By Brittany Summers-Judhan
Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade earlier this past summer with the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, abortion proponents have continued in their narrative that abortion is justified with fallacies surrounding adoption and the foster care system as excuses.
We must dispel this ploy, instead of accepting the abortion-friendly media rhetoric that abortion is the kindest route for unborn children.
Abortion supporters claim that things like adoption expense, difficulties with foster care, and various untruths about both and parents who choose life warrant the taking of an unborn child’s life – in effect that the child would be better off dead.
That horrific assertion notwithstanding, Pregnancy Help News spoke with nationally recognized child welfare expert Dr. Sharen Ford about foster care and adoption. Ford, director for Foster Care and Adoption at Focus on the Family, effectively debunked some myths that the public is led to believe through the abortion narrative about adoption and foster care.
Foster care and abortion
Myth: It is kinder to abort a baby than to let him or her be born and end up in foster care.
Fact: First off this constitutes oversimplification and presumption. No one can assume what awaits every child in the womb in life. And as far as presuming to deem any child as better off aborted and dead is to play God. Choosing death for an unborn child is neither kind nor compassionate, and choosing life for a living human being is never cruel. Likewise putting abortion forth as an “out” for the mother is not showing compassion. Helping her and her child to live, whether she chooses to parent or not, is.
“You can choose life if you are looking to give life to that child,” Dr. Ford explained.
If you seek death, you will surely find it, she said. If you seek life, you will find that as well. It all begins with the person’s intent.
Myth: Children whose mothers place them for adoption are sent to foster care.
Fact: Children placed for adoption by moms in unexpected pregnancies are never sent to foster care.
A child or children can be removed from an existing family unit and placed into foster care due to risk of or harm already occurring. So, if a scared mother chooses life and further chooses to place her baby for adoption, her child does not go into the foster care system. Thus, the claim, “You just want babies to be born and flood the foster care system,” is woefully unfounded, as that is literally not how the process works.
Ford explained that the foster system is structured such that when there is a removal of child from a family it is temporary. The goal is always to reunite the child with the family. The child is removed for a time while the parents do the work to get healthy for their child’s return. The goal with the foster care system is to make a temporary safe place for children while their family does the work to be able to have the children back full time.
Myth: There are no resources for adoption. If there are resources, there are not that many.
Fact: There are so many resources available out there it is overwhelming.
It was difficult to keep up as Dr. Ford named all the different organizations and grants available to help fund adoptions. Those were just off the top of her head and by no means a comprehensive list. This demonstrates that there many resources exist out there, but people simply do not know about them. Here are links and information for just a few grants specifically for aiding in adoption: Show Hope, Gift of Adoption Fund and Fund Your Adoption.
Fund Your Adoption lists 10 different grants and foundations that aid in adoption. Between those three links there are 12 options, and it did not take much time to find them.
Heartbeat International additionally has a list of resources HERE.
Choosing adoption for a child is not giving up on that child
Myth: Adoption means the biological parent is “giving up.”
Fact: Adoption is an act of selfless love for the child. It means allowing them to live and have their life, even when one is not prepared to parent. It means making the child’s needs a priority, which is the very essence of parenthood.
Where the phrase, “giving up your child for adoption,” is often used, Ford emphasized the fact that adoption is in no way “giving up your child.”
She clarified that there is no element of weakness, cruelty or surrender in creating an adoption plan for one’s child.
Ford explained that making an adoption plan includes biological parents looking at home studies conducted by social workers, meeting with case workers and discussing options and next steps, making parenting plans for their child, and choosing the degree of openness in the adoption relationship. There are professionals who walk the biological parents through every step of the process, so they are supported as well.
Myth: There is no help for adoptive parents in meeting the cost for adoption
Fact: There are so many resources out there it is incredible. And while adoption is often costly, adopting a child from the U.S. foster care system is quite reasonable.
Ford noted there are differences between private and public adoption, domestic and international adoption.
Private domestic adoptions can run approximately $15,000 to $40,000.
When adopting internationally, it can cost anywhere from $30,000 and $50,000.
Within this cost there are legal fees, agency fees, lawyers, and temporary childcare while the process is being completed.
When adopting out of foster care in the U.S., adoption cost ranges from $1,500-$3,000.
So, the idea that adoption is out of reach for the average couple is untrue. Most grants and adoption aids would pay the entire fee when adopting out of the foster care system within the U.S.
Further regarding adoption in the U.S., there is an adoption tax credit available for adoptive parents.
It is crucial for adoptive parents to perform research to understand the laws specific to their state and take advantage of the resources available to them.
A previous Pregnancy Help News reprint of a Live Action report details options for streamlining the process and making it more affordable. Click HERE to see the article.
Government and church roles in adoption and foster care
Myth: The government should have an integral role in individual families raising children.
Fact: The government itself was not designed and never intended to raise children.
Ford explained that the government is all about safety when it comes to placement of children in foster or adoptive homes.
While many assume the foster care system is cold and impersonal, Ford noted it was never meant to raise, comfort, or love children. Ford explained further that this is where the church should come in to rally around the children and the parents to bring healing to the family, to love them unconditionally.
Likewise, the government cannot do what the church was called to do. Neither can the church do what the government is designed to do. One should not interfere with the purpose of the other. The government must allow the church to operate freely and uninhibited to best serve the most people to the utmost.
Ford referenced James 1:27: “Pure religion, undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This verse basically refers to “hospitality,” to feed, clothe and support those who need it.
The church must understand this is not merely a ministerial option, but a biblical command. There is no other option but to step up and take care of the children and families in need.
Healthy churches, communities, and families
Ford emphasized that healthy communities need healthy families and healthy families cannot do it alone. They need the church. Church is synonymous with community. If the community is breaking down, then families will be unhealthy.
What Dr. Ford would change if she could
When asked what she would change in the system if she could, Ford said to just let the church be the church, and let adoptive parents be adoptive parents!
She pointed out how that the government is at times forcing adoptive and foster care families to adhere to their agenda when it comes to caring for children, and if these families explain they may not be comfortable with this, they are refused licensure!
Refusing licensure to push ideology down prospective adoptive and foster parents’ throats denies children a good home, and safe and loving families.
Imposing a political agenda as a litmus test flies in the face of putting the needs of children first and demonstrates that the ideology comes first.
This benefits absolutely no one. And it speaks volumes about a government more concerned with pushing a political agenda before caring about the people it is meant to serve.
This is prime example of the government doing it wrong and getting in the way by making things difficult for everyone. As Ford said, let parents be parents, church be church, and government be government – with the latter staying in its lane for the good of the others.
There are always children in need, and always families who want to care for children, whether it be long term or short term.
We must do all we can to connect children with families and preserve life.
Focus on the Family’s Wait No More Foster Care and Adoption Program is a great place to start.
For moms and dads considering adopting or fostering do your homework, do not let the pro-abortion negativity stop you. There are people cheering you on!
Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News where this appeared. Reposted with permission.
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