The Adoption Option

A college sophomore—I'll call her Katie—has just watched her pregnancy test turn blue—a positive result. With no husband, no job, and no education, Katie thinks she can't possibly bring a child into the world. But when her pregnancy counselor suggests adoption, Katie declares: "I could never have a baby and then give it away. I'd rather have an abortion." Sadly, this is a statement prolife counselors hear every day. So in her new book, Real Choices, Frederica Mathewes-Green researched why so many women view adoption as an impossible choice—and how we can change this tragic attitude. And we should change it. After all, adoption is often the best choice for everyone concerned in an unexpected pregnancy. An adopted child is more likely to have mature, well-educated parents and a higher standard of living than a child who's raised by a single mom. And the adopted child gets not only life but also a dad. What's more, the single woman who chooses adoption is more likely to finish school and get a job. By contrast, the woman who keeps her child is "more apt to go on welfare, less likely ever to marry, and more likely to experience another unplanned pregnancy." Clearly, then, adoption is good for both mother and child and for the adoptive parents. And yet, only 1 percent of all women counseled at prolife centers choose adoption. Why? Real Choices reports that almost half of pregnancy counselors admit they don't even try to advocate adoption. They're so anxious that the woman choose birth over abortion that they recommend any alternative the mother proposes—even one that means raising the child on a welfare check. Even counselors who do suggest adoption back off when the woman says she couldn't possibly give up her baby. The solution to this dilemma, Mathewes-Green says, is for counselors to explain to women why adoption is often the best choice they can make. Real Choices describes such attempts by the Pro-Life Adoption Network and by Bethany Christian Services of Maryland. These programs prepare counselors to help women overcome both the emotional and practical obstacles to adoption. For example, women are encouraged to imagine their child cradled in the arms of loving adoptive parents—instead of dead by abortion. And these endeavors succeed. One study found that unmarried teenage women are seven times more likely to choose adoption when they understand the benefits of it. Why not call us here at "BreakPoint" and order a copy of Real Choices. It will teach you how to respond when someone like Katie says she couldn't bear to give up her baby. Scripture exhorts us to remember that even we, who are evil, know to give bread, not stones, to our children. As Real Choices shows, just a little extra effort can make it possible for thousands of pregnant women to choose the "bread" of life, instead of the "stone" of death, for their unborn children.


Chuck Colson


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