Spiritual Adoption of an Unborn Child

Unborn Baby

Spiritual Adoption of an unborn child is a powerful novena prayer for the child in the womb threatened by abortion. In this Spiritual Adoption novena, an individual, family, or group, undertakes to pray daily for an unborn child for nine months.

Praying Hands

The act of Spiritual Adoption is a personal charitable gift of prayer, love and sacrifice. Through the prayers of the faithful, God is able to bestow faith in God’s Mercy to the mothers of the unborn, giving them peace in their hearts. Through our heartfelt commitment to pray, the deep wounds caused by the sin of abortion can begin to be healed.

Anyone can spiritually adopt an unborn child as we are all called to respond to the needs of each other.

Beginning the Spiritual Adoption Novena

On the first day, begin the Spiritual Adoption novena with this prayer:

I glorify you, the Father Almighty, the Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden things from the mighty and wise but have revealed them to the poor. Yes, Father, this was Your Will. The Most Holy Virgin, Mother of God – Mary, all the Angels and Saints, led by the desire of bringing help to the threatened child in the womb, I _____________________ undertake today ___________________ to take under spiritual adoption one child whose name is only known to God. I undertake to pray for nine months every day for this child to save his life and to obtain for him Your graces to live a just and true life in You. I will say:

  • One decade of the Rosary (Our Father, 10x Hail Mary and a Glory Be)
  • Daily Prayer
  • My own undertaking (optional)

I praise You, and I glorify You, the Holy Trinity, and I thank you for having heard my prayer. Amen.

Daily Prayers of the Spiritual Adoption Novena

The Spiritual Adoption novena lasts for nine months. Anyone can start praying the novena on any day. Begin with the prayer above. On each day during the nine months pray:

  1. One decade of the Rosary
    said each day for nine months (you can choose a different mystery each day, or say the same one every day for the nine months) and;
  2. Daily Prayer
    My Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother Mary who gave birth to You out of love, and through the intercession of St Joseph, the man of faith who cared for You after Your Birth, I turn to You on behalf of this conceived child who has been Spiritually Adopted by me and who is threatened by abortion. Please, give to his parents love and courage to allow their child to remain in the womb and have life, the life that You have given him. Amen.

What could be our own undertaking?

In addition to praying the daily prayers, you may wish to undertake to do one of the following, or something of your own choosing.

  • Participate in a nine month novena, for example from the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th) to the Feast of the Holy Family (December 31st)
  • Frequent confession/reconciliation.
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Help the needy.
  • Volunteer at your local Pregnancy Resource Centre.

Is Spiritual Adoption broken if prayers are missed for a prolonged period?

A prolonged absence of prayer (a month or two) breaks Spiritual Adoption. It is recommended that the undertaking is renewed and firm commitment kept. If there has been a short break in prayer, the Spiritual Adoption should be continued and extended to cover the days missed out.

How did the Spiritual Adoption movement start?

The Spiritual Adoption movement started in the wake of the Fatima apparitions. The prayers have become one answer to Our Heavenly Mother’s pleas to pray the rosary, and make reparation and atonement for our sins, the sins that wound her Immaculate Heart the most.

This movement reached Poland in 1987, and the first Centre propagating the Spiritual Adoption was started by the Pauline Fathers in Warsaw, from there the Spiritual Adoption movement has spread beyond the Polish borders. In the US, Spiritual Adoption was popularised by Venerable Fulton Sheen, who encouraged the faithful to pray for a preborn child. Fulton Sheen’s Spiritual Adoption prayer can be found at the bottom of this page.

How can I help spread this Spiritual Adoption?

You can help spread the Spiritual Adoption for the Unborn by:

  • talking to friends and family about it;
  • asking the permission of your Parish Priest to distribute the leaflet (available from Family Life International NZ) and/or to introduce it to parishioners, or encourage the spread of it among the faithful;
  • praying for graces for others to start Spiritual Adoption.

Venerable Fulton Sheen’s Spiritual Adoption Prayer

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of (baby’s name) the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.