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February 12, 2014
Column #1,694
Adoption: the Noble Option
By Mike McManus

The March for Life on January 22, the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, has always been about abortion. However, this year’s Choose Life theme was “Choose Adoption.”

Ryan Dobson, the adopted son of Dr. James Dobson, introduced his father by saying, ”My birth mother was 17 years old. She wasn’t married. She didn’t have a boyfriend. She didn’t know what to do. Facing an unplanned pregnancy, her family and church connected her with a Pregnancy Resource Center, and people like you opened their arms to her, showed her the love of Christ and gave her an alternative.”

“I’m alive today, because of this movement.” After introducing his father, Dr. Dobson said that adopting Ryan was “one of the highlights of my life.”

Sadly, infant adoptions like that of Ryan - barely exist today. In 1970 there were 89,000 adoptions. But the legalizing of abortion in 1973 changed that situation overnight. By 1975 there were only 47,000. In 2007, the last year with data, a pitiful 18,000 adoptions.

That’s only 1% of the nation’s 1.7 million unwed births, or less than 1% of America’s 1.2 million abortions that year.

What can be done to turn this trend around?

The March for Life took an important initial step to emphasize adoption. Jeanne Monahan, who ran the event, declared, “Adoption is a heroic decision for pregnant mothers who find themselves in a difficult situation. We want to eliminate the stigma of adoption and encourage women to pursue this noble option.”

The long-term hope lies in America’s 2,000 Pregnancy Resource Centers who met with 963,000 new clients in 2010, 720,000 of whom took a pregnancy test. About half were pregnant and 230,000 viewed an ultrasound of their baby. Very few who see an ultrasound chose to abort their baby. A remarkable 71,000 volunteers in these centers gave 5.7 million hours of uncompensated time to help mothers preserve the lives of their children.

However, when these volunteers – or even trained professionals – suggest that the young woman consider the adoption option, the invariable answer is “Oh, I could never do that.” (However, all are considering killing their own child via abortion!)

Why is adoption so quickly and uniformly rejected?

“The media has done a great job of making adoption a horror story,” says Donna Hecke of Real Options, a Pregnancy Resource Center in San Jose, California. She cites a TV story about a birth mom named Jessica who gave her baby to an adopting family who later changed their mind. By contrast, the media “help abortion every day, with something the President or Planned Parenthood are saying. Abortion is built into Obamacare.”

Indeed there are 66 lawsuits fighting its mandate to provide free abortion-inducing drugs or sterilization, one of which will soon be considered by the Supreme Court.

Real Options has come up with creative answers to promote adoption that ought to be considered by the other 2,000 Pregnancy Care Centers (PCCs).

It created a zippy one-minute ad which they will make available to other PCCs at no cost to promote adoption. It begins, “Help turn an unplanned pregnancy into a loving plan. We are advocates for expectant moms. We provide free medical care, emotional support as well as parenting and adoption support services. Every day many Bay Area people face a life-altering decision.” A young woman says, “I was confused, hurt and ashamed. I was very sad. I wanted to have the baby, but I needed help.” A man says, “My parents especially wanted a child. They chose to adopt me…and gave all their love to me. It was a blessing.”

Another video features Cindy, a woman who did choose adoption. She learned that there were different kinds of adoption, such as open adoption in which “I could be in control, and decide how involved I wanted to be. I could select the parents, which I did. I chose a couple who really wanted kids, but had been unable to have kids of their own. This is the best part. I invited the adoptive parents to cut the umbilical cord. I gave her life.”

Bethany Christian Services, who placed 1,000 babies for adoption last year, was invited by Real Options to share an office in San Jose – right across the street from Planned Parenthood! In the past, when Real Options counselors persuaded the expectant mom to go to Bethany, virtually none showed up.

Now young women can learn the facts about adoption immediately from Bethany.

This model could be adopted (pardon the pun) across the country, and push those adoption numbers back up.

“Rescue those being led away to death,” urges Proverbs 24:11.

©2014 Michael J. McManus syndicated columnist  / mike@marriagesavers.org
Ethics & Religion at http://www.ethicsandreligion.com
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