Maria contacted Catholic Charities requesting information on making an adoption plan for her child. Within 24 hours of her phone call, one of our pregnancy and adoption counselors drove out to meet with her in person at a local coffee shop. Maria shared that her pregnancy was the result of a brutal physical attack and rape. She had decided she had no choice but to abort the child. She was terrified at the prospect of raising a child conceived in rape. And she was already struggling to provide for her other three children.
Thanks be to God, someone in Maria’s life threw her a lifeline: she asked if Maria had considered adoption. Surprisingly, Maria had considered it. She told us that she had asked a nurse about making an adoption plan for the baby but the nurse told Maria – incorrectly — that if she did, Maria would also lose custody of her other children. Happily, before she ended her child’s life, Maria first called Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy and Adoption Support program.
Maria’s case demonstrates one of the most significant barriers to woman considering adoption:
1) Information about adoption is never presented;
2) Information about adoption information is presented incorrectly or with bias.
Almost half of all pregnancies in our country are unintended. And, 42% of those unintended pregnancies end in abortion. Less than 2% of unintended pregnancies end in adoption.
If we truly respect life, we can and must do better! We have got to get as comfortable talking about adoption in our communities as those who call themselves “pro-choice” are in talking about abortion. We must change the way society views adoption.
Maria has given her child hope. She has chosen life. Now, she must determine what she feels is the best life for herself and for her child. These decisions don’t usually come easily or quickly. She may waiver in her decision throughout her pregnancy.
Some days, her heart will swell with hope of the life growing inside of her. Other days, she will feel darkness and anger about the child she is carrying, conceived in an act that violated her dignity and worth as a woman and cherished daughter of Christ.
Maria’s feelings are normal. Uncertainty in birth mothers is common, whatever the circumstance. Catholic Charities’ counselors will encourage her to explore her feelings and help her evaluate her options, refer her for services to stabilize and promote healing, and help empower her to make an informed decision that is best for both her and her child, whether it be parenting or making an adoption plan.
Catholic Charities Pregnancy and Adoption’s team is in need of volunteers! Please contact Mary Lou Christy firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can get involved in our work.
A Prayer for the Hope of Adoption
Heavenly Father, bless all expectant mothers and fathers
Give them hope and encouragement for the life they have created
Bless especially those who didn’t plan on being pregnant and give them the strength and courage to not only bring their child into the world,
but also to consider the best plan for themselves and their child.
Father, we know you have a plan for each and every life you create.
We pray for those who are afraid, who feel alone, who feel they have no option but to end their pregnancy.
Holy Spirit, share the hope of the option of adoption with these vulnerable families. Help them to see the joy that could come from gifting their child with life and family. Inspire them to see the goals and plans that you have set out for them and for their children.
We pray for a world that has no need for abortion. We know that mothers and fathers deserve better than abortion but they may believe it is their only option. Give us the courage we need to share the option of adoption, to give hope and promise of a world with their child in it. A world in which they will know and love their child.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/index.htm
National Council For Adoption, ‘Consider the Possibilities’ https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/adoption-professionals/training
CNN Library 6/1/18 Abortion Fast Facts https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/health/abortion-fast-facts/index.html