Adoption not abortion

I watched “Lake of Fire” last night. Over 150 minutes of controversial, extreme, disturbing, intense, unsettling, provocative and revealing opinions, pictures, scenes from life, dialogues, criticism, discussions, demonstrations, concerts. Both “sides”, pro-life and pro-choice are pictured, although from a narrow (in my humble opinion), “media -minded, picked to provoke” perspective. It does not depict “pro-life” movement justly, concentrating mostly on one organization. The power of black and white images depicts the reality in a sobering way.

In this documentary you will find a lot of “talking heads”. Somewhere there you will hear moving testimony of Norma McCorvey (legendary Jane Roe from Roe vs. Wade ). You can read about her story on CNN here. There is one very bizzare scene from a concert of some wanna-be-music-band, where one of the women is singing basically naked (at about 1h 20min into the movie, for about 4 minutes if you want to skip this part). After somewhat strange appearance, one of the band members shares:

“How many babies are there now who are not loved, who are not taken care of…and we do have abortion… and we still have them… all these people who are against abortion, if they want to take all those babies, bring them up and love them… that would be wonderful… in the perfect world that would be the most beautiful thing, but… as it is, it’s not gonna happen…these fundamentalists are the same people who a lot of times are bigots, they would never have a black child in their home…why are they not adopting all the kids out of the orphanages… I see homeless pregnant women on the streets… go and pick one up… take her home, take care of her.”

Later on, another woman continues in a similar way:

“If they would care, they would do something different. They would be by the doors of the orphanages, and they would go in there and literally take every child in there home with them. If they really and truthfully care, instead of standing outside the abortion clinics, intimidating women, they would take these women in their arms and say: come home with me, let me give you shelter and time to think.”

This raises a very serious question, which must be addressed. At IHOP-KC we have a few families who are literally doing just that: adopting babies, which were ones considered to be aborted, but had found families ready to take them in, or adopting children who are already placed in the orphanages. I am full of reverence toward those who have been given grace to serve in this capacity. They are the ones who are becoming the voice of the church, according to James1:27 (NIV), accepting the responsibility of an “adoptive family” to those who otherwise would be neglected or killed :

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

The very end of this documentary is worth sitting through the whole 2.5 hours. You have to see this to the last minute. It will change you.

Caution: vivid graphics, scenes with nudity. Absolutely only for adult audiences.

If you are Netflix subscriber, it is available at “Instant watch” tag.

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7 thoughts on “Adoption not abortion

  1. “This raises a very serious question, which must be addressed. At IHOP-KC we have a few families who are literally doing just that: adopting babies, which were ones considered to be aborted, but had found families ready to take them in, or adopting children who are already placed in the orphanages.”

    I’m sorry, but how on earth can you possibly know that the mothers of those babies ever considered abortion?

    Most women who relinquish a newborn for adoption did NOT seriously consider abortion–if abortion was an option for them, they’d have had one.

    Adoption and abortion are two completely separate issues. Look, abortion is legal–and we still have abused and neglected children. So adopting an abused/neglected child doesn’t STOP an abortion. Likewise, with newborn adoptions… abortion is legal, yet some women still give their babies up–if they really wanted an abortion, they could get one; having MORE people line up to adopt newborn babies isn’t going to save any child from adoption! (There are something like 40 couples waiting to adopt a newborn for every one newborn who will be placed for adoption.)

    Go back to that comment you quoted….”Take in the PREGNANT WOMEN, and take care of HER.” Her, the mother–not the baby. If pro-lifers want to reduce the numbers of abortions, they need to start by supporting the MOTHERS of these babies. And supporting the mothers doesn’t mean taking their children from them–it means providing shelter, clothing, food… helping the mother to parent her own child.

    I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be antagonistic here, but this conflation of abortion and adoption is a serious issue for me. When the pro-life movement lauds adoption as an answer to abortion, they contribute to a culture of unethical adoption that has sprung up in the U.S.A. And that culture cost me my own baby–a baby I NEVER would have aborted, and a baby I was perfectly capable of parenting. My daughter’s adoption didn’t save her from anything–it just ripped a mother and daughter apart.

  2. paragraphein,

    Thanks for stopping by. You are right, I don’t know much about abortion-adoption connection and certainly not enough to express such generalized opinions.

    My thoughts were probably not well expressed. I just wanted to make remarks about some friends I have who are adopting kids once considered to be aborted.
    I do think that the possibility of adoption helps in some instances in decision making for pregnant women to give birth. Personally I know few stories, where just the thought of “if – so – then – I will give it for adoption” saved the lives of mothers and babies.

    I have friends who adopted kids like that. I have friends who run houses for pregnant women standing in crossroads in their lives, and they are trying to not only acommodate to their physical needs, but to genuinely bring hope, without expecting nothing back.

    My point about following Jesus’ words was that instead of just talking “anti-abortion” we need to see it in a broader perspective. Adoption is one of the pieces in this picture.

    I grew up in a country where the law does not make it easy to adopt kids. The babies, who can’t go home with their mothers (different reasons), end up in orphanages. The procedures for adoptions are complicated and we don’t have a good fostering system. Not that many people are adopting either. Living in USA, I am encouraged to see that so many kids are adopted, not neglected in some governmental institutions.

    I’ve read you story. Not for me to decide if it was the “culture” who caused your loss. I hope you will find peace. I’ll pray for you.
    Thanks.

  3. I guess what I’m not communicating well is this:

    There are two separate decisions a woman in a crisis pregnancy makes: (1) carry the pregnancy or abort; (2) parent or relinquish for adoption. You can’t decide to relinquish a child until you have ALREADY decided to carry to term; and I have never met a single mother who decided to carry to term SOLELY because the option of adoption was waiting at the end. That’s just not true to the emotions and thought processes in a crisis pregnancy.

    As for foster-adoption… that is a whole different ball of wax, and I still fail to see how it has anything to do with abortion. The mothers of children who end up in foster care by and large never consider adoption. A few, yes; most, no. (I worked in fost-adoption in the past.)

    I just disagree with the premise that Adopiton is “one of the pieces” in the picture of abortion. Adoption is not a piece in the picture at all.

    I do agree with you that rather than pro-lifers just saying “anti-abortion” and demonstrating and so on, that they need to take active steps to improve the world, so that moms will feel less backed into abortion…. but adopting children does nothing to eliminate the circumstances that cause women to have abortions. Absolutely nothing.

  4. paragaphein,

    Could you give my naive and maybe misled mind something to support your idea. I am interested in this: is adoption presented to the “pregnant mother in crisis” (obviously it addresses rather women in the first trimester of pregnancies) lowering the statistics in abortion? (I’ve read somewhere that about 60% of pregnancies in USA are unplanned and unexpected, does not mean, of course, these are unwanted lives, but gives the perspective of the potential “crisis”)

    I found this statement: “Abortion legalization made abortion more accessible and lowered its cost, making it a more attractive option than adoption to some women. (…) Abortion legalization therefore appears to account for much of the decline in adoptions of children born to white women between 1970 and 1975. (…) We do not find that Roe v. Wade had a significant effect on adoptions” From here: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3402502.html (the findings are very inconclusive)

    (I have no clue where these smiley faces came from and how to get rid of them)

  5. iwka,

    No, there is no evidence that adoption reduces abortion.

    In fact in Australia, where domestic infant adoption is almost unheard of (there are only a handful per year, as opposed to the U.S.’s 13,000 to 14,000), the abortion rate is the SAME or LOWER (depends which year you find stats for) as in the U.S.

  6. Also… your logic is faulty.

    The fact is that yes, when abortion became legal, adoption placements of infants declined. But that doesn’t make the reverse true… it doesn’t mean that if you increase adoption rates, abortion rates will decline.

    So you have two choices to effectively reduce abortion:

    (1) outlaw it
    (2) support mothers in crisis pregnancies

    Those are the two things that could actually be effective. Touting adoption has never been proven effective.

    Also FYI, in the days when abortion rates were low and adoption rates were high (pre Roe-V-Wade), many of those adoption placements were procured through the use of force and coercion. Which brings me back to this point… even if you successfully get abortion outlawed, unless you are ALSO willing to have mothers horribly mistreated during pregnancies, you’d STILL better be willing to support mothers.

    That’s where it all leads back. Support the mothers. Help them. It’s natural for women to want to mother their children… so help make THAT happen.

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