It’s a well-known alternative to abortion, but much less often used. Every year approximately 1.3 million single women become unexpectedly pregnant. Sadly, less than two percent choose the loving option of adoption, while two million couples eagerly wait to adopt children.
In part, that’s why November is National Adoption Month. It is our opportunity to spotlight adoption as a positive alternative to abortion. It’s a time to stress the many blessings of adoption for both the biological mother and adoptive family.
Why such a huge discrepancy between the number of babies placed for adoption and families hoping to adopt? There are several reasons.
Primarily, it’s because the abortion industry makes no money when a woman chooses not to have an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report shows that they aborted 79 babies for every adoption referral it made to an outside agency. Their adoption referrals have declined by a huge seventy-three percent since 1997. At the same time, the number of abortions they perform has increased over nineteen percent.
For the past three decades, Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion industry have waged a quiet but successful war against adoption. Polling shows that many women actually feel it is more compassionate to have an abortion than to place their baby for adoption. The bleak statistics on adoption are a tragic testimony to Planned Parenthood’s efforts.
The media have also played an active role in the way Americans look at adoption. Beth M. Waggenspack is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has written extensively on adoption and the media. Her research shows that media representations of adoption are negative by a ratio of five to one. She said they focus on the differences that adoption creates instead of the many positives.
Another reason for adoption’s lackluster image is that many in the pro-life movement have been affected by the abortion industry’s negative propaganda about adoption. They may not be promoting it as an attractive and viable alternative to single parenting. When counseling women in crisis, many well-intentioned volunteers in women help centers may fail to fully explore adoption or even mention it as an option. Part of the reason is a lack of information and comfort in presenting this option.