Whether or not you are pro choice or pro life, adoption always comes into the issue. Adoption is not a means of birth control and for those who say adoption is better should be aware that it causes negative effects to the child and the birth mother. Abortion also causes grief for the mother and death for the fetus in a beginning stage of life. Birth control and sex education in young people is the only tool in stopping unwanted pregnancy. Obviously teaching your children to wait until marriage is a great idea, but in today's society it is not effective.
Adoption is a lose-lose situation except for the hopeful adoptive parents. Infertility is one of the main reason for adopting and adoptive parents aren't always told adopting a child is not the same as having your own. Adoption removes a child from one family and places him in another and this can have lasting emotional effects. Adopted children have needs above and beyond biological children. It can be profoundly painful to the adoptee and to their descendants.
These effects include :
1. The trauma of being separated from at birth will be present throughout every aspect of child's life. The child will experience the mother's loss as the psychological death of his mother. This is a life long trauma. The brain reacts to stress in the womb and after birth and wires itself differently as the baby grows. This knowledge is recent as only now are we starting to study the effects of stress during infancy.
2. The child will think about his birth parents everyday. This is true with knowing the parents and without in open and closed adoptions. When the child is asked who she looks like, what time she was born or who was there at the delivery room...all these questions cause the child to realize that she is different. There is a shame and stigma from past adoption practices in history that all members of the adoption " triad" must deal with.
3. As the child becomes an adolescent he will have great difficulty establishing a sense of self because he will have no sense of his true history or heritage. He will not know who is supposed to be because he will not know his true origins if the adoption is closed or semi open. Not knowing another biological relative makes one feel like a misfit. The first relative most adoptees meet is their own child. The birth of a child in an adoptees life always brings the question..."how could I give this baby away"?
4. As current laws stand, the child may not have access to his medical history or birth records. This is being fought by adoptee rights groups and laws are slowly changing. Adoptees even well into adulthood are denied the basic human right of knowing who put them here and why.
Women who have given away children usually have great difficulties in getting on with their lives and endure psychological problems stemming from the separation including: grief, relationship difficulties, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and secondary infertility.Contrary to popular belief these women don't go on with their lives like nothing ever happened. The same thing can be said for women who have abortions.
So you see it is not an easy decision. Being poor, unwed, young or not having adequate resources to raise a child should not be a reason to abort or surrender. There is help out there for women to keep their babies and keep families intact. Guardianship, kinship placement or third party help should be explored with infant adoption as a last resort. If adoption is the choice, the adoption should be open which research finds is in the best interest of the mother and child.