Many women view the pain of placing a baby for adoption as more excruciating than having an abortion. While society has joy for an infertile couple adopting a beautiful child, rarely is that child’s birth mother honored in any way.
Instead of rising up and calling them blessed for their sacrifice and maturity, birth parents are often left in deep shame and grief. Thankfully, birth parents rarely experience the same depth of pain as the post-abortive.
I chose abortion out of fear that if my mother discovered my unexpected pregnancy, she would force me to place my baby for adoption. Just reading the word “adoption” filled me with fear of the long-term pain associated with never knowing what happened to my child. Envisioning my baby being ripped from my arms and given to strangers was too much to consider. Abortion seemed far easier in my teenage logic.
Since post-abortive women rarely outline any pain after this choice, I didn’t know abortion’s potential emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical anguish. I did not realize that adoption would have meant my child could have lived. Today that would be a real comfort to my heart.
As I sat in the abortion clinic, I remember a nurse placing a piece of paper down in front of me for my signature.
“What’s this?” I asked.
She responded that this was my “counseling.” To my horror, the paper listed maternity homes and adoption agencies.
My mind flowed over the adoption choice for a brief moment. Quickly I decided that if I was going to endure the consequences of this unexpected pregnancy, my child would have been my prize. Why would I ever give my baby to strangers?
In signing that paper, I quickly shook off the concept of adoption. Yet I had one more question of the nurse – “Will this (abortion) affect me emotionally or psychologically?”
Her answer came with a cruel smile, “Oh no. Abortion will make your life better. It’s just a blob of tissue, after all. You have plenty of time for more children.”
Her response ended my adoption contemplation. While a part of my heart would have loved to parent my child, I felt abortion was the more mature decision.
For years I struggled to forget my aborted child. His memory would haunt me on specific dates – particularly on the anniversary of his due date. Seeing children that would have been my aborted child’s age overwhelmed me.
After I graduated from college, married, and had my next child, I struggled to love this new son. The missing child’s presence was always in my heart no matter how I tried to deny him. How could I love the child in my arms if I hadn’t loved the first?
Adoption plans are often formulated by post-abortive women in subsequent unexpected pregnancies. These mothers have realized the spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical impact and cannot endure such a deeply traumatizing choice again.
Women over 21 also are more likely to consider adoption over abortion. Many infertile couples hoping to adopt are also post-abortive, never realizing they were aborting the only child they would ever conceive.
I’m grateful that the adoption process has been revolutionized since my abortion. Gone are the days when children were ripped out of their mother’s arms at birth and placed with strangers.
Today adoption agreements are based on the desires of the birth mother, allowing her more control over the process. She can choose the parents and even have future contact with the child to some level – whether that’s receiving photos over the years or actually enjoying visits.
God sent his own son, Jesus Christ, into the world in the form of an unexpected teenage pregnancy. God’s unselfish “birth parent” purpose in sending His own son to Earth to be raised by humans humbles my heart. This is outlined in Ephesians 1:4-6:
For he (God) chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
If you are a birth parent of a child placed for adoption, I honor your sacrifice today. We at Ramah International rise and call you blessed for your unselfishness. Rest in the understanding that God knows the pain you feel and is close to your heart as well as to your child.
For those who chose abortion, please know there is no sin that God cannot forgive. Ramah International exists to help you find peace from this loss and discover the beauty of being adopted into God’s heavenly family. We are here to help you heal through God’s grace and mercy!