I’ve been told countless times that there are more children up for adoption than there are parents who want to adopt. Often, it is an argument against having a child only to suffer without a family. This is a blatant lie. The fact is, there are far more parents seeking to adopt a child than there are children to adopt.
Why do so many women believe that there is a surplus of babies, and why are so many women told that adoption is not an option for them?
It’s possible that people conflate the adoption system with the foster care system. However, a mother who puts her newborn up for adoption is not placing her child into the foster care system. The two systems are completely separate. Of course, it’s possible to adopt a child from the foster care system, but the primary goal of foster care is to provide a temporary home for a child whose parents are unable to care for them at the time, with the hope that the child will be returned to his or her biological parents once whatever issues there may be are resolved. On the other hand, an adoption is a commitment on the part of the parents to raise a child as if it were their biological child, with the purpose of always being that child’s parents.
However, even if children in foster care are included in our analysis of adoption, there are still far more many parents willing to adopt than there are children looking for parents. In a 2008 survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, 600,000 women were actively seeking to adopt a child compared to the 101,000 children currently eligible for adoption. These women were willing to adopt children from diverse backgrounds as well: 521,400 survey respondents said they would adopt a black child, as compared to the 41,591 black children in foster care who are candidates for adoption. Age is not a problem, either, as 185,400 women said they would adopt a child age 13 or older, and only 30,654 children age 13 or older are in foster care. Additionally, 181,800 respondents said they would adopt children with severe disabilities, and 447,000 said they would adopt two or more siblings at once to keep them together.
Why, then, are these children not immediately adopted? In truth, adoption agencies discourage parents from adopting because they spend the majority of their time attempting to prevent “bad” parents from adopting a child. The system is bureaucratic and complicated, and parents who start the process of adoption can find themselves navigating a byzantine system alone. The disparity between children who can be adopted and parents who would like to adopt would not exist if adoption agencies could reform their screening processes and bureaucracies.
Even still, over 130,000 children were adopted in the U.S. last year, many from abroad. We are, in fact, the most adoptive country in the world. Therefore, adoption presents itself as a reasonable alternative to the false dichotomy of motherhood or abortion, especially in this country. A pregnant woman who does not believe she has the means to raise a child can place him up for adoption; thus granting the gift of a child to a couple who desperately wants one. Adoption is the solution to a difficult situation. Adoption allows a woman to choose life for her child and to live the life she chooses while bringing happiness into the life of another family.
To learn more about adoption…
- Right to Life will hold a special tabling event Wednesday, November 30, and Thursday, December 1 to offer information to our campus community. There will also be Wisey’s cookies for anyone who’d like to stop by the table!
- Right to Life and College Republicans will host Congressman David Schweikert on Thursday, December 1 at 8pm to talk about his experience as an adopted son and an adoptive father. He’ll also talk about what Congress has planned for next session regarding life issues. RSVP to our Facebook event here!