Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why Not Give Up the Baby for Adoption? A Glib Question

One of my commenters asked: why not give up the baby for adoption?

I think that rhetorical question is asked a little too easily.

I agree that adoption would be a selfless alternative.

But the problem is that it doesn't really take into account all the factors that go into an abortion decision.

 The reason that many women have abortions is that they don't want the baby to be born in the first place.

I will repeat: they do not want the baby to be born.

Why don't they want the baby to be born?

What it boils down to is that they don't want to be responsible for having brought a child into the world that they did not bring up.

In abortion debates, you frequently hear opponents say I couldn't give up my baby for adoption.
They know that once they look at their baby, they will be seized with love.

And if they are not, chances are, they are not terribly loving of babies in the first place.

The baby's birth is the problem. Because then they are responsible. And they have to give up this baby -- a heart-wrenching act-- to virtual strangers.

So in order to prevent that problem, they have the abortion.

Some women rationalize that killing their baby is actually the loving thing to do. They imagine that if this child is raised by a single mother or an adoptive couple, their lives will be mired in suffering and deprivation. So killing the child is the lesser evil. Of course nobody would think to do that to a newborn but...

And another important consideration in bringing adoption into the question is that not all women who have abortions are incapable of raising a child.

They just don't want to.
Some of these women already have children.

They don't want to give away one of their children's siblings. And if they managed to carry the child to term, they would think to themselves I might as well keep it.

But preventing that birth eliminates the problem of having to.

Bringing up  adoption in the abortion debate doesn't get to the root of why people accept abortion.

People accept abortion because they do not believe a fetus is an equal human being with equal rights. Nor do they believe that a mother has a responsibility to care for her unborn child.

And the day that people do accept this premise, they will be far less ready to give up a baby they carried for nine months.

That's why I think adoption will always be a marginal activity. And it probably should be, given that we shouldn't be trying to make babies we can't take care of.

While I agree with adoption, while I think it's a good alternative, it's not the trump card in the abortion debate that many people think it is and I think its value in advancing the pro-life cause is actually very weak.

*Donning flamesuit*.