A reader writes:
Only Ross Douthat could warmly remember those wonderful years where white, single women faced with unplanned pregnancies were forced through stigma and the law to carry their pregnancies to term and give their babies up for adoption. It was so much nicer for those good, respectable married women struggling with infertility when 14-year-old girls were providing a constant supply of babies for them! Adoption may be a wonderful solution for some people, but it seems to also be incredibly traumatic for others - and not just for the nine months of pregnancy but throughout their entire lives. It's not the magical band aid you can put over the complex moral issue of unwanted pregnancies.
I’m flabbergasted by your quote of Ross stating that “would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.” They do not. I’ve adopted two children, and the waiting list is not long. It doesn’t even exist: there are 500,000 children in foster care in the US, and 100,000 of those are available for adoption today.
Well, ok, but you want an infant? No problem:
less than a month after we adopted our first child, our agency called us asking if we knew anyone at all with a completed home study. They had a healthy baby boy in a hospital and nobody willing to adopt him. (Agency rules didn’t allow us to take him before our first was completed) For our second, the agency tried for days to contact us around Christmas since we were the only people on the list who were willing to take him.
Why was it so hard to place them? Simple: the adoption market is built around healthy white infants. If you’re willing to remove even *one* of those conditions, the waiting list is short to non-existent.
There’s no shortage of children to adopt; the waiting list exists solely because adoptive parents want to wait for the “right” kind of child. Please don’t perpetuate the myth.
(Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty. Details of the process here.)