Or, how adoption is not the same thing as abortion.
One of the great favorites among the anti-choice camp is to tell women “well, you can always put your kid up for adoption!”, acting as if no one has ever suggested this idea in the history of ever and acting as if the problem of abortion was solved once and for all, and no one ever needs to abort ever because adoption is totally the same thing.
Not so fast.
Abortion and adoption are dissimilar from one another. The two of them are not equivalent, have never been equivalent, and will never be equivalent. Adoption is not the end-all of the abortion debate.
Well, let’s start off with some facts:
Abortion is simply terminating a pregnancy. There are many reasons why women have abortions, from “I can’t afford to have another baby” to “this is the only way to treat this extremely serious fetal defect that makes the fetus non-viable”.
Adoption is being pregnant for the entire nine months, giving birth to a baby, and then giving it away, in the hopes that some other couple will take the baby home and call it their child.
Adoption requires you to be pregnant for the full term, which means that you have to pay the costs for prenatal care, birth, and postpartum care. Abortion terminates the pregnancy, which means that you won’t be pregnant for the full nine months.
Adoption is not treatment for a serious fetal abnormality such as anencephaly (fetus has no brain, hence non-viable). Adoption is not a treatment for cases where a woman is too ill to carry a fetus to term (e.g. serious kidney problems exaggerated by a pregnancy, as it was in the case of Beatriz, or septicemia, as it was in the case of Savita Halappanavar). Adoption still requires women to go through pregnancy, which has its own side effects, and through the process of childbirth.
Hence, abortion and adoption are not equivalent to one another.
We’re well aware of people who say that abortion is immoral and who think that women should be denied choice. Otherwise this series of posts would not exist. Duh. But do the anti-choice people ever consider the fact that maybe women would think of adoption to be even more immoral than abortion?
The Guttmacher Institute did a review on why women have abortions. These women weren’t asked about adoption specifically, but this blurb can be found in the review (search “adoption” in the PDF):
Opinions on adoption. Respondents were not specifically asked about adoption; nevertheless, it came up spontaneously in both parts of the study. While fewer than 1% of women in the quantitative survey volunteered that they would not consider or did not favor having a baby and giving it up for adoption, more than one-third of interview respondents said they had considered adoption and concluded that it was a morally unconscionable option because giving one’s child away is wrong.
Of course, this being an anti-choice propaganda piece, this ignores the fact that one third of women see adoption as immoral, and pushes open adoption, thinking that this would be the solution to all problems.
Going through this piece and doing the research, much of it is accurate. However, there are a few things of note which I’m going to bring up:
“I don’t want to deal with the father or worry about his role in the baby’s life.”
With adoption you can totally separate from your baby’s father and provide a positive father figure for your baby’s future.
Because obviously single parents are unfit to raise kids, amirite?
Your baby’s father could participate in the adoption process, if you agree, and can take part in future communication with the adoptive family you choose, even if you don’t want to stay in touch.
Legally, birthfathers have the same rights as birthmothers. As such, depending from state to state, there are different laws regarding involvement of the father in creating an adoption plan and whether he is required to consent or not.
Most agencies would rather have the father involved in the process, in order to ensure that the father won’t contest the adoption later, and they will do their best to contact the father in order to gain his consent prior to going through with it.
“I can’t tell my family.”
You can make a confidential adoption plan and hide your pregnancy. […] If needed, you can even relocate temporarily to keep your situation private.
Because obviously your parents won’t really notice you wearing extremely baggy clothes for the next couple of months, exhibiting symptoms of pregnancy for nine, and disappearing for a few days without their knowing your whereabouts.
And of course it’ll be easy for you to temporarily relocate if you’re desperate. It’s not like you have school, a job, a family, friends, etc.
In doing the research needed for this article, I found these two resources if you’re planning to put a child up for adoption/adopt a child:
Independent Adoption Center: nonprofit open adoption agency
I cannot attest to these adoption agencies, although I presume they’re trustworthy.
Also, if you’re seeking to adopt a child who’s already in the foster care system (there are over 104,000 children already in the system waiting for adoption, and I’m of the belief that all children should be able to have a loving family), here’s a resource:
Adopt US Kids: for people seeking to adopt children already in the system.
If you are choosing to put a child for adoption or seeking to adopt a child yourself, I highly recommend that you contact someone who is knowledgeable about the process: adoption counselors, lawyers, etc. I’m not the person to contact, as I’m a college student.
I wish you good luck.