By Ellen Case
Senior Staff Writer
Adoption does not seem to get the attention it needs in the pro-life, pro-choice debate. Adoption takes a backseat to being considered an option.
Few people think of adoption as the first option. Confusion, fear, and the uncertainty of where the child will end up, and if he or she will have a better life surrounding the process. Unfortunately, many people also see adoption as something that creates awkward situations in a child’s life.
BraveLove is a Dallas-based organization that promotes adoption and seeks to let the world hear the stories from birth parents and adopted children.
BraveLove’s mission is to change people’s perception of adoption by acknowledging both parents for their brave decision, Laura Bruder, BraveLove’s executive director, said in an email to The Courier. Bruder also said, adoption seems to get attention when things go badly. People see it the media and entertainment world portray it, Bruder said. Americans do not know much about.
In her email, Bruder said a survey by The Donaldson Adoption Institute analyzing social media trends for 2014 National Adoption month, revealed that 71 percent of respondents tweeted about pet adoption while only 26 percent tweeted about human adoption.
“We simply have to start talking about adoption more for these honest and hopeful adoption stories to be heard,” Bruder said in her email.
Letting someone with personal experience speak about that experience can make a great change in how others think. Bruder also said that just by changing the phrases regarding adoption can be a powerful way to get the stories heard so instead of saying “give up for adoption” change it to “place.” Open adoptions are also becoming more and more common.
An open adoption allows the birth parents and the adoptive parents are in contact with each other. Many times, it means that the child knows their birth parent and is also in contact with them.
Adoption has changed a lot over the years, Bruder said. She also said being adopted does not need to be a secret, and choosing adoption does not mean giving up. Bruder suggested raising awareness and educating within our society for these stories to be heard.
The subject of adoption is very close to my heart. My aunt and uncle decided to adopt when they could not have children. The process is long and complicated but it changed more than just the lives of my family.
They met a young woman who was 16 years old and was looking for a couple to adopt her soon to be born son. My aunt and uncle were not her first choice for parents, but the woman had a dream with my aunt in it. It was then she realized they were the right couple for her child.
I remember going to the hospital to meet my new cousin and his birth mom. A couple years later, another birth mom chose my aunt and uncle to be the adopted parents for her son. Both cousins are aware of their history, they have photos in their rooms of their birth parents but I believe they have never doubted who their real parents are.
I have never loved kids as much as I love those two boys. Not only are they funny and kind, they are both incredibly smart with amazing imaginations. They each have their own gifts and they excel in completely unique ways. More than once have I felt the want to meet with their birth moms and tell them thank them for their choice.
No matter what your belief is when it comes to what a woman’s choice is for an unplanned pregnancy, the truth about adoption should be spread. The act of placing a child for adoption not only provides a different life for the mother, it can provide a better one for the child as well as the family who has the honor and blessing of adopting the child.