September 5, 2008
Palin Family: The Adoption Option?
By Mike McManus
Sept. 3, 2008
When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin revealed that her 17-year-old daughter
Bristol, is five months pregnant out-of-wedlock, there was a small
sigh of relief in conservative circles when the girl indicated that
she intended to marry the father, Levi Johnston, an 18-year-old.
Yet questions linger. If they were going to marry, why haven't they
already done so since she's more than half way through the pregnancy?
Is marriage the right answer? Divorce rates are very high for couples
who marry at such a young age. (Divorce rates are very high for ALL
couples in America, unfortunately ~ not just those who marry young, Mr.
Is this a serious young man planning for a future, looking forward to
being a father? Not exactly.
He revealed on his MySpace page that he was "in a relationship" but
said, "I don't want kids." He called himself a "redneck" who likes to
snowboard, ride dirt bikes, fish, camp out and "hang out with the
boys." Not surprisingly, his MySpace page quickly disappeared.
Sound like a good marital prospect? Not to this father. He's very
immature. No wonder teen marriages tend to end in divorce.
(I think we all know plenty of 30-40 yr old fathers, even adoptive fathers who don't rate high on maturity-level ~ give the guy a break, and a CHANCE. Most doting Dads were once immature ~ weren't you, Mr. McManus?).
I know nothing about these kids or their parents.
(EXACTLY, MR. MCMANUS ~ YOUR ONLY TRUTHFUL STATEMENT SO FAR).
However, how much time does the governor have to help out, when she is already
caring for four other children?
In a case like this, one wonders why the "Adoption Option" is
apparently not being considered. The baby's life would be preserved,
and be relinquished to a more mature couple who has longed for years to have a baby. Bristol's future could include college. (Oh yes, Bristol, your CHILD, your own flesh-and-blood can't possibly be worth more to you
than a college-education, can she?)
Furthermore, the birth mother (now Bristol is a breeding machine)
could continue to have some contact with the child. "The vast majority of adoptions involve some level of openness between the birth mother and the adopting couple," says Chuck Johnson, vice president of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA).
That may range from an exchange of pictures all the way to regular visits.
There are 2 million couples waiting to adopt, and only 22,000
unrelated infant adoptions in 2002, the latest year with data. In that
year there were 1,366.000 unwed births, 25 percent of which were to
teenage girls. Keeping the baby virtually guarantees that the mother
and child will live in poverty.
However, why is the "adoption option," so rare, involving less than 2
percent of unwed births? At one time, there were 90,000 infant
adoptions, but that was before abortion was available. In 2002, there
were 1,313,000 abortions.
NCFA's Johnson says that "Most pro-life people are very pro-adoption.
(Are you sure of that? You certainly don't speak for this pro-life adoptee, Mr. Johnson, and many others I know).
However, when a woman comes to a Crisis Pregnancy Center, most
counselors focus on helping the young woman develop a parenting plan.
They see parenting as the best option." (Most compassionate, logical human-beings
would, wouldn't they?)
Frankly, I doubt that is in the interest of most teenage mothers.. CPC
volunteers view abortion as the most likely alternative to carrying
the baby to term, and therefore, pitch to a young woman's natural
instincts to mother a child growing within her: "You can do it. We
will help you with diapers, etc." they say.
When the late Bill Pierce was President of NCFA, he obtained a federal
grant to train volunteer counselors in presenting the adoption option.
And 18,500 were trained to do so, but the numbers of adoptions is
shrinking. (Using federal dollars to train "counselors" in perfecting coersive
tactics and unethical directive counseling techniques (versus professional and ethical non-directive counseling) is NOT the way our government should be spending our tax dollars, America).
A new Ad Campaign (using federal dollars, yet again) has been developed. Its theme: "Sometimes choosing adoption is being a good mother." The goal is to remove the stigma associated with adoption, by convincing her that she is not "giving
up" a child, but relinquishing that child for a much better future
than the young mother could offer.
American families who want to adopt have turned increasingly to
foreign adoptions. According to the State Department, there were
22,884 infant adoptions from abroad in 2004. That compares with only
7,093 in 1990.
Adoption by non-relatives is very rare in foreign countries. Those
local officials do not understand the interest of Americans. One
Kenyan judge asked if a couple wanted a black baby to be a slave!
A much larger source of children to be adopted are the 510,000 now in
foster care. With 303,000 entering foster care in a recent year. About
50,000 of those children are adopted annually. Government subsidies
are actually available to encourage adoptions.
On average, a family who takes in a child in foster care receives $508
a month. If the child is adopted, $444 of subsidies will continue. And
the family can take an $11,000 tax credit.
Who are these children going into foster care? Many are out-of-wedlock
kids of immature mothers unable to care for them. (Myth!)
Barack Obama says he wants to encourage more adoptions. Good. (Good?)
There is a long way to go. (There most certainly is, Mr. McManus, and I certainly hope our society continues to see right through the myths you spew in order to obtain your supply of healthy infants for the supply-demand driven business in human-trade you call "adoption").
---Michael J. McManus is a syndicated columnist who writes on "Ethics
& Religion". He is President & Co-Chair of Marriage Savers. He lives
in Potomac, MD.
© Photographer: Peterkozikowski | Agency: Dreamstime.com
(It appears that Mr. McManus is also a staunch enemy of the grown-up "babies" he seeks to "save" through adoption ~ his obvious goal is to keep us in perpetual childhood, "seen but NOT heard", when adult adoptees ask for the same right as other Americans to obtain our original birth certificate, identity, medical and genealogical histories.) Here's an article written by an adult adoptee in response to his railings against adoptee access legislation:
Published - Tuesday, April 25, 2000
Letter to the Editor
McManus' column misleading about adoption
EDITOR: I would like to respond to a column by Mike McManus. ("Adoption growing option, thanks to Bill Pierce," April 21, Religion & Ethics)
Mr. McManus has made some rather confusing statements regarding open adoption and open records that need to be set straight.
In open adoption, the birth parent and adoptive parents know and keep in touch with each other as the adopted child grows up. Open records allow adopted adults to have access to their own government-held documents including their original birth certificates, upon reaching legal age. His statement, "...adoptive parents would not want a child they are rearing to meet its 'real mother' which can only be confusing," is very misleading because in open records, only adult adoptees can access their birth records.
McManus states that birth mothers were promised anonymity, when truthfully, this may not happen. If their children are not adopted, they stay within the state system, i.e. foster care, and records are not sealed. Even if their children are adopted, a judge, upon being shown good cause, can open the records at any time. There has never been a law that guaranteed birth mothers perpetual anonymity from their offspring, a fact that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1997, upheld in a ruling in Tennessee: Doe v. Sundquist.
McManus has included in his article statistics that he says show how open records will increase abortion and decrease adoption. If he will look to Alaska and Kansas - both open records states - it can be shown that, statistically, these two states show a lower rate of abortions than the United States as a whole, (Alan Guttmacher Institute) and higher adoption rates than their surrounding states. (National Center for Court Statistics, "How Many Children Were Adopted in 1992")
Great Britain's decline in adoptions was not related to allowing adopted adults access to their original birth documents in 1975 as McManus indicated. In fact, the opposite is true.
The rate of decline in adoption was much more severe until the opening of records, which slowed the decline of adoption in Great Britain significantly. (United Kingdom Registrar General and the United Kingdom Office of Populations Censuses and Surveys). If open records had any effect on Great Britain, it was to increase the incidence of adoptions.
Bill Pierce and the National Council For Adoption (NCFA) have spread their fear of open records far and wide. Why is the NCFA (a well-funded political lobby) "really" afraid?
The only effect open records will have on adoption is to bring transparency and accountability to a heretofore unregulated multibillion dollar industry.
It will also give adopted adult citizens the same rights as all other citizens of this country, the right to access their original birth certificate. It's about time.
- PATRICIA MARLER
Oklahoma State Director, Bastard Nation
Copyright 2000 The Edmond SUN. |