Adoption vs. Abortion: 2 Things to Keep in Mind
I once received a message on my Instagram account. It was from a new mother. She had just received news of a Down syndrome diagnosis and was considering abortion. She found my account at random and saw my daughter. She wanted to hear my thoughts on what she should do because she wasn’t sure if she could ever really love her daughter that had this disability.
See, we adopted our daughter and she happens to have Down syndrome too. This young mother said she thought our daughter was adorable, but she just couldn’t imagine parenting a child with a disability. So, I took a shot and asked her to meet us in person. Luckily, we lived about two hours away and we scheduled having dinner together. She arrived with her 3 other children and my husband and I had our daughter. She sat by her, laughed when my daughter did her cute things, smiled when my daughter reached over for a hug and asked us questions for almost three hours. In the end, she asked us, how it was so easy to love our daughter, but a struggle to love an unborn child. We told her to take the time to consider her options first. She was focused on the diagnosis and not allowing her time to learn about who her daughter might be. Meeting our daughter gave her hope of what her future might be. She agreed to take time and if she couldn’t see past the diagnosis, we asked that she would keep adoption in mind and allow another family to love her daughter just like we loved ours. Flash forward three years later, and her beautiful daughter is healthy and thriving all because her mother took a chance and chose to give her life.
If you are here, it means you are considering your options. I don’t know your situation. You might not be prepared for this pregnancy. You might have received a scary diagnosis or a child does simply does not fit into your plan right now. Whatever your reasons, I just ask you to consider what options are available to you.
1. Adoption vs Abortion: Multiple options and Techniques
So, before you make your decision, it’s best to make sure you are educated and aware of all your options. Just making the choice between adoption and abortion is not enough. Both have different options and paths available to you, so it opens up and even more range of choices to consider.
Many people don’t realize that adoption is more than signing a document. There are actually three different types of adoption. Closed adoption, semi-open adoption, and open adoption are all available to you. You can speak to an adoption specialist and they can help you figure out what type of adoption works for you as well as what your rights are as a birth parent. They can even help get you set up with a medical professional and counselor to help you process these feelings and emotions you are facing.
When exploring what type of adoption would be best for you, it will help to try to look at your future. Do you want to be involved with this child’s life or do you want a clean break? Adoption agencies will help you make the best choice for you.
Open adoption allows you to be involved in the child’s and adoptive family’s lives. You can arrange meet-ups, phone calls, letters, and updates. In an open adoption, both the birth parents and adoptive parents agree on terms that work for both sides. I’ve known many families who have done an open adoption and the birth parents are like members of their families. They are involved in holidays and special events. This is a perfect option if you are still wanting to know this child. Many women choose open adoption when they simply do not have the means or support to raise a child.
A semi-open adoption is a little less involved than open adoption but still allows you to be involved with the child’s life. Semi-open adoptions allow the birth parents to receive updates, schedule yearly visits, and have some communication with the family. If you still want to be slightly involved with this child, this could be perfect for you. It allows you to know how the child is doing and still have some space.
Closed adoptions are the final option. A closed adoption means there is no contact between the birth family and the adoptive family. This usually means the adoption stays closed until the child reaches legal age. Often, adoptive families are slightly more comfortable with closed adoptions however many are open to any type of adoption.
Now let’s take a look at the options available for abortion.
There are 5 different types of abortions that can be done: saline, dilation and extraction, dilation and evacuation, intracardiac injection, and suction aspiration. You can learn more about the details of each type of abortion and when they are typically performed.
Many professionals try to stress that the baby does not feel pain or discomfort during these procedures, however, research has shown that babies respond, pull away, and even cry during these harsh procedures. In the worst cases, the child is not killed during abortion and is later born with defects, complications, and deformations.
2. Adoption vs Abortion: Life after Birth
Life after pregnancy is complicated and emotional for any parent. Your body goes through so many ups and downs throughout your pregnancy and honestly, it makes your emotions feel like you are stuck on a roller-coaster. No matter what path you choose, life after birth can make you feel lost and overwhelmed.
If adoption is your path, there are many support groups and most adoption agencies offer life-long counseling for birth parents. It is very normal for birth parents to grieve the loss of their child. This is a very natural process and you need to allow yourself the time to process the emotions you will be feeling. Sharing your story and connecting to other women who have made this ultimate sacrifice will help you heal and move on.
Understand that this situation does not define who you are or what your future will contain. Focus on the goals you have set for your life. Take some classes, start a new hobby, invest in yourself. If you have chosen to receive updates from the adoptive family, you might still have difficult feelings that can come up from time to time. But keep in mind, that adoption is a beautiful and selfless act. You will forever be part of the adoptive family’s life in one way or another. They will keep you in their thoughts and prayers always. Be proud of this special gift that you are giving a waiting family and connect with others to share your story.
What about life after an abortion?
Many people think that after an abortion life continues as normal and you can never think about it again. But research shows this is far from the truth. There is a questionable debate on the psychological effects that follow abortions. Many women push aside the pain, shame, and disappointment they naturally feel after an abortion. This, in turn, can cause some PTSD symptoms such as anxiety, depression, anger, and possible flashbacks to the procedure itself. Many women struggle with ideas of “what if.” They wonder what could have been if they had picked life instead of abortion. There are plenty of organizations and support groups for women who have had abortions; however, there is still a stigma to abortions and many women deal with it in silence. It is important to lean on someone during this time and not allow your emotional pain to cause you to separate from those that you love.
You need to also keep in mind that there are some possible physical repercussions of abortions. Many women struggle with fertility after an abortion. This means, when they are ready to birth a child once again, they need to work with a specialist or find themselves infertile. This is due to damage done to the uterus, bleeding complications, infections, or scar tissue. Some abortions have been to known to be botched and severe complications occurred during the procedure. Understand that not all doctors in clinics who perform abortions are certified surgeons. Therefore, when things start going wrong, they are unable to fix the problem and have to wait for emergency personal to rush the patient to the hospital. Keep in mind, you might not feel the side effects of the abortion until years later. Please keep in mind that this is something that will affect you for the rest of your life.
I understand that abortion seems like a quick fix. I know you are scared, overwhelmed, and feel like your options are limited. I know right now it might feel difficult to look past this moment, but if you are taking time to do the research, then you know there is a possibility that you will choose to keep your child. If you do not feel prepared or ready to raise a child, I promise you there is a family dreaming of being able to adopt. There is a family who will love, accept, and cherish that child. I know it seems impossible to give a child up for adoption. I know that sounds scary, overwhelming, and too big of an investment. But adoption is a beautiful sacrifice. I met my beautiful daughter because of adoption. I am forever grateful to her birth parents. I think about them often, pray for them, send them only love and well wishes. The sacrifice they gave us changed our lives forever. I am so grateful that they gave my daughter a chance of life. They could have taken the so-called “easy” way out, but they loved her enough to give her up. Their sacrifice was the best thing that ever happened to our family.
Please take the time to continue your research on adoption vs abortion. Do not make any decision until you are ready and prepared. Websites like Adoption.com and Abortioncons.com will help you educate yourself as much as possible. Speak to other birth parents who are facing this same situation. With the magic of social media and the internet, you have countless resources at your fingertips. Utilize them and make sure the decision you make, is one you will be able to live with forever.
There is no easy answer when you are faced with a pregnancy that you might not have been prepared for. Considering all of your options is important, but also being aware of risk, issues, and complications for both adoption and abortion can help you make a choice that is right for you. Carefully weigh your options with your current situation, lifestyle, living circumstances, and life goals. If a baby does not align with you goals or your goals are not flexible, you may want to reconsider these parenting alternatives. It is never too late to make an adoption plan.
Abortion is a major decision with lifelong consequences. Please consult a professional about your options before committing to your unplanned pregnancy option. You should never feel pressured to commit to a long-term option without first becoming completely educated about your options. Speak with one of Gladney’s options counselors today to learn more about your options for abortion, adoption, and parenting. Their team may offer you the resources you need to navigate your next step in your unplanned pregnancy. As you become more educated about your options, you will feel more empowered and confident in the decisions you do make. Never feel that you do not have available options and resources to support you during this time.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Do you want more choices with your adoption plan? Do you want to regain more control in your life? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. We can help you put together an adoption plan that best meets your needs.
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Jen and her husband Juan live in a small southern California town with their four amazing kids, two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a bearded dragon and some fish. Their youngest was adopted almost 5 years ago and turned their lives upside down in the most amazing way. Their daughter has Down syndrome and Autism and through this journey, Jen has found her voice as an advocate, blogger and author. Jen is a proud stay-at-home mom, youth pastor’s wife, writer, crafter and kitten raiser. When she isn’t spending time with her family she is online interacting with families from all around the world.