Thursday, December 2, 2010

Abortion or Adoption...that is the question

I don't know how many times in my life someone has told me, "You should be so glad that you're adopted. You know, your mom COULD of had an abortion." I have heard that more times then I could possibly begin to count. I grew up believing my mom was so brave and admirable for not aborting me. Instead, she decided to love me, care about me, take care of herself so she, in turn, could take care of me, and THEN give me away. Whether it was at 12 weeks gestation or 2 days postpartum, she still lost me. Is there really a difference?

I have been thinking about this a lot, so I decided to do a little research. What did I find:
Why do women choose abortion?
Three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities; about two-thirds say they cannot afford a child; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
Why do women choose adoption?
The first situation that leads many pregnant women to consider adoption is the lack of a father figure in her baby’s life; secondly, the mother’s financial situation and the fear that she will struggle handling both her and the baby’s expenses, especially without family support; finally, the mother's desire to continue her education and/or the idea that she is not mature enough to raise a baby.
Is it just me or do you also see the common thread? Although the two are very different, the reasoning behind them are very much the same.

I asked my f mom why she chose to carry me to term. Her mother wanted her to have an abortion, so I wanted to hear why she chose not to. She said that she could not bear to abort me. She thought it was wrong, so she refused to do it. She had every intention of keeping me and raising me on her own, until two weeks before I was born. She realized she was all alone and decided I deserved better then what she could offer. So, she gave me away. She didn't want to, but she did what she felt she had to do.

How many women that have abortions really WANT to do it? In my opinion (and this may be harsh) adoption is a way to consciously (or even morally) feel okay about your decision to lose your baby. I do believe my mom when she tells me that she wanted to keep me...she loved me...she only wanted what was best for me. Do people that have abortions not want or love their baby? Do they feel that they are doing what is best for the child they are carrying? It's something to think about.

I am not posting this to offend any first mom's or women who have had abortions. I realize that every adoption and abortion is not the same. It is something that's been on my mind and I've wondered what others think. I am sure many of you may disagree with some of the things that I have said, and that's okay. I'd love to hear your opinions on the topic. Whether you get what I'm saying or you think I'm way off, I hope you take the time to share.


  1. Carrying a pregnancy to term and relinquishing was not an option for me. I wanted to get an abortion. It wasn't a question of love, it was a mass of cells at that stage, and it was a question of what I could handle. I know that people will say, "Oh, but that mass of cells eventually turns into a baby." They would be correct. But,it was a choice I had to make, and there were only 2 choices- parent or terminate.

    I wasn't ready to parent, and there was no way in hell I would ever put a child through the hell known as adoption. It was far more humane to terminate the pregnancy.

    I have never suffered any psychological issues stemming from my abortion, but I have never healed from being separated from my First Mother, and neither has she.

    I do know of several first Mothers who terminated after relinquishing, and they have all said it was far easier to terminate.

    I actually do wish at times I had been terminated. I would not have known it then, nor would I know it now. I don't say that to the people who love me, though, as it would hurt their feelings. but 15 seconds in a suction tube would have been far less painful than this crap.

  2. I have a feeling a lot of adoptees will say that they wished their mom's would have chosen abortion. I can say the thought has corssed my mind before, but I guess non-adoptee's have wished the same. Everyone has a story to share. Thanks for sharing yours.

  3. The comparison between abortion and adoption always makes me nervous..but I suppose it is a valid one. I, personally, am not a fan of abortion. But I am even less a fan of adoption.

    My birthfather tried VERY hard to get my birthmother to abort me. He has told me this himself (what a f***** up conversation that was!). She refused. She also refused to place me for adoption even after I was born (my adoptive parents had come to get me and she changed her mind). When she was finally coerced, she was depressed for months. She turned to alcohol and drugs. Decades later she is still an addict.

    Would having aborted me changed her life? Probably. Would it have saved us both some pain? Probably. But she wanted me. Desperately, even. I have reunited with her and it has been hard. She is damaged and will lash out. It is not easy to love her. I am not thankful for having placed out of my biological family...but I am thankful that I'm alive. That I'm here. It's not a nice thing to say, but it's true.

  4. For me personally I just don't think I could ever have an abortion because the timing wasn't right. I have never regretted carrying my daughter to term or giving birth. I just wish I could have raised her. Abortion might be easier in some ways, because it's done and finished and your child isn't out there belonging to another parent. I know that may sound selfish but for me I did worry quite a bit about her safety and just overall missed her. I suppose with an abortion you would still remember. I just don't have any experience with it to know what causes the women more pain. I do think it should be a woman's choice though. No one should be forced to an abortion, adoption or to parent.

  5. Abortion...hmmm...well, I was never willing to do that. Not because it makes me feel better morally, personally in any way. But because I planned my daughter (as much as any 16 year old plans anything and a bit more, since I was already planning military service and staying with her father - and he planned the same way). Adoption wasn't an option either....I would NEVER do that on my own. I did not choose it, want it and do not believe in it.

    I think, for me, abortion would have been more final, but it would have destroyed me. Adoption is doing a great job of that, but I hold out hope and maybe, one day, the both of us will heal.

  6. Abortion and adoption are really two separate social and personal issues, in my opinion.

    Adoption is the inability or lack of desire to parent.

    Abortion is the inability or lack of desire to be pregnant.

    An "unwanted" pregnancy does not always yield an "unwanted" child.

    Could my mother have aborted me? Sure. So could any one's mother, regardless of whether or not she chose not to and chose abortion or parenting instead. The vast and wide majority of children born from unplanned pregnancies are parented by their mothers. It's much more likely the "abortion survivers" are walking amongst the non-adopted and not the adopted :-)

  7. I agree, Amanda, they are two separate issues. However, do you truly think most people that have an abortion do it because they don't want to be pregnant? I don't think I agree. It's not about the bulging belly and stretch marks, it's because they cannot or do not want to parent. In either case (abortion or adoption), it's the end result that is the problem. Linda even said above, "I wasn't ready to parent, and there was no way in hell I would ever put a child through the hell known as adoption. It was far more humane to terminate the pregnancy." She didn't choose abortion solely because she didn't want to be pregnant, she chose abortion because she was not ready to parent a child.

    I thought the first mom comments were interesting because they both said the same thing...abortion may have been easier because it's more final.

    It's a touchy subject, I know. Either way, the child is the one that doesn't have a choice. Both situations someone else is choosing their fate. I used to think there was such a huge difference between the two, but I'm not so convinced anymore.

    Thanks for all of your comments.

  8. Abortion was not an option for me when I was a pregnant 16-yr.-old living in a small Catholic town in the pre Roe v. Wade world of 1970. Giving up my son for adoption was horribly traumatic. I'm still thinking about it and writing about it 40 years later. Somehow the two of us survived and have a good relationship. I am now pro-choice and no longer a practicing Catholic, but I am relieved I did not have an abortion. I love my son. I love my grandchildren. I love that my daughters have a chance to know their brother. Adoption and abortion both hurt. But sometimes there are no other workable options.

  9. One advantage to adoption, IMO, is the hope for reunion. It's something I look forward to and hope I have the opportunity to experience.
    I think you're forgetting the third option, to parent. My choices in my mind were adoption or parenting. It wasn't that I didn't want to parent. It was that I didn't want to parent alone. There's a reason it takes two people to get pregnant. It really takes two people to raise a child. Now that I have children that I was allowed to keep I realize how hard it would have been to parent alone. I need my husband and so do my kids.

  10. Thanks, Meg, for your input. This is one of those posts I'll probably look back on and think, "What was I thinking?!!" :) I know this is a really touchy topic. My goal was not to hurt or offend anyone. Whenever I posted it, I had just had a conversation with my nmom about adortion and why she didn't abort me since it was so hard for her to live with the fact that I was out there. She never imagined there would be a reunion. In her mind, I was gone. As a matter of fact, her mom had her tell all their family that she 'lost' the baby. That was hard for me to hear...still is. Anyway, I just had a "moment" when I posted this. I apprciate your comment. Thanks!