There are several problems with
this argument about adoption vs. abortion. All Americans who
care about children and want the best for them should think
about this carefully.
There is never really a choice
between adoption and abortion.
First, there is the option for
a woman to abort a pregnancy rather than to give birth. Then
later after her child is born, there is the option for her to
terminate all parental rights.
The choice whether to surrender
all parental rights should never be made until after her child
is born and she has had the opportunity to care for her newborn
son or daughter. That is not only because of the life-long problems
known to result from separating them, but also because she cannot
really comprehend what it will be like to be separated from
her own child, what it will be like to be prevented from caring
for the wrinkly alien-looking being she finds the most beautiful
of all of it's kind in the world, until after that child is
Adoption is not better than
abortion because by the time a mother's (and father's) child
is born the choice is not adoption vs abortion but whether to
keep and nurture her already born son or daughter or to abandon
him/her legally so some other person may adopt.
Children are not well served
by adoption, which provides them a divorce-like situation where
they are torn between their natural families and the people
adopting them. They are better off without this divorce-like
situation if possible.
Pregnant mothers are being encouraged
to "choose" adoption before their children are born
and even to choose prospective adopters. It makes it very hard
for a mother to disappoint the seemingly kind people later when
she realizes she loves her child more than anything in the world
and want to keep him/her. The people served by this are those
hoping to adopt an infant and those who profit from adoption.
The mother and child are not well served by it. Those children
who truly need a home are not served by it, either.
According to statistics compiled
on Adoption.com, the mothers whose children are adopted-out
"often come from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. These
women come from intact families...." (Stolley, 1993). These
mothers tend to be in college or college bound, responsible
women who want to do what is truly best for their child. Unfortunately
they are uninformed, misinformed and have no moral support from
anyone due to the mistaken belief that they will soon get over
the loss of their child and that their child will not know "the
Babies are not saved from abortion
when they are adopted because no child is ever adopted until
after it is born. A pregnant woman might be best served by telling
her that instead of abortion she will have the option to be
supported in keeping her child (moral support, financial support
from the child's father, parenting classes for both mother and
father, young parents groups, and government assistance if necessary).
If she does find after her child is born that she really does
not want her child, she will still have the option to surrender
all parental rights.
Despite the obvious that neither
abortion nor adoption is ideal, unmarried mothers are frequently
still unsupported (morally and otherwise) in keeping their children.
Fathers are being told they can be replaced by any role-model,
that their child will actually be better off without them, and
so they are not encouraged to support and nurture their children.
A lack of support for unmarried
mothers leads to a greater number of abortions. Statistics show
that in the years following Roe v. Wade, as more mothers were
supported in keeping their children rather than being forced
to surrender them for adoption, the number of abortions dropped
Because of the misperception
that they were unwanted and would have been aborted, some adoptees
have been known to say they consider themselves a "nine-month
abortion." This is worse than unfortunate: I cannot imagine
what it would be like to feel so unwanted by the very person
who more than anyone in the world was supposed to be there for
I hope that decent, caring people
everywhere, whether they have adopted a child or not, whether
they are pro-choice or pro-life, will begin to encourage all
natural mothers and adoptees to tell their stories and provide
insight into what can be improved about the treatment they have
been given. I hope the media will ignore the guidelines given
by the adoption industry for "positive adoption language"
which restricts freedom of speech in the area of adoption. More
than anything, I hope that churches, human rights organizations
and women's groups will stand up for the rights of mothers and
fathers to keep their own child.
Those mothers and fathers who
are making a decision whether to keep their child or surrender
their child for adoption deserve legal protections which include
real information about the emotional risks to themselves, their
child and other family members. They deserve to be protected
from slick advertising and sales pitches from those seeking
to adopt independently, from the adoption industry and from
adoption lawyers. They deserve to be protected from the pressure
put on them to choose prospective adopters before their child
is even born which makes it very hard for them to disappoint
Alisha, this would make a good
school speech because it provides an insight that many people
have not considered.
Good luck to you.