The month of November ushers in the beginning of the holiday season. It is a time when the nation remembers the precious gift of family and celebrates the joy that comes with spending time together. It is therefore fitting that November is also National Adoption Month.
Adoption is one of the most important focuses of the prolife movement. It is tangible proof that the individuals who stand for life are not simply “pro-birth” but care deeply about the lives and futures of all children.
Though adoption is such a good thing, many people who are in favor of abortion try to use it to discredit prolife people. Let us look at the three of the major myths surrounding adoption that are used to demean prolife people—and used to justify taking the life of unborn children.
Myth: There are not enough families willing to adopt the babies that are aborted each year.
Truth: It is estimated that every year there are between 1 and 2 million families waiting for babies to adopt in America, with average waiting list times ranging from 2 to 7 years. This means that there are about 2 families waiting in line for every baby lost to abortion. If abortion disappeared tomorrow, prolifers certainly would be able to care for all of the babies.
Myth: Unwanted babies end up in the foster care system.
Truth: This is a very simple myth to bust, given the extensive waiting list for infant adoptions. Infants end up in the foster care system if they are taken or surrendered after birth. Women with unwanted pregnancies can arrange adoptions before the child is born, allowing the birth mother to hand pick the family for her child. This means that the baby goes to live with his or her new family immediately. 62 percent of all children adopted privately were placed when they are newborns or less than a year old. The vast majority of children of any age in the foster care system were “wanted” at birth, but their parents became unwilling or unable to properly care for them.
Myth: There are more than 400,000 children in foster care that need adoption.
Truth: The expressed goal of the foster care system in the United States is to reunite children with their families, meaning that only a minority of foster children ever become eligible for adoption. Take Michigan for example. According to the MDHHS, as of September 30, 2019 there were 13,141 children in foster care in Michigan. Of those children there were approximately 300 legally cleared for adoption at any given time. How many children had already been adopted in 2019? An impressive 2,038. Currently, about 2,200 foster children in Michigan (only 18% of the total) have adoption as a goal.
How many Michigan foster children are in institutions? About 700. The vast majority (about 9,000) are in licensed foster homes or living with relatives.
Is the foster care system perfect? No. Will adoption policy ever be ignored by Right to Life of Michigan? No. Could the foster care system use more willing foster or adoptive parents, especially for children with special needs or multiple siblings to avoid family separation? Definitely, and that would help shorten the average stay in foster homes for the fewer children seeking permanent adoption. However, it is absolutely untrue that there’s hundreds of thousands of orphans in America and prolife people are turning a blind eye to them. In fact, it’s the opposite problem.
There are many more myths about adoption that pro-abortion people use to attack the prolife movement, but examining them all is an exercise in futility—people who believe in the concept of unwanted children being better off dead are usually not really concerned about the adoption system. It may make abortion supporters feel better about justifying abortion by believing prolife people are hypocrites who really don’t like children, but that’s just not true. You can’t help the relatively few but certainly real foster children who have a tough time finding permanent homes by teaching our society that we owe nothing to children—except a violent death if they are unwanted.
The truth is that adoption is wonderful, and we are eternally thankful for the families who have embraced it and welcomed children in need into their lives.
Truth: there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
Happy National Adoption Month!