We can't adopt ourselves out of abortion
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very much in favor of adoption. I WAS adopted as a baby. I just think that it’s more complicated than these people understand.
By Merrie Soltis
The potential end of Roe v. Wade has dropped a bomb into our political discourse. A lot of people who are a lot smarter than I am and who have more legal expertise than I have will analyze this decision (that isn’t even final.) Partisans on both sides have already spilled an ocean of ink declaring that this is the END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT or the greatest victory in US history.
But as someone who considers herself pro-life, I have a warning for “my side” here: ending Roe is not a problem we can adopt ourselves out of.
Many pro-lifers think adoption is the clear solution to the dilemma of abortion. Just spend nine months pregnant, give birth, and hand your baby over to older, wealthier people to raise and it will all be just dandy! Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt was on Fox News this Sunday urging churches, non-profits and government agencies to “come around with more adoption services.” My former boss stated in HIS editorial that we need to work to make adoptions easier and cheaper. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very much in favor of adoption. I WAS adopted as a baby. I just think that it’s more complicated than these people understand.
Liberals often criticize the pro-life movement with the jab “So, how many babies have YOU adopted?” Well, myself personally, zero. But trust me, the problem is not on the “demand side.” I know many couples that adopted. One friend adopted a little girl from Mexico. Several have adopted daughters from China. My former minister and his wife adopted a little girl from Africa who was HIV positive (even though they already had 3 biological children.) So yeah, you bring me a baby with the paperwork signed and let me make a few phone calls and I can find them a loving home by the end of the day. What I can’t find are very many women willing to make that choice.
These aren’t the bad old days of the 1950’s. We can’t round up all the unwed mothers into concentration camps and take their babies against their will. The sad truth is, that faced with an unwanted pregnancy, most women will choose abortion first, keeping the child second, and adoption as the last option.
I have some wonderful Christian friends that have been married for 20 years. They already have 2 children, a boy and a girl. Their oldest just graduated high school. But when a family friend came to them and said she was in trouble and asked them to adopt her baby, they agreed after prayerful consideration even though they had no prior desires to expand their family. But after giving birth, the young woman changed her mind and decided to keep her baby.
Many years ago, I had a roommate who also found herself pregnant. She had no job, no money, had a previous abortion and a child she was neglecting, so I gently suggested that just MAYBE she consider adoption this time but she refused stating “that would be WRONG.”
I know these stories are anecdotal, but polls and studies back me up. Women find adoption harder than abortion. It takes a mental and emotional toll on everyone involved. Anyone who thinks the end of Roe is going to bring a flood of adoptable babies is just being naïve.
Personally, I doubt the end of Roe will actually change very much. Abortion will still be legal in much of America. Companies are already pledging to provide travel expenses for employees that need abortions. In my opinion, many of the harsher prohibitions will be rolled back as voters once again prioritize the issue in their voting decisions. But even if more babies are born, the percentage available for adoption will not change.
The head of a pregnancy crisis center in Texas recently told the Washington Post that groups are always offering to buy her a sonogram. She tells them she doesn’t need one. Most of the women coming to her for assistance already HAVE children. What they need isn’t a lecture on the life inside of them, what they need are diapers. And baby formula. And child care.
To be fair, many of the more practical members of the pro-life movement are aware of this and are preparing for it. The rest of us need to be. If you think abortion is such a great sin that the wrath of God will judge our entire nation for allowing this practice, then you should be prepared for your tax dollars to support these lives. You want people to choose life? Then HELP THEM. Give them the resources they need to make that choice.
Maybe after all the screaming is done, we can join together to end abortion. Not by passing laws. Abortions are already in decline. We need better education, better birth control and better life affirming policies. I look forward to the day we can make those a reality.