Some have suggested that adoption is a convenient alternative to abortion. Justice Barrett is one of those. People who feel that way should also feel a moral obligation actually to adopt children into their families. They can start with the thousands of kids currently in the Minnesota foster care system.*
Judy and I know about adoption. Here are some thoughts about it, some reflecting our experience, some from our knowledge of others.
If you are planning to adopt, good for you. But don't do it with romantic dreams; do it with eyes open. The experience can be enormously satisfying, or it can be severely heartbreaking. But it is always hard work.
Nobody knows yet how many adoptable babies will become available because of Dobbs. The whole idea of a "baby supply" seems repulsive. Some say that most "forced birth" babies will be kept by mothers or family members, often in poverty conditions. That's why the public policies I am advocating are so important. We can't just forget about these kids once they are born.
They won't all be cute blonde, blue-eyed girls. Will these be the ones in "high demand" while the kids with darker skin languish at the end of the line?
Some will have birth defects that require large medical expenses. Some will be born with the effects of an addiction or alcohol use or some other disability that will require special care their entire lives. There will be "special needs" kids of many kinds. Will all these be the last ones "chosen"?
If there are other children already born into the adopting family, what effect will it have on those kids when their parents need to give the adopted child most of their attention?
While every person is different, some mothers suffer life-long psychological effects from placing their baby for adoption. They say it's like a death that they never get over.
Many adoptions will be "open," that is, the birth mother remains in the life of her child though it is being raised by another family. Are adoptive families ready for that?
Adoption might be an alternative. But is is not an easy one. Many adoptions work out wonderfully. Others do not. And sometimes love is not enough.
This is a developing blog entry. Come back later to read more.
* While the foster care system enables adoptions, its chief aim is not adoption but reunification.