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(9,736 posts)
Thu Jul 14, 2022, 08:37 AM Jul 2022

Why adoption won't fill the gaps of a Roe-less America

In the immediate wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, social media filled with images and memes playing off a viral tweet: A clean-cut couple beams at the camera while standing outside the Supreme Court building and holding a sign reading “We will adopt your baby.” (Slate has the full story on the couple featured in that photo.)

In a post-Roe world, there is already a renewed focus on adoption as a supposed solution for unwanted pregnancies. Indeed, in the arguments before the Supreme Court last year, Justice Amy Coney Barrett suggested that adoption is a foolproof substitution for abortion. Yet the rhetoric around adoption too rarely takes into consideration the person having the baby who will be adopted.

Kathryn Joyce, an investigative reporter at Salon, has been covering adoption in America for over a decade. Her book The Child Catchers is one of the best ever written about the messy intersections of capitalism, Christianity, and adoption, digging deep into the ways the adoption industry wrings every dollar it can out of an incredibly fragile period in the lives of everyone it touches. (Disclosure: I am adopted.)

Joyce and I talked recently about adoption rhetoric at a time when American reproductive rights have been gutted. That rhetoric touches on so many other aspects of American life, most notably race and class.

“For decades now, there’s been a pro-choice rejoinder to anti-abortion activists: What are you going to do with all these extra kids you want to see born? Are you prepared to adopt all these kids?” Joyce said. “And the answer is: kind of? A lot of people will say, ‘That’s exactly what we want.’”


This article explains a lot. These people are positively infuriating. So smug.

8 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Why adoption won't fill the gaps of a Roe-less America (Original Post) Jilly_in_VA Jul 2022 OP
Kick & recommend. Essential reading. bronxiteforever Jul 2022 #1
I just finished snowybirdie Jul 2022 #2
Oh wow, this is very interesting Farmer-Rick Jul 2022 #3
Banning abortion and birth control... Wednesdays Jul 2022 #4
My cousin got pregnant in the late 60s and her mom made her give up the baby for adoption Walleye Jul 2022 #5
A story from the other side of adoption Jilly_in_VA Jul 2022 #6
Nowhere does this article address the glaring fact that the Amy Coneys are a lot less interested pnwmom Jul 2022 #7
From personal experience... lees1975 Jul 2022 #8


(5,136 posts)
2. I just finished
Thu Jul 14, 2022, 08:49 AM
Jul 2022

A book about the young women in the 50s/60s who gave up their babies for adoption. A very sad story. "The Girls Who Went Away" by Fessler. Adoption is not a panacea.


(9,916 posts)
3. Oh wow, this is very interesting
Thu Jul 14, 2022, 09:06 AM
Jul 2022

My wife always spoke about how giving up a baby after birth would mean you never know what is happening to your own flesh and blood. Having this fear over your head that someone is hurting your baby and never knowing the child is safe. This writer really articulates that feeling.

"I was speaking to these women decades later, and they were still so raw from that loss. It had come to define their life. Everyone I spoke to felt at least coerced, like they were not given a real chance to make a decision to parent. They said all kinds of things, like they would have PTSD reactions if they heard children crying, or that some of them never stopped thinking about where their child was and if they were okay.

Some of the mothers I spoke to who had this experience talked about this as a form of ambiguous loss. That’s a term they often use for families of someone who has gone missing. In some ways, that can be harder to deal with than if somebody has died because you are living constantly in this state of uncertainty."

This is why adoption are frequently coerced. And Christians are really good at subtle coercion, plus they make tons of money if these adoptions.


(29,962 posts)
5. My cousin got pregnant in the late 60s and her mom made her give up the baby for adoption
Thu Jul 14, 2022, 09:32 AM
Jul 2022

To this day she suffers for it. Her life was never what it should’ve been


(9,736 posts)
6. A story from the other side of adoption
Thu Jul 14, 2022, 10:27 AM
Jul 2022

My dear late friend Roger was adopted in Canada in the days when adoption was so thoroughly closed that all mention of his birthparents was completely obliterated. He tried every means known to find out who they were and kept smacking into brick walls. All he really wanted was a medical history as one of his kids was displaying some symptoms he thought might be genetic or familial. Then he was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition which is known to have a genetic link. He still had no luck. This was just before the dawn of genetic genealogy and routine DNA testing. He died suddenly of a massive MI not long before his 50th birthday....that MI could have also been a direct result of the autoimmune condition.

If he'd just lived long enough for routine DNA testing...


(108,861 posts)
7. Nowhere does this article address the glaring fact that the Amy Coneys are a lot less interested
Thu Jul 14, 2022, 03:35 PM
Jul 2022

in adopting children with serious problems that might have otherwise resulted in a decision to abort.

Brains or spinal cords that didn't fully develop, heart problems that will cause them to die within months after birth. . . .

Who will care for these babies? Nurses who are being paid to do the job.


(3,581 posts)
8. From personal experience...
Fri Jul 15, 2022, 08:31 PM
Jul 2022

I'm adopted. And so, at one point in our lives, my wife and I decided to "pay it forward" and adopt a child. We are Christians so we went to a child services agency operated by our denomination, thinking that they would be interested in streamlining the process in order to avoid at least some abortions. Boy, were we wrong.

They charged a service fee, $7,500, up front. That was just their fee. All that I could see that this covered was the social worker who conducted exactly three interviews with us, and a home study, a total of perhaps four or five hours plus her time to write it up. Now this is a denominational agency which receives a monthly budget allocation from the churches in the denomination for its operational expenses. In addition to their service fee, we would have to pay the attorney fees and court costs, and a partial reimbursement for pre-natal care and medical expenses for the delivery. It came to somewhere around $25,000. They offered no financial assistance, though they did have a bank from which the balance could be borrowed if we qualified.

When I ventured to suggest that they might be able to find a lot more families willing to adopt, and thus, help to lower the abortion numbers, if they used some of their denominational contribution to help lower the cost, so it would be affordable to more than just people who could either pay the amount or take on $25,000 in debt, I just got frowns and dirty looks. Looking at their annual report to the denomination, they made money on adoptions, which went to cover costs of other services they provided, like their residential care center and foster care program. So they weren't really as interested in lowering abortion numbers as it might seem.

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