Reading articles or listening to debates about abortion, I’m always left wondering, “Why isn’t adoption front and center in the national conversation?” Adding adoption as The Third Choice to the stunted “two-choice solution” — abortion or “keeping my baby” — holds promise for many thousands of women and couples. Together, unexpectedly pregnant and childless women can forge a new outlook on adoption.
Can cultural prevailing winds lift up adoption, The Third Choice? In the past few decades, our culture has shifted regarding unmarried pregnant women. In my generation as a Baby Boomer in the south, young women left town under some pretense and returned some months later “having lived with an Aunt” or they “ran off and got married” at the first inkling of a pregnancy, hoping no one was counting the months. For this discussion, I simply want to address our current cultural realities and offer The Third Choice to save the lives of the pre-born baby.
The loosening of shame in our culture has created a new environment where single pregnancy is most often acceptable. What is unacceptable is overlooking and under-emphasizing the adoption option for unwanted pregnancies. It is tragic that too many birth mothers have been propagandized into thinking that the baby in their womb is not a baby but only a conglomeration of irrelevant tissue. The emergence of ultrasound science is proving that a pre-born human is indeed beginning life in the womb. While science is serving women with a needed reality check to pierce the propaganda, many women who chose abortion pre-ultrasound technology face painful regrets that haunt them for a lifetime.
The pro-abortion propaganda which has seeped into our culture has also robbed infertile couples of the joy of parenting. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 7.4 million women have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. And a 2008 American Community Survey estimated that 1.6 million children are adopted. Statistics indicate that childlessness is increasing. While abortion rates are decreasing and pro-life legislation and tax breaks are increasing, “unwanted” babies are still erased from the population rolls, leaving too many couples with empty arms and less possibilities to parent.
Here are two suggestions in simple terms. Adoption is an option that must be rehabilitated. The adoption process is impaired by a bureaucracy that is not only complicated, it is incredibly expensive. Adoption must be elevated in our culture. Part of that process includes changing the national conversation to lift up birth mothers as heroes who, instead of sacrificing the child in their womb, choose to sacrifice nine months of their lives to fill the arms of childless couples. This is the essence of TRUE FEMINISM; a birth mother making The Third Choice to fill the empty arms of an infertile woman.
I am one of the childless women blessed by two brave heroes. They are called “birth mothers.”
Editor’s Note: Today’s post was written by CWA’s friend, Arlene Bridges Samuels.