Assembling Self

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pro-Life, Adoption, & And Child Well-being

I am going to tread, and not very lightly, on a subject that is sure to cause some strong reactions. But, I've come to stir the pot because I believe, and hope, it can bring to light issues that need to be discussed, debated, and dealt with. As a child adopted into an abusive family, and then rejected when a biological child was born, this issue is important to me and for all children period.  People tell me all of the time I should be glad to have not been aborted.  They are shocked and taken back when I tell them very frankly that no, I am not glad really, who would want to be born into a childhood experience of 18 years of emotional, physical, mental, and verbal abuse?  Who would want any other child to?

I live not far from where protesters gather everyday near a woman's clinic with their signs that say “Pray to end abortion”. Their vigils anger me. Not that I am FOR abortion, although I am pro-choice. The point is where will these people be after these children are born? In what capacity are they going to help make certain these babies, and future adults, are safe and protected, fed and clothed, and properly educated? Adoption is not always the happy ending for a child born. What happens to biological families who do not relinquish and keep babies when there is abuse and neglect that already runs in that family? I realize there are no guarantees for anyone in life, but we need to expect that once these children are born, there is a great responsibility that will be placed upon someone.

I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, where there is a great amount of obvious wealth. Texas is listed nine times in the top 100 wealthiest zip codes in the nation. Yet here in the Dallas area, we have one of the highest rates of children living hungry, homeless, and in poverty in the nation. Texas is at the bottom of the nation's list of SAT scores, has a high drop out rate for students almost one third of students do not graduate, and over all, Texas falls nearly last in every educational statistic, including, cutting educational and afterschool programs, and not being competitive with teacher salaries in comparison with other states.  As we are all very well aware of, education is key for a child to have the ability to attend secondary educational institutions, acquire scholarships, and vie with others in opportunities for employment.

In July, 2010 on the Texas Care for Children website, the Annie E. Casey Foundation annual rankings of child well-being in their 2010 Kids Count Data Book for the nation were posted.  The state of Texas performed the worst yet again.  There was a sharp decline in infant health due in part to low birth weights.  And while the rest of the nation has lowered it's infant mortality rate, in Texas it rose 11%.  Six out of every thousand newborns do not make it to their first birthday.  Texas child abuse rates are also higher than the national average.  One social worker, and fellow adoption activist, told me that more children die at the hands of their parents in this area than nearly anywhere else in the country.

There are multitudes of children languishing in foster care, in homeless shelters, in abusive families, and in need of our help already. I see the time and effort these demonstrators exhibit, and as a fellow activist, I understand they are doing what they believe is best. But, if we took care of children when they are young we would not be needing to provide for them as adults in penal institutions, and social service programs, later in life.  We would not be burying them before their time.

Wouldn't time be better served for our children if we took care of the ones that are already here? If these people are pro-life why not advocate for the lives of children that are in need now? Perhaps some are, but obviously not enough. As activists raising awareness for their cause, that of life for unborn babies, life is not just being born it is the years that follow.  We are failing miserably at it here.

I am not just an adoption activism, I am an advocate for children. I vote, I donate when and where I can, I have volunteered with school programs, I have been teacher and child care administrator, and I speak up for the children that are here, and those who have no voices yet. These children will be our future if first, we give them a fighting chance.  So really, in truth, I am "Pro-Life".


  1. If just a little of that money were put into helping little families get a decent start and educating young parents, there would be fewer children in foster care and fewer adoptions. We have really allowed the tail to wag the dog too long in our country. Mothers are maligned and their children are merchandise for the self-entitled and people wonder why we are pro-choice?

  2. You can't argue with the truth.

  3. Exactly Robin and we need to continue to educate people on the wrong that is separating, destroying, and not helping famlies stay together if possible. And, to stop the adoption industry that thrives on the pro-life movement to provide them with the commodity they need...babies.