Birth moms who choose adoption deserve support for their decision
By Gloria Whitcraft
For The News-Sentinel
During November, National Adoption Month, I'd like to call attention to some of the greatest unsung heroes I know: birth moms who choose adoption.
Did you know that in our country today, many people feel it's morally wrong to place a baby for adoption? It's true. The birth moms we see at Shepherd's Gate often experience a lack of support from family, friends and society for their consideration of adoption as a viable option.
But in my opinion, what our birth parents are doing is one of the most loving and selfless things anyone could ever do. Many parents we work with are hurting and confused. Most are uninformed about the facts of adoption, their rights and who truly has their best interests at heart. What they need most is not our condemnation but our respect. Respect for looking at the pregnancy from their unborn child's perspective instead of thinking only of themselves.
That's why we at Shepherd's Gate place so much emphasis on birth mothers. In almost 100 years of placing children with adoptive families, we have found that the best adoptions occur when the birth parents have received education, counseling and support regarding their decision to place their baby with a loving family.
That's why we've seen so many successful outcomes, because we support birth moms whether they make the decision to parent or to place. We are here to work with women who are pregnant and don't know what to do, not to pressure them into a decision. Surprisingly, adoptive parents who are waiting anxiously for a child support this approach. They care very much about how the birth parents are treated, because they too want what is best for the child.
So during this month as we focus national attention on adoption, let's honor birth parents who either place their babies for adoption or parent the child themselves. Because ultimately, we want them to make a decision they — and the baby — can live with. And that's worth celebrating.
Gloria Whitcraft is director of Shepherd's Gate, a division of Lutheran Social Services of Indiana that provides quality services to birth parents and adoptive families. To learn more, go to Shepherdsgateadoption.org or call their 24/7 hotline at 1-260-494-8687.