Within the National Council for Adoption’s recently released Adoption By The Numbers study is the surprising fact that even with a significant decrease in births to single parents in the United States, the number of domestic infant adoptions remains fairly steady. This fact seems to indicate that more women, who find themselves in a situation with an unplanned pregnancy, are choosing adoption over parenting. That, itself, is another surprising fact. Why surprising? Because the National Council for Adoption has learned, through contact with both professionals and with women in an unplanned pregnancy, that the informations shared regarding adoption is often minimal, biased, or sometimes even received too late. Without full information on all the options available to a mother and her unborn child, how can we, as a country, expect our children to receive the best care possible? It must start before childbirth with the child’s birth parents making informed decisions.
And so all these facts beg the question: If information regarding adoption as an option being given to women in unplanned pregnancies is incomplete at best, and very often given with a negative spin, how is that there are more women choosing to place their children for adoption? One answer could be that more and more women (and men) are turning to technology for answers to their concerns. With a variety of websites, filled with a plethora of information about adoption, as well as forums, social media and blogs, women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy are able to do their own research rather than waiting for the information to come to them. Another plausible answer is that sociality is serving one of its major purposes well: friends tell friends who tell friends, and so on. With less “hush” and more open communication, adoption is talked about and may even be considered by a woman without ever even disclosing her condition. It’s hard to find anyone in this country who hasn’t been touched by adoption in some way. And that’s a good thing.
The National Council for Adoption makes it clear that while they are not pushing for more women to place their babies for adoption, they certainly are advocating for more thorough, factual, and appropriate information about adoption to be shared with every woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
The report notes, “NCFA takes no position on abortion, except to suggest that women have the right to make a fully-informed decision and some might not choose abortion if there were better access to information about adoption, counseling and support offered for expectant parents, and better and more pregnancy-related social services.”