Considering adoption is hard; it is also courageous

By Debra Niesen

Editor’s note. November is National Adoption month. All month, we’ve been posting new and older stories that bring home the beauty of one of the principal alternatives to abortion. This appeared in “The Leaven,” the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office of the Archdiocese of Kansas City.

During the recent (archdiocesan) eighth grade Life Matters Day, we played a simple game of “Did You Know?” with the 300-plus students who attended. They had to guess answers to questions about different cultural “life” issues.

One question asked: “What is the percentage of women experiencing an unplanned or challenging pregnancy that choose to make an adoption plan for their child?”  The answer of  1-2% surprised the kids and may surprise many of us.

Several students shared that they have friends or family members who are adopted. When they learned 36 couples are waiting to adopt each child that is placed for adoption (see Bravelove.org), they intuitively seemed to understand that there is no such thing as an “unwanted” child.

November is National Adoption Month. As people of faith, we know that adoption is a loving and beautiful way for a child to be welcomed into a family. We ask God to bless all of those for whom adoption is a part of their life story — an adopted child, parents making adoption plans for their baby, adoptive families, couples in waiting and those with a loved one touched by adoption.

Since the overturning of Roe in 2022, there has been a greater focus on adoption nationwide. However, it is too soon to know if adoption rates have increased.

Those who do pregnancy support ministry understand that considering adoption for a child can be a complicated and emotional process for any woman experiencing an unplanned or challenging pregnancy. Many women unfortunately misunderstand adoption as “giving away” or abandoning their child and therefore won’t consider it as an option.

In reality, forming an adoption plan is a courageous and selfless act of love. It is loving a child so much that you are willing to place them in better circumstances, holding them in your heart instead of your hands, while trusting in God’s plan.

Open adoptions allow for a relationship between a birth mom and baby. One birth mom said, “I wanted to do what was best for her. It was very hard. But looking back, I’m so glad that I chose adoption. She is healthy, loved and taken care of, and the fact that we can have a relationship now is just beautiful to me.” 

Though there are trials and uncertainties involved in every adoption, our Catholic community needs to celebrate and share the message that adoption is a beautiful option! To learn more or receive support as a birth mom or adoptive parents, visit these websites:

• Catholiccharitiesks.org/adoption (archdiocesan adoption agency)

• Springsoflove.org (Catholic adoption support)

 Bravelove.org (Support for birth moms)

This month, pray to change hearts toward the beauty of adoption in our culture and for all who have adoption as part of their life story!