We put in our application to adopt in February, announced our plan to adopt on Mother’s Day, and became ‘home study ready’ on September 11. In 2014. It’s now been two years of waiting and praying.
Mostly patient, I’m finding myself becoming less serene and more frustrated at this wait—with its end yet to be determined. A prepared adoptive family may wait years for a placement. The abortion clinics are full… why aren’t adoption agencies teeming with children?
Our society makes abortion so easy. It’s cheap, it’s accessible and it has even become glamorized (thanks to Planned Parenthood’s extensive Hollywood outreach). We hear all the time how abortion is so common, and it is. But that doesn’t make it right.
When I think of all that is lost as a result of abortion, it breaks my heart. Much has been said on the horrors of abortion, yet we rarely focus on how abortion robs us all of the blessings of adoption. Here are three ways abortion robs from adoption:
1. Abortion robs the birthmother
When a woman realizes she’s pregnant, she has three choices: she can raise the child herself, she can place the child for adoption, or she can abort the child. Let’s be honest, all too often we’re talking about 13, 14 or 15 year-old girls here. While teen pregnancy and abortion rates are at the lowest they’ve been in 40 years—thanks in part to effective pro-life laws—abortions still take place seven days a week.
Whether choosing an abortion or forced into it by another, women are robbed of the blessing of adoption. In an extremely difficult place in life, she feels her only option is to choose death. Yet for years, perhaps decades, this woman will face trauma and even grave health issues as a result of post-abortive stress.
Through adoption, women have an amazing opportunity to redeem a bad decision or unintended consequence. Yes, this choice carries its own difficulty. One birthmother shares in the New York Times how, despite a painful decision to place her child for adoption, it comforts her to see the child with his adoptive family. She would be robbed of this consolation if she had chosen abortion.
To be clear, adoption is not the only—or even always the best—alternative to abortion. Sometimes the right choice is for the expectant mother to parent. No woman should feel forced to place a child for adoption that she can care for. The point is: when a women or couple cannot provide a good home for their child, regardless of the reasons why, abortion is not the answer. Adoption is!
2. Abortion robs families of the opportunity to adopt
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every child was born into loving and capable families? I would love to see the unplanned pregnancy rate and national abortion rate go to zero. Any pro-life advocate would be perfectly content if there were no babies to adopt, because there was no need!
But the reality is, as long as women are still heading to abortion clinics, there is a need for adoption. Thousands of families nationwide have been making life changes so they can be ready to adopt.
Sometimes they bring unique strengths to the adoption process, like having raised several children; others, like my husband and I, bring a love for children we’ve nurtured through staying engaged in child sponsorship.
For both birthmother and adoptive family, adoption represents a great sacrifice of time, tears and treasure. When God uses adoption to save a life—or perhaps change a family’s entire storyline—the beauty and value that adoption brings into the world cannot be denied.
3. Abortion robs our society and communities
When one third of a nation’s population is wiped out through the genocide of abortion, there is a huge financial and emotional cost. It’s estimated that our nation has lost $16 trillion dollars in federal revenue as a result of abortion, according to former liberal activist Mark Olson.
But that is nothing compared to the destinies we’ve lost. I cannot help but wonder what our society might look like were it not for abortion; would a cure for cancer have been developed? Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, was raised in an adoptive family after his birthmother Joanne Schieble bravely brought him into the world. Think about her next time you check your iPhone.
Whether an aborted child was diagnosed in the womb with cerebral palsy, or whether they would have faced other challenges, their life had a story the world will never know.
There are practical economic issues too. “Babies are essential,” reports family trends expert Glenn Stanton. “Economic growth, debt retirement and support of an increasing population of elderly requires young workers, and these young creators, providers, inventors, consumers—not to mention taxpayers—only come in one original size: babies.”
So I will keep waiting and praying for the day a brave woman makes the very difficult, but incredibly honorable, decision that she will choose life for her child… and that she has chosen us to parent that precious baby.
And I’ll keep praying that every woman in a crisis pregnancy who cannot parent makes the same decision. Because we must not allow abortion to rob us all of the joy and blessing of adoption.
Dr. Laurel Shaler is a Chair at Liberty University in the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies. She is a former social worker for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Laurel writes on the intersection of faith, culture and emotional well-being at DrLaurelShaler.com. She and her husband, Nick, are in the adoption process; follow along with their journey via Facebook.
Publication date: May 3, 2016