What is the cost of healthcare for those who have been the victims of abortion? Whether you are aware of the consequences going into it, or not, I still use the term ‘victim’ because it is my belief that people who have experienced this tragedy, either personally or indirectly, are forever changed in some way, and not for the better. For starters, it is a physical procedure that has to leave some kind of scar tissue, even if performed by the most highly skilled surgeon in the field. There are also the emotional scars, of course, that come with the living knowledge that you are responsible for the death of another individual – a human being in essence, with all the building blocks in place for becoming an amazing person. How many people end up in therapy or suicidal because they have taken the easy route and chosen abortion over adoption?
I’m sure there are women and families with similar emotional wounds as a result of adoptions gone awry, sometimes having been forced on the birthmother by disapproving senior family members. There are no assurances in open adoption except for one – the child will survive. No legal document exists, to my knowledge, that can bind a birthmother who has agreed to maintain contact in an open adoption, nor are the adoptive parents obligated, or even the child, himself, once he is old enough to make the choice. Likewise, plenty of hopeful adoptive parents have been heartbroken when a birthmother decided that she would actually like to parent, after all. It’s not a decision to make lightly, and to break such a promise gives birthmothers everywhere a bad name. The system can’t work if people don’t have faith that it will be to everyone’s benefit, in the end. Fear is still a powerful motivating factor, and trust is often difficult for people.
Is that worse than the damage that is currently being inflicted on children who are the product of parents who didn’t really want to be parents, but weren’t aware of their alternatives at the time? Foster children everywhere might have considered it a blessing to be placed in a family that was ready to embrace the responsibilities of parenthood. The idea that you could actually give “your baby” a financially and emotionally stable home and family environment, while still getting to maintain some level of contact, seems absolutely ideal. It is like having your cake and eating it too, especially when you consider that everyone gets what they want, including the birthmother, even if it’s hard to recognize in those first few, childless months when your body senses that something is missing. It can feel, at times, almost like a phantom limb for those who have experienced an amputation, and often the grief is overwhelming.
But when you see the photos or have a visit, it’s easy to appreciate the love that surrounds a child in an open adoption. And at the end of the day, a birthmother is free to explore the possibilities that may present themselves, being less tied down than a new mother could ever be. All this freedom comes packaged without one minute of suffering from the guilt that results when you know you have made the wrong choice. It doesn’t often matter what the reasons are for rationalizing a decision like abortion, because the result is always the same, and always will be.