Following the 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a legal chasm opened that state legislators rushed to fill. Pro-life forces swiftly mobilized to introduce state legislation restricting abortion. If these efforts are to produce lasting success, they must be simultaneously paired with making adoption affordable and widely available.
When a (usually single) woman becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has three primary options: 1) parent the child herself; 2) have an abortion; or 3) make an adoption plan and give her child the gift of a family through adoption. (A mother can also leave her child at a designated Safe Haven, such as a fire station or hospital, after which child protective services cares for the baby until a foster family or a permanent adoptive family is found.)
Circumstances may make it difficult, if not impossible, for some moms to care for a child. This leaves only two choices. If we in the pro-life community want to make abortion an unthinkable option, we have to make it as easy as possible for mothers to choose adoption.
From a pragmatic standpoint, adoption advocacy makes sense. When the word “abortion” is mentioned in society, immediately battle lines are drawn and people raise their guard. In contrast, when the word “adoption” is mentioned, there is near-unanimous consensus it is a good thing. The pro-life community can more readily garner support across the political spectrum for adoption initiatives than for abortion restrictions. While both goals are desirable, only adoption promotion may be possible in blue states such as California. Persons who would never restrict abortion may be willing and even enthusiastic to support adoption.
One way that government could support adoption is through financial support. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average cost to adopt a child ranges between $20,000 and $60,000—and can potentially be even more expensive. This is well beyond the means of the average American.
By supporting adoption, we support one of the most beautiful things in the world—building familial love. In an imperfect way, adoptive parents reflect the love of God for, through Jesus Christ, God adopted us as His sons and daughters. He grafted us onto His family tree and we inherit all that is His (cf Rom 8:16-17). Adoption reflects this unconditional love of our Heavenly Father:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption …. So you are no longer a slave but a child , and if a child then also an heir, through God. (Gal 4:4-5, 7)
The more good and beautiful a thing is, the more the devil hates it. Satan particularly hates the relationship between mother and child because it was through mother and Son that he was defeated forever, a fact he will never forgive nor forget. The Father of Lies always uses the same tactic to undermine relationships: distract, deceive, divide, and destroy. In abortion, the deceiver distracts a mother from the living human being inside her, deceives her with lies that the child’s life threatens her own interests, and divides the two permanently through the child’s destruction.
In the same way, an inverted parallel exists between Mary and Lucifer (for example, whereas Mary welcomed Jesus into her womb, Lucifer opposed the Son of God becoming man; and whereas Mary sanctified herself by obedience, Lucifer corrupted himself by disobedience), adoption is the inverted parallel of abortion. Adoption refocuses the mother on the life of her unborn child, reaffirms that the baby is a gift from God, and joins their interests so that a family might be created. Instead of ending life, adoption is the expansion of love and life!
When we further consider that Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, saved his Son from the slaughter of the innocents (a phrase which accurately describes abortion), it becomes clear that adoption holds a very special place in God’s loving plan for us.
I find tremendous joy in being an adoptive father. Being an adoptive father is not only a gift, but a calling to care for our daughter’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I am called to reflect the Heavenly Father to our daughter. This is a tremendous responsibility, one which God will hold me accountable for on the day of judgement. When she is scared, she comes to Daddy because she knows I am a protector (she goes to Mommy for almost everything else!). When I sacrifice my time and energy on weeknights and weekends to be with her, she knows she is loved and treasured. Through prayer and study together, I teach her about our Catholic Faith, the spiritual life, and spiritual warfare.
Growing our family through adoption has made me particularly grateful to be named after Saint Joseph. I imagine Saint Joseph fearlessly leading his family into Egypt, working intimately with his Son during his daily labor as a carpenter, teaching Sacred Scripture to Jesus, and above all beaming with delight as he watched Jesus grow in age and wisdom.
But adoption is not simply a blessing for an individual family; it is a blessing for local communities, the nation, and the world. It brings people with differences together and reveals that we are not simply neighbors; we are family united by the Precious Blood of the Lamb. Love is always expansive and brings people together so that we may all be one (Jn 17:21). Families formed through adoption prove that differences are only superficial and that God created every human person to be loved, cherished, and treasured.
Our adoptive daughter is the greatest gift from God we could ever ask for. Married couples both with and without biological children should have the opportunity, if they choose, to grow their families through adoption. Let’s work together to make adoption not simply possible, but readily available and financially accessible. Let’s make adoption so desirable that no one will ever want to choose abortion again.
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Not enough positive talk about adoption comes from either society or the church. The children i adopted are adults now. But i considered it a great gift to be entrusted with them as babies. Too often i read about pregnant women choosing abortion and saying they could never place a child for adoption because they would never know what happened to them . So, they would rather choose death for their child? I find the self centeredness of this sentiment to be appalling. What has been lost to the world with all those aborted babies? One of my children is a first responder. He has been credited with saving the lives of two people who would surely have died had he not been there to save them. I hope that both society and the church will talk up adoption as a viable option for pregnant women.
“When a (usually single) woman becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has three primary options: 1) parent the child herself; 2) have an abortion; or 3) make an adoption plan and give her child the gift of a family through adoption.”
Another option would be to get married – ideally to the father of her child. Abortion is never an option.
“While both goals are desirable, only adoption promotion may be possible in blue states such as California. Persons who would never restrict abortion may be willing and even enthusiastic to support adoption.”
What about forced adoption? Research indicates that this is in the “best interest of the child.” The order of child care arrangement from best to worse is married biological parents, married not biological parents, and single parent.
This comes from “Bringing Up Baby: Adoption, Marriage, and the Best Interests of the Child.”
The fact is that adoption should arguably be free. I suspect that if one looks into why it is so expensive to adopt, one will find evil things.
There need to be Catholic institutions, such as Holy Angels in Belmont, NC, that care for special needs children. Mothers diagnosed with a child who needs full time care should have a Catholic option to let the child be born and be cared for lovingly.
In MI I think we will have to fight Abortion with Adoption options. Big Gretch has wormed abortion into the constitution with Prop 3; she also vetoed money for adoption costs.
Childless couples cry out for a baby, yet the shrill notes of the abortionists call blatantly and louder.
The most innocent and helpless are cut from the womb, yet the 1st degree murderer lives out his natural life!
Our leaders demonstrate absence of accountability. We do not hold them to godly standards.
I try to remember to thank God every day for guiding the birth mother of my son to give him up for adoption.
Mom & Dad of 2 adopted baby boys born 1980 and 1984. Wonderful Baltimore Catholic Charities experience. Prayed for the birth parents over the years because I know they wonder about them. And if our young men need to search, we would support them. It’s has been a lifetime of support and challenge but then there is that enveloping love! And now growing into our 70s they are taking care of us. We even have grandchildren.