Monday, September 08, 2008

My Soap Box

I need to write about this for a few reasons (and there are probably many more!):
1) This is a pivotal issue in the current political arena.
2) I am pro-life and passionate about adoption.
3) I long for adoption to be seen as more than an answer to infertility.

I'm often puzzled by the number of pro-life people but the lack of adoptive parents. I've seen people carry signs that say Adoption: the Loving Option and I want to ask - but will you welcome a child not biologically related into your family? Are you willing to step up to the plate and love a child as your own? I recently heard that there are only 24,000 unrelated (as in not step parent) adoptions in our country each year (that includes domestic and international adoptions) and I was horrified. After checking into it myself, I think that estimate is a maybe a bit low but the problem remains. How can we offer adoption as the solution to abortion when there are way, way more abortions every year?

I don't mean to step on any toes here and I recognize that not everyone is called to adopt or to be foster parents. But I do have to encourage you to search your hearts...if you feel so strongly about abortion, Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life movement, then you may need to do more than carry a sign or write or speak about it. Your conviction may require you to open your hearts, home and life to a child. A child whose birthparents couldn't care for them, birthparents who did choose to give life, birthparents who did make a pro-life decision and birthparents who want to choose a better life for their child.

Anyway, I just feel concerned that adoption is often given as the answer to abortion but there is a lack of people willing to actually follow through and provide homes - there is especially a need for minority, bi-racial and special needs children. There are grants, programs, and many people qualify for an $11,000 tax credit that all help to lessen the cost of adoption (the #1 reason I hear for not adopting). And truly, if God calls you to adopt, will He not provide a way? Yes, it may involve sacrifice, less of the luxuries we enjoy but the reward is great!

So I will step off my soap box for the moment but I will leave you with these final thoughts - If abortion is outlawed, where will all these children go? Who will care for them? 24,000 (or even 100,000) adoptive families is most definitely not enough.

**UPDATED: We have adopted internationally and are in process of adopting domestically and we love both! I do not think one is superior to the have to go where God is leading you and that will look different for every family. There are children EVERYWHERE who need loving families and homes.
My point in this post is that we need to not just say abortion should be abolished but we need to be ready and willing to act on that conviction.**


Anonymous said...

wow, that is a good, thought provoking.

Especially the last paragraph. Where will they all go?

Amanda Peters said...

Very, very good points and ones that I agree with heartily! I have a couple of random thoughts on the matter:

I know that among a good deal of the Christian population, adoption is seen as sort of a "quiver-lite" option. Those who want to leave the eventual size of their family completely in God's hands often do so only with biological children in mind. I don't think it's because they're morally opposed to adoption, but it seems like it is very secondary to having one's "own" children.

Another odd thing I have seen from the Christian population that DOES adopt is that they often will only adopt internationally. Africa is a biggie nowadays, it seems, as is Haiti. I am not quite sure why, but they seem much more willing to forego domestic children (of any color) for those abroad.

I speak from several perspectives, lest anyone is judging my responses as too judgmental. ;-) We are a reformed Christian household with both biological and adopted children, though we adopted domestically and did not preference race. As it turned out, we have all white children (because that's the order they came onto the list.) We also set out to leave our family size in God's hands but realized that it was a bit hypocritical and ridiculous to not even consider adoption in that mix. We have also only adopted fairly-newborn babies, which is different than many, as I have learned.

Anyways, those are just my two cents...what a thought-provoking post! Thank you for writing it.

Amanda P.

Paula said...

Yes, thanks for being so honest. I totally agree with Amanda's comment above. I often wonder why so many people travel abroad to adopt when there are so many children available in the U.S..
I think a lot of people have misconceptions about domestic adoption, particularly open adoption. Sometimes people think that the children can be taken away from them. That is why they veer towards interntional. I myself had a lot of these misconceptions. In truth, if you go with an adoption attorney that does everything legally correct, there is no way you can lose your child. Another deterrent for people who want to adopt is $$$$$. There is a fantastic agency called Legacy Child that will loan money to couples who want to adopt interest free.

Paula said...

P.S. The website for legacy child is:

Debbie B said...

Great post. To follow with what Amanda and Paula said about domestic it is the fear of the birth parents for sure. I was there 3 years ago. Plus it's a harder roller coaster, I think, since you're chosen and not just next in line in most cases.

Noah and Josh's Mom said...

Hmmmm very interesting. I am pro-choice, as you probably could have guessed, but like I have said before, that doesn't mean I am pro-abortion. You are right - where will all the children go!

I think that adoption is a personal choice and there are many reasons why we choose international adoption over domestic and vice versa. For me it was the images of babies/toddlers/grown children living their entire lives in BH's with nothing. No food, no clothes, no love - nothing.

I did not (do not) like the idea of being chosen. Sorry if that offends. Wow - I could go on and on but I don't want you to think I am nuts. :)

Yes, there are a lot of misconceptions about both ways to adopt that we as AP's need to first educate people.

Jen said...

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Smith Family Blog said...

I agree-- but I also have to say that many people DO lose their children, and it is heartbreaking, and can be a significant deterrent. I personally had a best friend who lost 3 biological pregnancies, then lost an adopted child after the child was born and the mother changed her mind. Watching my friend go through that weighs significantly in my mind.

I've also had friends attempt to adopt and not have the resources in the end (despite what kind of grants are out there). From materials I have seen, there are many more families willing an able to adopt than there are children available.

Smith Family Blog said...

Oops-- I also meant to mention that I once worked for a very good attorney (his father was a state supreme court justice) who did a ton of domestic adoptions, and had adopted a child himself. He finally stopped doing adoptions because so many ended in heartbreak when the mothers changed their minds after birth.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, especially for people like my friend who have already gone through tremendous heartbreak, the threat of future heartbreak through a failed adoption cannot be underemphasized.

Smith Family Blog said...

Okay, one more. :) Sorry if I seem a little edgy about this. But I happen to personally know attorneys who have put their own families in "danger" (both socially and physically) by writing and speaking on the aboriton topic, and to have that sacrifice labeled "not enough" is a little offensive.

Muriel and Jerry said...

I could not agree more.

Barbie said...

I totally agree with you! As for the commenters on the whole domestic and international issue... that bugs me big time. As Christians we are taught and KNOW that there is no difference. Every child is loved by Him and deserves a home. Why don't the children in China or elsewhere deserve just the same??? Ok, I am off my soapbox too. :-)

Thanks for posting this.

Barbie said...

I do want to add that I didn't go international because of any misconceptions but because that is where God called us. With. No. Doubt.