Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Adoption should not be taken lightly

One of the arguments that the pro-abortion movement continually tries to use to convince society of the necessity of abortion is that with adoption, the birth parents "will have someone else raise their baby." This view is seen as simply unacceptable for their rigid ideology because all pregnancies, not just all children, must be planned. It hardly seems logical that a planned pregnancy would result in an adoption plan, and therefore all adoption plans must come from an unplanned pregnancy. The solution for an unplanned pregnancy for pro-choice'ers? Abortion.

Adoption is a very loving and generous choice for a mother to make. It entails a great deal of sacrifice and trust, and it is not to be taken lightly by the pro-life movement or by the families of a woman who has offered her child to an adoptive family.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with a woman for about an hour whose friend is struggling immensely due to the decision she made to give her child for adoption over 20 years prior. She recently reconnected with her child only to find out that the "good, Catholic" family experienced a tragic divorce and the girl was now a pro-abortion advocate and does not attend church. This mother is now racked with guilt, regret and despair over her decision to give the child for adoption.

She also feels that it is her "fault" that the child had such a negative upbringing. Though this mother has said that she would have never chosen abortion, she compares her feelings to those of the post-abortive woman because of the fact that she "aborted" the relationship she had with the child. The difference, however between abortion and adoption is that the woman who aborted did not just sever her relationship with the child, as happens also in adoption, but she severed the child’s relationship with humanity.

I spoke with Fr. Frank Pavone about this conversation at length, and he offered the following pastoral guidance as well as practical insight.

"The grief over what a child placed for adoption ultimately does is essentially the grief of a parent over what their child raised by them ultimately does," said Fr. Pavone. "It’s just a different form of that, because in both cases the parent blames him/herself. It’s just that [the] adoption becomes a much easier target to blame. It’s a difficulty accepting the reality of freedom, and that no matter how loving a parent is, there are many other factors at work to shape the child."

In addition to the reality that the rearing of a child does not guarantee the child's outcome, Fr. Pavone spoke strongly about the need to reform the adoption process to be more caring toward the birth mother and father.

"Another thing this brings up is that there is a need for counseling when someone makes an adoption plan, to help them in advance to prepare for the many different kinds of things that can happen," concluded Fr. Pavone.

Parents who want to use IVF or want to contracept as well as mothers who later regret adoption all suffer from this same faulty philosophy: they perceive that they have a right to the life of the child. But that is simply not true, and as I've said before, the only right you can speak of in the situation of bearing new life is the right to life of the child and the right of that child to be raised in a loving home. The parents, on the other hand, have the responsibility to accept this challenge as a part of their part in procreation, which is the greatest end of marriage, and one of the two ends toward which the conjugal act is directed. (The other is the union of the spouses.)


  1. If you have a chance, you can tell your friend from me that no matter how much she grieves over how her daughter turned out, it will never be as bad as the grief felt by those of us who have aborted.

    I know. I wanted to give my child up for adoption, so he could have the same chances in life I had, but I succumbed to the will of others and aborted instead.

    She doesn't know the grief she is missing, and she is blessed as a result.

    Thank you for continuing to speak out so well, and honestly approaching these difficult issues.

  2. I am working on this very issue myself right now. This is a big part of why open adoption is such a required change in law, AND that the sharks and the predators are removed from the multi-billion dollar adoption industry. Great post. Thanks.

  3. I, too am a post abortive mom, I was led into an abortion when I was 17 years old and I denied it for 33 years. Later, I raised a foster son, who is now 41 years old, and four biological children, ranging in ages from 27 to 17. Of course, I wish I had been given the option to have my baby at age 17 and give him up for adoption. I did not have that option at all, at that time of my life, I would have had to have been talked into it because I was very frightened and ashamed. I didn't know that there was a St. Anne's home for unwed mothers in our town, I didn't know who to talk to about this, it was a secred for many many years. It will help very much to read the 18th Chapter of Ezekial. I was raised in an anti-Catholic, divorced, worldly home, yet by the grace of God I found my way into the Catholic Church. I was a very ignorant Catholic, and I fell away, but reverted in 1997, and continue to be very very grateful for God's Mercy.
    Where there is life there is hope. Continue to pray for your child and never give up. Pray that your biological child will become a saint and pray that you will become one too. It is certainly NOT too late! You will find that God's plan for your life and hers is still waiting for each of you.
    Please stop second guessing yourself, and stop beating yourself up. I reconverted when our oldest was in college, and I understand what you are going through. One by one all of our kids are reconverting, and I promised them that I would still be praying for their conversion/reconversion from Purgatory.
    Become familiar with the apostolate at,
    and never, never, never give up.

    All for the Sacred, Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful, Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph.

    Love in Our Lady,
    Joan h.

  4. Joan, thank you so much for sharing your story. God bless you,
    Mary W.