Ethics & Religion
Advance for July 19, 2018
Why Are There So Few Adoptions?
By Mike McManus
2014 there were 1,058,490 American abortions and 1,604,870 unwed births.
Yet there were only 18,329 infant adoptions. That's about 6.9 adoptions
per 1,000 abortions and unwed births.
Why are there so few adoptions?
Chuck Johnson, President of the U.S. Adoption Council, puts part of the
blame on the decrease of international adoptions. They did fall from
nearly 23,000 in 2004 to only 4,714 adoptions in 2017. One reason is
that Russia halted 1,000 U.S. adoptions annually after sanctions were
imposed on Russia for its involvement in the 2016 election.
However, that accounts for only 1,000 of the 18,286 fewer international
Why aren't churches encouraging women who have an unwanted pregnancy to
consider adoption as an option? That is a question I suggest that you
ask your pastor. Has he ever preached on adoption? If not, why not?
Most women facing an unwanted pregnancy feel they have only two options:
get an abortion or raise the child alone as a single mother. About 40%
of all U.S. births are to unwed mothers (20 times that of Japan), and
13.9% of the mothers are teenagers. That's 222,000 births to very young
mothers most of whom should not be raising that child alone.
At least 175,000 of them should be offering their child for adoption to
married parents, millions of whom are unable to have a child, due to
such problems as infertility.
About 7 million couples are unable to conceive a child - 12% of the
couple population. A significant percentage can be helped to become
fertile, with medical assistance.
But millions will remain infertile and would love to adopt a child.
Yet there were only 18,329 infant adoptions in 2017.
Again, I ask why haven't clergy encouraged those with an unexpected,
unwanted pregnancy - to consider relinquishing their child to a couple
who would like to adopt the baby?
To put it more personally, why not encourage your pastor to preach on
this important issue? Secondly, why don't Christian denomination
encourage adoption? Have any done so? None that I know of.
Therefore, I suggest that you also ask your pastor to raise this issue
at the next state convention of your denomination.
One very important resource for pregnant women are 2,500 Pregnancy
Resource Centers. There are two national umbrella groups, each of which
have about 1,100 affiliated Resource Centers - Care Net and Heartbeat
These Centers do not provide abortions. Quite the opposite. They offer
free pregnancy tests, and give those who are pregnant an opportunity to
take an ultrasound so they can actually see their child in their womb.
One pregnant woman, Nasya Dotie, 21, single and worried about finishing
college and disappointing her parents, said she was "almost positive I
was going to have an abortion." A friend at her Christian university
suggested visiting Care Net of Central Texas. She met with a counselor,
went home and considered her options.
She returned for an ultrasound and though not planning to look at the
screen, when a clinician offered, she agreed. Then she concluded, "I was
like, `That's my baby. I can't not have him.'"
About a million women a year visit a Pregnancy Resource Center, and most
decide to have their baby.
Again, my question is, how many of PRC counselors encourage women to
Chuck Johnson, of the Adoption Council, says women "are unlikely to hear
about adoption" at these Centers. "My wife worked in a Pregnancy
Resource Center, where parenting is the preferred option. They offer
baby showers and parenting classes. Adoption is not getting a fair
I suggest that you encourage your local Pregnancy Resource Center to at
least raise the possibility of adoption, and make a thoughtful case for
it with women who do not feel ready to mother a child - particularly
very young mothers.Couples who have adopted a child might be invited to
speak to young mothers-to-be.
It should be added that substantial numbers of older children are being
adopted, after they have been in foster care. As a result of neglect by,
or the opioid addiction of many mothers, children are being removed from
their homes and place in foster care.
In 2016, there were 437,000 children in foster care - up from 396,000 in
2012. And 57,200 children in foster care were adopted in 2016.
However, 56% of couples in foster care returned their child to the
agency, citing frustration in working with them, a high percentage of
whom had special needs, or came from traumatic backgrounds.
Adoption is not a panacea - but deserves a far better visibility than it
Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to
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