Adoptions of Indiana has worked with thousands of women who are in crisis due to an unexpected pregnancy. We can tell you firsthand, that none of their choices are easy.
Choosing to terminate the pregnancy creates an agonizing loss. Continuing the pregnancy with an adoption plan creates an enduring sense of grief. Choosing to parent a child without the resources needed is a different kind of anguish. Each choice has significant consequences and challenges.
But we trust women and believe women are the only ones who should make decisions about their pregnancy.
The decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and subsequent legislation by the Indiana General Assembly that removes reproductive choice from Indiana’s women has resulted in a lot of uninformed “experts.”
I’ve heard loud voices saying that women should “just give the baby up for adoption” now that federal protections for abortion have ended. This crass comment lacks insight and compassion for women who are in crisis.
Terminating a pregnancy and making an adoption plan are not interchangeable choices with similar consequences and challenges. Decisions made by distant people should not be foisted upon a person in crisis. These distant people have no idea what circumstances surround an expectant woman. Was this pregnancy conceived in love?—by rape?—by incest? Does carrying a child to term put the woman’s life at risk? Is this pregnancy viable? Only she can make this wrenching decision.
It’s easy to reduce this issue to one side or the other, but it’s much more nuanced than that. In our attempt to help make sure women have the information they need to make the best decision for themselves and their pregnancy, we have provided training about adoption as an option for staff at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. Their staff has been engaged and receptive and pre-COVID provided us space in their clinics to meet with patients who want to learn more about adoption.
If we really care about women and children, we could continue to lower the rates of abortion without removing choice. Longitudinal data show there would be fewer unplanned pregnancies if we had comprehensive sex ed for teens in school, birth control paid by Medicaid or private insurance, expanded Medicaid options for pregnancy and children, increasing the minimum wage so workers have a living wage, additional SNAP and WIC benefits, paid maternity leave, publicly funded childcare, early childhood education, and more.
Adoptions of Indiana will continue to provide information, resources, and support to women so they can make the best decision for themselves and their pregnancy. We will be there for them if they want to consider adoption as well.