As I struggle to put together my blog for this month, I wonder what happens when a blogger faces a blank page and is unable to find the words. The past two days were extraordinary and tough for those of us who want abortion to remain safe and legal. I am at a loss for words, but here I go.
On Friday, we had one of the most unprecedented decisions in our lifetime. This has left many of us wondering where we go from here. Today is Pride Day, the biggest day of celebration for the LGBTQ community and those that support them. What do the two have in common?
For the past several years, more and more single folks, couples and families are expressing interest in adoption. This includes same sex couples, couples who cannot have children and couples with children who want to adopt. It is getting harder to adopt an American baby and many are going through the long and costly process of international adoption. Others are not interested in adopting oversees. The fight over choice and rights of the unborn has been going on for 50 years with neither side winning by much. As soon as Roe was decided, the fight began to overturn the decision by chipping away at the statue. If the decision to overturn Roe is reversed, it will likely eventually be reversed again with a back and forth for years to come.
As I researched the issue of adoption with the rights of women to make their decision, I learned that few women choose adoption. The majority either terminate their pregnancy or keep the baby and raise it on their own. A small group of women chose to surrender their child. If a woman carries a child to term, she usually has bonded with her baby and cannot fathom having her child out in the world with a family that she doesn’t know. She will always question if she made the right decision. The process of placing a child for adoption can be very traumatic for women and their partners, thus abortion is often the preferred decision. Historically, adoption has been done with much secrecy and is referred to as a “closed adoption” which just adds to the complicated nature of the issue.
Is the work to keep fighting the issue back and forth or would it be better to destigmatize unwanted pregnancy and support women in carrying the child to term in a community based model versus the medical model? What if communities identified families that wanted to adopt and made this known to women should they have an unwanted pregnancy? They can see what type of family their child would be raised in. Women would consider if they want their child in a small or large family, city, suburban or rural, a family like theirs or a family that is different from theirs, a same sex couple or a traditional family, and what type of faith the family observes so that women can be more comfortable in considering adoption.
What are other creative solutions that can move us away from the choice and life binary?
I have been a staunch supporter of choice but are the years of time and energy on the issue getting us anywhere? How do we keep this issue out of the hands of politicians and judges? Can we? I presented one idea.
Why So Many Women Choose Abortion over Adoption by Olga Khazan The Atlantic May 20, 2019
The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v Wade. By Ann Fessler. (2006)
Gay Pride and Adoption Prejudice by Kay Gimmestad July 15, 2019
Kay Gimmestad, LCSW-C is a business coach and clinician in New York City with 20 years of experience working in the profit and not for profit sectors of Human Resources, Health and Human Services. She has built a reputation for being highly skilled in facilitating behavior change while working with employees, both individually and in groups, on matters relating to performance management, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and stress/wellness.