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Pregnancy care centers help eliminate the financial burden of an unplanned pregnancy.
In the United States, there are thousands of pregnancy care centers which all exist to help women through the emotional and financial stress of an unplanned pregnancy. Couple their services with the widespread availability of adoption, and it should become immediately apparent that women need not kill their "unwanted" children.
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute tells us that the number of infants available for private adoption in the United States has been decreasing. The factors which have contributed to this change are, "increased access to contraception", "changed social attitudes about unmarried parenting", and the big one, "the legalization of abortion." "Between 1989 and 1995, 1.7 percent of children born to never-married white women were placed for adoption, compared to 19.3 percent before 1973." In 1970 there were 89,200 new adoptive parents. In 1975, the last year for which such data is available, that number was cut almost in half to 47,700. The reason for the decline was not due to fewer parents wanting to adopt, but rather to the fact that "fewer U.S.-born white infants were available for adoption." Babies which would have been adopted prior to 1973 were being aborted after 1973.
According the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), on page 557 of the Adoption Factbook III, the number one barrier to adoption which must be overcome is the "almost exclusive focus on abortion as the preferred option when an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy occurs." The two groups listed as doing the most to propogate this "exclusive focus on abortion" are Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). The National Council on Adoption elaborates on the problem this way:
NCFA does not take a position on abortion, but clearly the fact that abortion occupies center stage and adoption is generally not on the public agenda is a major barrier. There is not even a debate about the proper role to be played by adoption in the management of unplanned or untimely pregnancies in the U.S. There aren't even current, accurate baseline data to help people examine abortion and adoption in context. Abortion data are available from only two sources, the federal government's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI). The CDC numbers are slightly lower than AGI's. The AGI numbers are viewed by some as more complete, but AGI does take a position on abortion, so its objectivity is sometimes questioned. On this point, consider the recent report, published in The Washington Times, marking the dramatic decrease in adoption referrals by Planned Parenthood affiliates. Referrals fell from 9,381 to 5,500 in the latest period for which there is data, 1997. Contrast that with the number of total clients served and choosing abortion, 166,900, or the 17,000 people provided prenatal care."
The second barrier to adoption which the NCFA lists (page 567) is this:
The media do not report or analyze adoption in an objective, professional manner...successful adoption stories are usually considered 'boring' and are seldom reported...The media sensationalize adoption, often at the urging of anti-adoption groups...They also sensationalize international adoption, especially such adoptions which dissolve...When 90% of the published articles on a topic are negative, and the data from objective research like that conducted by the Search Institute has proven that the outcomes are good, there is a very good chance that either bias or an ideological agenda is at work.
The "ideological agenda" that the NCFA suggests is the "pro-choice" agenda. Since the mainstream media supports abortion rights, it makes sense that they would do what they can to present adoption in a negative light. Adoption is bad for abortion.
Barrier number ten, listed on page 576, is identified as the fact that "information and counseling about adoption are scarcely available in the context of family planning." "Family planners" push abortion, not adoption. There is no money for them in adoption.
With so many babies being aborted, who would have otherwise been adopted, many adoptive families are turning to "special needs" and international adoptions. Adoption Factbook III reports on page 34 that, "during the past two decades, the most striking change has been the increase in special needs adoptions." While general adoption rates have increased slightly between 1982 and 1996 (peaking in 1992), special needs adoptions have almost doubled, going from 14,005 in 1982 to 26,434 in 1996. The number of international adoptions has increased even more dramatically, going from 5,749 in 1982 to 11,316 in 1996 and up to 12,596 in 1997 (page 40).
Despite a lack of hard adoption numbers (the Federal government has not collected statistics on adoption since 1975) the NCFA has collected and published national adoption data for the years 1982, 1986, 1992, and 1996. Their conclusion is that "if women knew that there are many couples hoping to adopt for every one adoptable infant, that adoption is beneficial to most adopted persons and birth mothers who make an adoption plan, there would be more adoptions." (Adoption Factbook III, page 36)
This brings us to the question of disability. Though there is a large waiting list for healthy babies, is anyone adopting babies born with a disability? Janet Marchese runs A KIDS Exchange which specializes in Down Syndrome adoptions. Down Syndrome affects approximately 5,000 new babies a year in the U.S. and is the most common genetic disorder. Janet tells us, on page 412 of the Adoption Factbook III that, "at any given time, there are fifty to one hundred families waiting on my list, waiting for a call telling them that there is a Down Syndrome baby who needs them. Don't try to tell me that nobody wants to adopt a Down Syndrome baby!" And the same is true for HIV babies. Jerri Ann Jenista, MD, in her article "AIDS and Adoption" which is included on page 441 of the Factbook concludes that "given adequate financial, medical and social support, it is not a difficult task to recruit families to adopt children infected with HIV."
Healthy babies are adopted, sick babies are adopted, babies of all ethnicities are adopted. Still, there are those who will ask, "What about foster care, if adoption really worked, why are there kids in foster care?" Adoption.com tells us that according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) there were approximately 520,000 children in foster care for the year 2000, 117,000 of which were eligible for adoption. This tells us that 80% of the children in foster care are not eligible for adoption, the case plan for them being reunification with their birth parents. Of the 117,000 children who are eligible for adoption, only 2% are less than a year old. The huge majority of children waiting to be adopted are older. When newborns are available, they do not wait for adoptive homes.
Adoption.com also reports that nearly 40% of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, and that a 1998 survey found that about 2 million women aged 15 to 44 had sought to adopt a child. The bottom line is that even if there was nobody waiting and willing to adopt, killing children would still not be a justifiable solution to "unwantedness". As it stands, however, there is an abundance of people who are ready and waiting to adopt all of the children being lost to abortion.
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