Adoption Myths

1. Your baby will end up in foster care

Many abortion advocates will claim that there are not enough people willing to adopt and point to the fact that there are an estimated 400,540 children in the American foster care system. While this number is sobering, and steps should definitely be taken to reduce it as soon as possible, it is not a number that affects adoption as a viable alternative to abortion for women who are not ready for parenthood.

Let’s look at the facts: according to a 2011 study by the Health and Human Services Department, an estimated 2.6 million Americans have taken concrete step towards adoption, and an estimated 18.5 million Americans have at least considered adopting a child. The HHS study additionally states that those seeking to adopt showed a preference for children under two – a criterion that newborns certainly would meet.

When a birth mother decides on adoption, she can seek out any number of private adoption companies that will help her connect with a family who desperately wants to adopt her baby. Foster care is not even in the picture.

This brings us to the next myth:

2. You will never know if your child is being taken care of

A 2012 study by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute found that 95% of private adoptions in American are “open adoptions.” An open adoption means that the birth mother chooses the family for her baby, and both parties agree to the sharing of information, and to maintain a certain level of ongoing contact throughout the years. In an open adoption, a child grows up knowing where he came from, his medical history, and that the decision to place him for adoption was a decision made out of love.

While there are varying levels of openness, it is the choice of the birth mother, not the adoptive parents, and the birth mother is able to choose a family based on the degree of openness they are willing to agree to.

A 2007 Health and Human Services study looked at the effects of adoption on children and found the following:

  • Adopted children are less likely to live in households where the income is below the poverty line
  • 85% of adopted children are in excellent or very good health
  • 91% of adopted children in the survey had been consistently insured for the past year
  • Only a small minority of adopted children are diagnosed with disorders such as attachment disorder, depression, ADD/ADHD, or behavior or conduct disorders.
  • Over half of adopted school-age children have excellent or very good perform ace in reading and math
  • Adopted children are more likely to be read to every day by their parents, or to be sung to or told stories every day
  • 81% of adoptive parents report their relationship as being very warm and close.

3. Adoption is abandoning your baby

Far from being abandonment, adoption is amazing and admirable. It takes a remarkable amount of selflessness and courage to place a child up for adoption. It means recognizing that you are not able to be the parent your child deserves, and making sacrifices to ensure that she is taken care of the way she should be.

Attitudes on adoption have also changed over the years, with two thirds of Americans having a favorable opinion of adoption. Additionally, two-thirds of Americans have a personal connection with adoption, be it through being an adoptive parent, sibling, or adopted child, or knowing someone who is one of those things.

There are many stories available online detailing how adopted children feel about their adoption, and I personally can attest to my gratefulness to my birth mother.

My birth mother was only 19 when she had me, and she already had 3 other children. Those in the pro-abortion lobby would say that my mother would have been totally justified in aborting me, but she chose life. While I was not adopted at birth, but later placed in foster care with my siblings, I still have a deep respect for the choice my birth mother made in relinquishing her parental rights so that I could be adopted along with my brother and sister (another brother was adopted by a different family). I always knew that I was adopted, and my parents made sure to explain that I was placed for adoption not because I wasn’t loved, but because I was loved very much both by them and by my birth mother.

I am very aware of the different path my life could have taken, and when I look at where I have ended up, I feel a great sense of being blessed beyond what I deserve. My parents are amazing, selfless people (although when I tell them this, they assure me that they are just normal people), who took three children who needed a family and gave them love and stability.

Adoption is a truly amazing thing, and it should be encouraged for those women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. While they might not be ready to be parents, they can still be amazing mothers by giving their children the gift of a family, of love, of security – the gift of hope and a future.

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10 thoughts on “Adoption Myths

  1. Except that adoption is devastating for the birth mother. Not only that, but it’s undamaged white children who are highly sought after as adoptees. There are long, long, long waiting lists for these desirable children. But it will stay long, now that the hardship that adoption imposes on birth mothers is well understood.

    Then there is the grim reality of many of the babies given up for adoption or finally taken away by social services as a last ditch resort, because the home life is so dire. Black babies and babies that are damaged in some way – especially from mothers who have crack, heroin or other addictions – or who are disabled languish uncared for.

    Put those two realities together, and adoption is never coming back as a widespread option.

  2. I never said that adoption was an easy choice. But studies show that women who abort have serious mental issues later on- they are more depressed, are more likely to do drugs & commit suicide. Maybe if people had a more loving attitude about adoption & didn’t act like it was abandonment, more mothers would feel better about that choice.

    Secondly, your point about foster care is not only irrelevant to the discussion, but is not completely accurate. This article is specifically about women who are pregnant already & seeking to find an adoptive family. There is no shortage of families for those babies. Additionally there are many families whose hearts and homes are open to children with special needs, or who are a different race. I know personally of families who have done this. In fact, my husband and I plan on adopting from both categories. Also, foster care can have happy endings as well. Along with my own story, I know or know of, many former foster children who were adopted and are now leading happy & productive lives. Instead of rejecting foster care as an awful thing, we should look at the flaws in the system and do our best to correct them.

    Deanna Candler

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. If what you say is true, why are so many black and disabled babies left unadopted?

    Also, you do know that the studies that purport to show that women who undergo abortion have “serious mental issues” have been debunked, time and time again.

    I respect people who oppose abortion. But do it on the grounds of morality, not bogus, oft-debunked studies.

  4. I never said all couples desire to adopt those children, I just said there are couples out there.

    And these studies were published in peer reviewed journals by medical professionals. Of course there are going to be groups linked to abortion (who in fact make money off of abortion), who are going to do their best to cast doubt on the validity of the studies. But I’ve read them, and looked at the methodology used- they are very credible. I think it helps that many of them are published in non-American journals, where politics on the issue is not as big of a concern.

    Deanna

  5. Systematic reviews of the literature in both the UK and the US have consistently failed to demonstrate a link between abortion and poor mental health outcomes except – and these are important exceptions – where there were pre-existing mental conditions; a lack of social support and *conservative views on abortion*. If you shame and harass a woman for her choices, yeah, she’s going to feel very, very bad.

    It’s interesting that ‘post abortion syndrome’ is only recognised inside the US, and not by any of the major US medical, clinical or psychological bodies. Basically, it’s made up. Which is not to say that some women won’t feel regret, which is a normal emotion that covers a multitude of life events. Unwanted pregnancies bring all kinds of feelings with them, whether carried to term or not.

    These studies belong in the same box as the equally discredited (over and over again) ones that purport to show a link between abortion and breast cancer.

    Thank you for your respectful dialogue. At this point I will leave your blog alone.

  6. You insist that these studies have been proven false, yet you ignore my valid criticism on WHO is claiming they are false- Researchers that are linked to the abortion industry. They have a vested financial interest in continuing the practice, and shouldn’t be considered as a credible source. It’d be like me doing a study on my own credibility- obviously I’m going to call myself credible, but that doesn’t make it so.

    Deanna Candler

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. Could you send me links? I’ve been looking at the systematic review conducted by the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists, funded by the UK Department of Health (otherwise known as British taxpayer funding). Plus neither the American Psychiatric Association nor the American Psychological Association recognise so-called Post Abortion Syndrome.

  8. The American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNs has a pretty comprehensive list of peer reviews studies on their website:
    http://www.aaplog.org/complications-of-induced-abortion/induced-abortion-and-mental-health/

    Addtionally, both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have advocated for abortion since the 60s, before this research was done, and therefore had a vested interest in denying any harmful leffects of their advocacy. The link above also has a response to the American Psychological Association taskforce, showing that they limited their study to helpful research and unfairly disposed of research showing a different conclusion.

  9. OK, I’m about to leave for the evening, so this really is my last post. I had a look at some of the links you posted. First of all, you can hardly criticise research for supposed biases and then link to a very biased collection! But what’s important is the science, not who wrote it – it can be too easy to dismiss research we don’t like with an ad hominem attack. I’ll just note that the most important research articles are always the meta-analyses, because they crunch entire bodies of data and are supposed to correct for problems with individual pieces of work. So I zoomed in on the Coleman synthesis. I did note that she failed to mention she was a pro-life campaigner in her ‘conflicts of interest’ section which is disingenuous, because it’s something that should have been flagged.

    It doesn’t, by itself, negate her work, but it does raise a red flag that she didn’t declare it.

    I did a quick search and note that Dr Ben Goldacre, who is a well known campaigner against junk science, did a massive take-down of the piece, by actually replicating her work with a colleague. Which is gold standard science. Their conclusions: “We believe that as a result of these features the paper falls far short of best practice in the execution of publication-standard meta- analyses.”

    Another response to the paper described how the evidence had been cherry picked to exclude papers that didn’t fit the outcome that she liked:

    Priscilla Coleman presents her conclusions as “an unbiased, quantitative analysis of the best available evidence” concerning the adverse mental health consequences of abortion. Huge numbers of papers by respectable researchers that have not found negative mental health consequences are ignored without comment. Not surprisingly, over 50% of the “acceptable” studies she uses as her “evidence” are those done by her and her colleagues Cougle and Reardon. The work of this group has been soundly critiqued not just by us (1, 2) but by many others as being logically inconsistent and substantially inflated by faulty methodologies. As noted by the Royal Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (3), the authors consistently fail to differentiate between an association and a causal relationship and repeatedly fail to control for pre-existing mental health problems. We note that she did not include in her articles the publication by Munk-Olsen et al. in the Jan. 2011 New England Journal of Medicine (4) that concluded that “the rates of a first-time psychiatric contact before and after a first-trimester induced abortion are similar. This finding does not support the hypothesis that there is an overall increased risk of mental disorders after first-trimester induced abortion”.
    Gail E. Robinson, Professor of Psychiatry & Obstetrics/Gynecology; Nada L. Stotland, Carol C. Nadelson University of Toronto

    In other words, it’s bunk that abortion causes mental health issues.

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