is adopted and so much a part of me and my husband that we don’t even think about the fact that he was adopted. He is my son, period. What an idiot!

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