Saturday, March 10, 2007

Don't sue, put the child up for adoption.[Jay]

This is in reference to this earlier post where I said that I had to collect my thoughts about how I felt when a woman sues Planned Parenthood for the money to rear her child after they failed to abort the child successfully. My friend Mike Rupert called me and told me that he was disappointed in my post. He could not believe that I wrote such a wishy washy response to something that he saw as a troubling and telling indicator of our age.

My defense is that I truly was dumb struck by the scenario. The woman sues saying, “You owe me money to raise this child because I wanted you to kill the child and you told me you did.” The defense is, “We honestly thought we killed your child and tried our best to do so, therefore, as sorry as we are the child was born, we do not owe you a thing.” I find the whole scenario so vile I lacked any sort of perspective to comment on it.

Mike asked me one thing, though, that I thought worth mentioning. Why doesn’t this woman give the baby up for adoption? If rearing the child is a burden, in fact burden enough that she believes that others must pay for the child, then why would she not relieve herself of the burden of the child and bless some other couple and this child with a happy home? Could it be that the child is something that this woman wants? Could it be that though she tried to destroy the life she now realizes it is something not disposable?

Our counselors often try to encourage woman to give their child up for adoption when offering abortion alternatives. Women who are considering abortion usually respond, “I could never give my child up for adoption.” Hmm... All together now, “You are willing to kill your child, but you are not willing to put it up for adoption?” We have got to get better at encouraging and counseling toward adoption. We have got to think of better answers to this objection, because we are so afraid to push it on resistant mothers for fear they will turn off and abort their child. They are far more comfortable with killing the child than giving it up to a loving family already.


  1. For the record...i also was the one who posed the idea in Jay's head that she did want the child beyond potential monetary reasons. I just wanted to clear that up. Otherwise...speak on brother Jay.

  2. One thing we can do to change the opinions of adoption is to use better phrases. Instead of saying, "give up for adoption" we now say "place your child for adoption" --- we have several phrases that we really try to avoid in a counseling session. I would encourage you all to try and "adopt" these more positive terms. =O)

  3. Mandi,

    I am a Development Coordinator and will never see the inside of a counseling room, so I apologize for my improper use of terms. I know that our counselors are more adept at this than I am as far as the verbiage. My question for you is this; do such nuances of vocabulary make that big a difference? I understand your point and think it is a good one as for communicating positively, but as someone who has never faced this situation and who only knows the counseling side from the counselors that I talk to at the center, I understand the emotional pain of the birth mother during adoption is quite profound. Placing the baby does seem to suggest open adoption options as opposed to traditional closed adoption, but I assumed (dangerous I know) that the initial problems in crisis counseling were tied to the reality of the adoption that they would be placing their child(see I can learn) irretrievably into the care of someone else.
    Does that simple measure make a huge difference in quantitative success rate?


  4. Jay,

    I think the language does make a difference. Just look at how using the term "fetus" or "product of conception" have changed the abortion debate....or how using pro-abortion vs. pro-life makes a difference.
    I'm working with a young lady right now who just placed her child with a family. You are correct in that her grief is profound....however she is involved in a open adoption (the agency we usually refer to will ONLY do open adoptions). She interviewed couples and selected the couple she wanted to raise her daughter. It really was an amazing experience. On her online blog she used the phrase, "I didn't give you up....I gave you more." I LOVE THAT!!
    Now back to the language -- I think if we all start using the positive language it will impact how society views adoption in general. Just in case anyone is interested here are the positive and negative terms:

    Placing your child with an adoptive family

    Positive - making an adoption plan; finding a family to parent your child; arranging for an adoption; entrusting your child to adoptive parents

    Negative - Giving up your child for adoption; giving away your child; relinquishing your child; putting your child up for adoption

    Deciding to Parent the child

    Positive - planning to raise the child

    Negative - Deciding to keep the child


    Positive - birthparent, birthgrandparent, biological mother/father/parent

    Negative - "Real" or Natural Mother/Father, "Real" or natural parents, grandparents

    Adoptive Parents

    Positive - mom, dad, mother, father

    Negative - Not the "real" parents

    My Birth Child/Son/Daughter

    Positive - child by birth, or biological child

    Negative - My "real" or "natural"-born child


    Positive - adopted person, person who joined their family, through adoption

    Negative - Adopted Child (when speaking of an adult)


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