Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pro-Choice Arguments - Foster Care

While there are variations, the general argument is that if the millions of unwanted unborn were to be born anyways, they would only find themselves in an already over-populated foster care system, and that we should be spending our time advocating for adoptions out of the foster care system before spending time fighting to save the lives of the unborn.

The truth is that according to foster care statistics found at, the average age of children entering foster care is 10 years old. These are not newborns who are sent directly to foster care. Carrying an unwanted child to term would not automatically result in a swelling of our foster care system. Most adoptions take place directly at birth by parents who have spent time on a waiting list with their adoption agency. There is simply no direct correlation between not having an abortion and a rise in foster care. Of the 50,000 newborns annually that are put up for adoption, every single one is immediately placed with a family. There are currently 2 million prospective adoptive parents on waiting lists. There are not enough newborns to meet the demand of potential parents waiting for direct adoptions so many have turned to the foster care system, thankfully. However there are slim pickings within the system too.

At any given time there are about 500,000 kids in foster care. On the average 300,000 enter foster care per year and 290,000 exit the system. Over half are returned to their original families. 15% live with relatives. 10% are emancipated. Only 17% are even available for adoption. Most kids exit foster care within a year of entering it. Less than 10% stay longer than 5 years. For a foster kid to become eligible for adoption the birth parents must first lose their parental rights. Then there is a mandated waiting period if it was voluntary. The whole process takes an average of 3.5 years. With the average age of entering foster care being 10, and a waiting period of 3-4 years for adoption, it is easy to see why many end up being emancipated instead. The low number of foster care adoptions is not due to a lack of demand, it is due to the very long process of making children available for adoption. Nevertheless, there are many eager adoptive parents waiting for children to become available to adopt. While I am not happy with the extended time spent within the foster care system for the child, I am glad it is a difficult thing to lose your parental rights.

A pro-choicer might suggest that the unborn are better off dead than to be born into the foster care system.

These are children who were wanted but taken from bad parents or by over zealous CPS workers. Not one child in foster care today could be said to prefer death to their current existence as evidenced by the fact that they are still alive. Suicides do happen but they are rare and, most importantly, it is the child's CHOICE to take their life, not the mother's.

So what about orphanages? If they don't end up in foster care then surely the orphanages Will swell with over population.

At the 1955 conference on induced abortion held by Planned Parenthood, one expert recalled that "Dr. Donnelly brought out that there are a great many originally unwanted children in this world who have become very deeply wanted after birth, and I don't think this is simply reaction formation. There are women who do not realize how gratifying it can be to mother a baby until they actually have it in their arms, and maternal feelings are aroused by the tangible situation." - Dr. Joseph Lidz, quoted by Mary Calderone, M.D., Medical Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (editor). Abortion in the United States. New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1956. Page 127.

This was from a planned parenthood conference that took place in 1955 when abortions were illegal. The panel included such notables as Alan Guttmacher, Alfred Kinsey, Robert Laidlaw, Mary Calderone, and many others. Planned Parenthood advocates themselves recognized the strength of the maternal instinct. Parenthood produces an amazing transformation on new parents. It was also noted at the same conference that many women who sought out an abortion would change their mind after a month if they had not yet secured the abortion. Having a surprise unintended pregnancy is a huge shock especially for the young who have other plans in life. They go through the 5 stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Abortion becomes the easy answer to the first 4 stages. Once the woman reaches the stage of acceptance, she embraces her baby and the idea of becoming a mother. I suspect there may be a chemical reaction associated with pregnancy that helps the mother bond to her child but I am not aware of any studies to that end.

There is a pro-choice philosophy that says it is damaging to both woman and child to give your child up for adoption. Typical of this anti-life attitude is a statement in a booklet amusingly entitled "Let's Tell the Truth About Abortion." This booklet, issued by Planned Parenthood to its clients in Colorado, states; "But aren't there alternatives to abortion? Yes, there are. A pregnant women can carry the baby to term and she can then keep it or relinquish the baby for adoption. Relinquishment is often not a very humane procedure." - Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood. Fight Back Press, 1985.

Not a humane procedure? Yet in their twisted thinking, burning the baby alive with a saline solution and then sucking it's body apart piece by piece is somehow more humane. They say that it is damaging to the woman to give up her child for fear of not ever having full assurance that their child is being well taken care of. I have two thoughts here; First, the worst case scenario that could happen to that child is a torturous death, something they seek to avoid by giving the child a tortuous death within the womb instead O_o Second, couples who seek adoption have a vigorous application process that tests for home life, finances, secure housing, etc., 60% of children who are adopted out come from single parent, low income situations and move to couples with a higher median income level. An adopted child's foundation for success is very strong.

Banning abortion will not swamp foster care or even adoption agencies. It will cause only a small increase in population as it will cause most people to ensure they don't get pregnant in the first place by either making the decision not to engage in sex, or by using protection. Abortion on demand has paved the way to lazy atitudes regarding procreation and a ban on killing the unborn will likely reverse that attitude.

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