I recently read a blog post titled “Adoption is not a ‘cure’ for abortion” which primarily addressed the statistics and impact on the women making this decision. It is a worthwhile read and I do encourage you to look at it, but I would like to take a look at another view – the view of an adoptee. Specifically, my view as an adult adoptee.
I’ve been quite vocal in the past when I have stated that I fully believe my mother should have had the right to a legal abortion when carrying me. I know she didn’t really want to carry me. I know she had valid reasons for this. Don’t get me wrong – I am glad I am alive, but had I been aborted, I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t know the life I have now. I couldn’t magically see into the future while in the womb anymore than I can now. For all I would know then, assuming I had any form of logical thought, that could have been the natural life cycle.
Rather than derail on that tangent, let me refocus this. Adoption truly is not always a good option versus abortion. I have seen the arguments that so many people want to adopt, but there are already so many more kids awaiting adoption than people looking to adopt. How does adding more children to that wait list that is never satisfied help anything? Understand me when I say this, and I don’t care if you think it isn’t PC or want to scream I’m being a racist, but here is a simple fact:
There is a shortage of “acceptably adoptable” children versus adoptable children as a whole. What is a”acceptably adoptable”? Generally, it is seen as being a healthy white baby. Don’t believe me? Explain then why the greatest PROPORTION of children making up all completed adoptions are those of non-Hispanic white children by a HUGE margin?
Let’s look at this another way … Take a look at kids in foster care that are adoption eligible. 51% are African American compared to 32% that are non-Hispanic whites. Non-Hispanic white kids spend less time in foster care on average. They are generally adopted at younger ages. They are adopted into more minority households than other races. If you don’t believe me, just Google the the numbers from the census, your own state or pretty much any adoption organization. It’s such a problem, even many private adoption agencies offer deep discounts to adopt minority children. What does that tell you?
Now … I was one of those non-Hispanic white kids. I was placed in foster care immediately. I was legally adopted in 9 months by my first and only foster family. I was very lucky. I was born drug addicted. I had obvious physical problems. I went through a string of surgeries, both corrective and cosmetic, well before I was 9 years old. I was in leg braces and a back brace and I had so much wrong with me I actually was thought to be nearly un-adoptable.
That would have been the case except for one thing – my parents wanted to adopt a child really bad. They had been waiting, but my mom had health issues. They were an older couple. They weren’t ideal by the standards of the time, but then again, neither was I. The one thing they had going for them was they had money. A lot of money and a lot of stability. I was the only chance they had at adopting a child at that point in all likelihood. They could have adopted a child of a different race with no problem years earlier when they began the process, but to THEM, that wasn’t an acceptable option. They would rather have had a child of their race even if it meant having a child that was pretty messed up.
Over the course of my life, I have looked back and wondered what if. What if I wasn’t adopted? What would my life have been like? I would have been in foster care, which let’s be honest, would not have been ideal for me. I wouldn’t have had tens of thousands of dollars poured into childhood cosmetic surgeries. I wouldn’t have had the BEST orthopedic surgeons working on me. I wouldn’t have grown up in a home where all needs were met without batting eye and luxuries were the norm.
I would have most likely been passed from one foster home to another. I wouldn’t have been an “easy” child to care for. I would have grown up with legs that were a mess. A back that was all out of sorts. A misshapen cranium and ears that were quite frankly a horror show. I may have suffered brain damage due to my skull not growing in a manner that allowed for proper brain growth. That doesn’t even address emotional issues I still deal with which include schizoid episodes and auditory hallucinations. We won’t even get into the issues surrounding my homosexuality. Life would have pretty much sucked in all likelihood until I killed myself.Under the best of conditions, I had suicidal ideations at 11, do you think that would have been any better under worse conditions? I really don’t?
Because I KNOW how incredibly lucky I got and what kind of perfect storm of events it took to land in that ideal situation, I also know how bad it all could have gone if just one event in that chain had changed. I know that kids born as I was have lousy odds of adoption, and I will make no bones about saying if I wasn’t white, I likely NEVER would have been adopted. Certainly not by the adoptive parents I had at least.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe in adoption. Adoption is a wonderful gift for everyone under the right circumstances. I’m glad I was adopted. But just because I got lucky doesn’t mean that all kids do. We know this. Saying that adoption is a perfectly viable sensible option to abortion in all cases is naive and asinine. It’s not.
Whether you agree with me or not or like what I have said or not really makes little difference to me. Deep down, we all know it’s true. We know the bulk of the people screaming adoption is always an option to abortion have no real idea of that. if they did, we wouldn’t have ANY children awaiting adoption. All those people trumpeting it as a panacea would have adopted all those kids awaiting a permanent family.
But they haven’t. And those kids are still waiting on families. Our saying we should add to that glut is irresponsible and insensitive. Saying that doesn’t mean I like abortion. No one likes abortion. But the fact is, we need the option to exercise that choice. We need the ability to make the best choice for all parties involved.
Given the option of living a life in which I was physically and emotionally challenged, bounced from foster homes to group homes and all through the cycle again and and again until being turned out on my own at 18, assuming I didn’t take my own life prior to that … I’d prefer to have been aborted. That’s harsh, but that’s the truth.