The American Adoption Industry once more comes begging: Give me your child, lest I die.”

The latest panhandler is snake oil preacher, psychologist, adopter, and dog beater Dr. James Dobson. A couple days ago Dobson’s Focus on the Family daily email newsletter Citizen Link posted the scary (to some) headline: Legalized Abortion Drives Down Adoption Rates.”

Dr. Dobson, or rather his ghostwriter, complains:

Adoption rates in the U.S. have plummeted since abortion became legal in 1973, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Get out your hankies, folks. It gets worse

According to the CDCP before 1973 nearly 9% of babies born to never-married women were “placed” for adoption. By 2002 the number dropped to about 1%.

Then (surprise!) NCFA weighs in:

Chuck Johnson, vice president of the National Council for Adoption, said that creates a sad situation for the thousands of families waiting to adopt.

“Americans’ attitudes about adoption have remained positive,” he told Family News in Focus. “(Unfortunately) with that has come a decrease in the number of women considering adoption.”

For what it’s worth, Mr. Johnson isn’t quoted as saying that this lack of newborn adoptables for the desperate and childless is a “sad situation,” Dobson’s mouthpiece says Johnson says it is. (Say it isn’t so, Chuck!)

Weirdly, this “sad situation” is then directly tied to Focus on the Family’s adoptee conversion-o-matic Orphan Care Initiative which we are urged to click on. Here we find happy-faced minority boys blowing bubble gum and a cute little white girl in slightly pagan face paint waiting patiently for their Forever Families to arrive. According to the page, 127,000 of these happy older urchins can be yours (if you’re the right kind) for the asking.

So why isn’t Dobson yelling, “Demand for Newborns Drives Down Foster Care Adoption Rates”? Why does he want to create more “legal orphans, out of newborns (and fetuses) who have perfectly fine parents ready and willing to rear them, when there are already boxcars of kids who might actually need to be adopted and are so desperate for a home that they’ve turned to Focus on the Family for assistance?

Cynically, we know that HWIs (or even HBIs and HHIs, HAIs and HHAIs) are the desired and most profit- generated product. We can’t get away from that. But at the end of the day, it’s not about adoption, and it’s not really about abortion (even when it is). It’s about the patriarchial impotence of female autonomy, bodily ownership, and who controls fertility and the baybee market.

These guys can’t stand the thought that women execute reproductive parenting, and moral agency over their bodies, themselves, and their children, and dare to just say no to the “adoption option.”

After an initial drop in adoption post Roe, adoption rates readjusted. Since then abortion has had barely a blip on adoption rates. In fact, abortion rates are the lowest they have been in 30 years, and domestic adoption rates, though they fluctuate from year to year, remain pretty steady. (Go here for an explanation on the difficulty of gathering adoption stats and here for older stats.) Contraception, acceptance and de-stigmatization of non-maritial sex and single motherhood/fatherhood, state aid (though ever-shrinking), informal “adoption” amongst kin or friends, paternal custody, and the growing unpopularity of state marriage amongst straight couples are the main reasons most unmarried parents reject surrender of their newborns. Married couples, of course, are a generally untapped product source, but are even less likely to surrender than their fornicating brethern and sistern. Anyway, who gives away their own flesh and blood? Though USians are adoption friendly to the nth degree, the concept of turning your OWN kid over to the adoption mill is as foreign an idea as haggis for breakfast.

The conflation of foster care and newborn relinquishment is necessary, however, to pull off the child distribution social engineering for-their-own-good scam so beloved by the christo-socialist adoption industry, cultural go-gooders, and woman haters. But, Dobson is chump change next to the National Council for Adoption’s grand scheme which hauls original birth certificate access into foster-newborn discourse. According to NCFA president and conspiracy theorist Tom Atwood’s “How Mandatory Openess Harms Adoption” published in NCFA’s Adoption Fact Book IV [pdf] (p 461-468):

Fifth: Mandatory openness reduces the number of adoptions and increases the number of children in foster care. Eliminating privacy in adoption would mean that women with unplanned, out-of-wedlock births, who would only choose adoption if it were confidential, would have no choice but to single-parent. Social science data clearly reveals that the more single parents there are the more children languish in foster care with greatly increased cost to the child, family, and tax payer as a result. Forcing women to parent when when they are not ready to do so leads to more children in foster care as evidenced by the large increases in the foster care rolls, that have occurred, as the number of infant adoptions dramatically declined over the last 30 years. (p 465)

Let’s get this straight.

Newborn adoption surrenders have plummeted since Roe v Wade, but foster care rates have skyrocketed.

Shamed and fearful women who earlier would have surrendered their newborns with “guaranteed” anonymity (sealed obcs) now haven o other “choice” than to keep and raise their dirty secrets in plain sight and will abuse them as a result.

Unsurrendered newborns are likely to end up in foster care

Women who refuse to incubate for the desperate and childless are selfish.

Ungrateful bastards (and their fellow-traveller first parents and aparents) cause child abuse and high taxes.

Does your head hurt yet?

Even Dr Pierce couldn’t come up with something this deranged!


  1. “Eliminating privacy in adoption would mean that women with unplanned, out-of-wedlock births, who would only choose adoption if it were confidential, would have no choice but to single-parent.”

    Or abort.

    “Social science data clearly reveals that the more single parents there are the more children languish in foster care[.]”

    Which data is that, I wonder?

    “Forcing women to parent when they are not ready to do so leads to more children in foster care as evidenced by the large increases in the foster care rolls, that have occurred, as the number of infant adoptions dramatically declined over the last 30 years.”

    With logic like this, who needs critics?


  2. According to the CDCP before 1973 nearly 9% of babies born to never-married women were “placed” for adoption.

    YES, thats because they confiscated the baby as soon as it was born. Moms in those days HAD no choice, most people that adopted in those days claim they know nothing about how they got “the” baby.

    Anybody, ever heard of forced and coerced surrenders they go together along with maternity homes (prisons)

    Everyone knew in those days what happened to young fertile women they were used for those who couldn’t bear a baby. Supply and demand at its finest.

  3. This is a wonderful post and I could go on about the ways I agree but I just have to chime in on the asinine “openess ruins adoptions” quote (yes my head hurts!!). It is of course rarely the firstmothers who demand anonymity – most american adopter-wannabes require absolutely no contact or messy acknowledgement of the baby’s mother. That is what is bothering them, clients turning to overseas anonymous “you grew in my heart!” babies.`

  4. Very very few women see abortion as an okay experience, and disliking it will only put us in the hands of the back-street abortionists with their knitting needle (yes really) home-performed abortions, so I think that the moring after pill should be available over the counter in pharmacies and discreetly sold. All this fuss by some man telling us women what to do with our bodies!? Who does he think he is to think he can claim control over us? Well maybe he’ll get on with something he knows more about. Anyway, the morning after pill is easy to handle, or is he just using the topic of abortion to feel that he may control our chioces? A woman’s body is her business.

  5. These holier-than-thous not only want to take away a woman’s right to choose, they also are making nasty noises about restricting access to birth control for teens and unmarried women…the exact same way things were, back in my day. A giant step backwards if we don’t fight these pious eugenicists.

    I guess it will always be difficult for me to understand why, when young women have access to both these options,now, legally, there are still some who surrender their babies in the US. Hey, you don’t have to get pregnant because you can use the pill, the ring, etc. or choose to terminate if those methods fail. Some doctors will prescribe the “morning after” pill. Single motherhood no longer carries such a stigma. There should be no children of any decent, caring women wondering why their mommy didn’t want them.

    And I agree…foreign adoption = no pesky natural mom around. Adopters can play “as if born to” up a storm.

    This “man of God’s” rhetoric is so full of holes you could cut it in strips and use it for lace.

  6. Some women give their babies up for adoption because they want to make sure the child has a good home and good growing years..
    No shame involved just solid thinking.. The shame factor is gone.. Secrecy is not needed or wanted..


  7. There are so many out-right lies in what the NCFA claims that it is nauseating.

    Foster care rates have risen NOT because of mothers keeping their children but because of THREE reasons:

    1) Parenting practices of our own parents are now considered “child abuse.” How many of you were yelled at by mom for not cleaning up your room? That is now “emotional abuse.” How many were spanked? Well, that is now “physical abuse.” Literally. As well, have a messy house — sorry but that is reason for your child to be apprehended as well.

    2) Foster care rates steeply rose after welfare reform. Mothers whose welfare was cut, ASDF replaced with TANF, WIC being a ‘block grant’ with no guaranteed elegebility — many many moms now lose children to foster care due to POVERTY. And yes, poverty is called “neglect” in the social worker manuals. Can’t afford to feed your kid? Just as bad as intentionally starving them — no distinction is made.
    3) The Adoption and Safe Families Act with “Adoption Incentive Bonuses” have created a system where states are rewarded for removing children and adopting them out. They get grants if they increase the numbers over the previous year.

    In some areas of the states, you have more chance in a year of losing your child to CPS/DFS than getting a flat tire.

    But the NCFA gets federal grant money and payments from brokering agencies to publish these lies.

    PLEASE – we NEED to get the truth out there!!!

  8. Jackie, you didn’t have to get pregnant, carry to term and what makes you think that you would be such a bad mom? “A better life” doesn’t necessarily mean material advantages or a man around the house. Mom, if she is down and out, can clean up her act and give her child a good life. It’s up to her. Not like it was in my day when you were given NO choices. You gave your child no choice. JMO

  9. I think every person in USA that can have their own babies should give one
    up for adoption.

    That way they can understand exactly what in the hell it feels like and
    have compassion for women who have lost a child.

    can’t expect those who never had kids to do this, but if a relative of theirs or even there mom gave them up they would have an idea.

    Maybe that would END adoption, I doubt it especially if it isn’t your child be lost!

  10. If a pregnant woman does not want to abort and does not want to parent (and does not want to be controlled by others who are very willing to tell her what to do) she can relinquish and stay in contact with the child..

    She has a choice..

    Secrets keeping must be stopped..

    Robin wrote..
    “Mom, if she is down and out, can clean up her act and give her child a good life. It’s up to her. ..

    Is this a judgment?

    I gave my son up in 1965 and in some ways I was forced..
    I worry that with all this action and reaction and judgments similar is happening today.. Only in reverse..

    Robin wrote..
    “You gave your child no choice.”

    A parent decides what is best for their child.. If the woman stays in contact with the relinquished child.. the child has all the information he or she needs..

    People controlling people is what Marley’s blog post is all about.. IMO


  11. Jackie,

    What about b control if a woman does not want to abort does not want to parent.

    Nowadays, women who get pregnant have so many options that women in the 60’s didn’t. Of course, the birth control needs to be used beforehand,not after the fact.

    What bothers me is that you say you were FORCED to give your son up. I know what it was like in the sixties, I lived it. If you a mother who say she was forced, and then go on to say that adoption is the best thing or whatever you say as it seems you defend adoption like it was your choice whats going on? I am confused, and baffled about you post.

    But you do not even consider that we other mothers were FORCED and COERCED out of our babies and HAVE a big problem with how adoptions have come down over the years, and even now.

    WE were used by the industry with or without the knowledge of those who adopted. Those who got our babies. MOST people who adopted know the babies didn’t fall from heaven. BUT all those girls just wanted to be free of their babies, come on that’s absurd.

    Going over what you said that you were forced, and can still say it was your choice. Those two things don’t even belong in the same category or sentence.

    Lets consider a young woman and her baby first, not the Dobson types, or the all the other slime buckets that are out there procuring a baby for a home. Lets give the mother just an inkling of a chance that those who want to adopt get. After all if it weren’t for the mother the child wouldn’t even be here.

    Controlling in the adoption industry is what it is all about and has been for years. The propaganda is supported by our government and billions of tax payer’s money. Those who clamor for a baby any baby don’t care who’s they hurt its all about getting a baby.

    Control the key factor and I would rather see a mother control her life, her baby than see a vulture control it.

  12. No Jackie, it isn’t so much a judgement as pointing out to you that you got conned. That “best thing for the child” line that the industry uses still grabs a lot of moms. It’s subtle coercion and I think a lot of mothers would rather use that line that admit they got suckered in and lost their child. It’s like the way it took us older mothers a lot of years to admit that we were not in any kind of control of our own lives when we surrendered.

    Accepting that we were helpless, had no autonomy or that we were gullible and part of the national, pro-adoption brainwashed population is uncomfortable. But it’s the truth. I didn’t wake up to my truth until we reunited and the closet light went on and the reality was revealed.

  13. Why doesn’t anybody ever discuss the sacred cow in the room: parents. Before the adoption industry there were parents, preachers, schools, and bosses. Why won’t anyone admit the roll they played? The adoption industry is there to do their bidding. Without them it would never have existed as we know it today.

  14. Which parents are you refering to, Marley? The parents of the pregnant woman and the man who impregnated her? The pregnant woman and the sire? The PAPs waiting in the wings?

    For my money, it’s all of them/us, the society we perpetuate, and the real world in which we live.

    There will always be unexpected/unwanted pregnancies, though we can certainly do a better job of reducing those. There may or may not always be options available once a pregnancy occurs, with some working to eliminate abortion, others working to eliminate adoption, and orphanages long ago having been closed here in the U.S. (and rightfully so, IMO).

    I suspect that there will always be those who choose not to parent, for a variety of reasons. It’s not up to any one of us to decide which of those reasons are “good” and which are “bad”.

    Some option has to be available for those who don’t choose to parent, other than legalized anonymous abandonment or the nearest river. Be it adoption as presently constituted, permanent foster/guardianship, or some other arrangement, some option must exist.

    Yes, there are external forces that can override personal preferences. Financial constraints will always exist, at least in the U.S. economy. We can rail against the attitudes that drive parents to pressure their pregnant children to relinquish, but don’t bank on accomplishing anything. God, the Bible, fear of criticism, and a host of other factors will be with us throughout our lifetimes.

    If we lived in a rational universe, adoption would not be what it is today. But then, what would?


  15. Hey J. I agree with what you have to say! Amazing given the usual run of commentary on adoption blogs that sees all adoption as an evil on par with the Holocaust and “family preservation” at all cost the Holy Grail.

    There always was and will always be a need for some form of adoption, children raised by someone other than biological kin. Just as there will always be a need to terminate some pregnancies, end some marriages in divorce, remove some children from abusive homes. We have never lived in a perfect world and never will, human nature being what it is, and there are a lot of situations where there needs to be a lesser evil solution, rather than perfection that does not exist in the real world. Yes, there should be far fewer adoptions, and more ethical and open adoptions, but that is very different from abolishing adoption altogether.

    Adoption as it exists today, an industry that exploits and lies, is indeed rotten and in dire need of reform. But saying adoption should not exist is like saying divorce should not exist, or abortion should not exist. Nor is it helpful for one woman to judge another woman’s choice of abortion, surrender, or raising the child. I would never have an abortion, but that does not mean I feel I can make that choice for other women, and I sincerely wish I had been able to keep my child, but that does not mean I think every woman who gives birth wants to or can raise the child.

    The fact that I wish I had kept my child does not mean every mother in a crisis pregnancy should keep her child or be judged as bad. The fact that many women were coerced to surrender does not mean that every surrender was coerced, or that no surrendering mother every made a free choice. Yes, some women have more choices today, but not all. There are just too many variables for us old ladies who surrendered in the 70s to sit in judgment on what young mothers “should” be doing today.

    I am in favor of real choice for those with unplanned pregnancy, with the hope that for most the choice would be to bear and raise the child. But that will never be the best choice for every woman faced with a crisis pregnancy, and she should be able to decide without pressure or censure from ANY quarter what is right for her.

  16. Marley said, “Why doesn’t anybody ever discuss the sacred cow in the room: parents . . . Why won’t anyone admit the roll they played?”

    Could you be more specific, Marley? Like J, I’d like to know which parents you mean. Then perhaps I’d feel more able to respond.

  17. The parents of the bad girl who had the audacity to have sex without the permission of them, the church, the state. The parents who were embarassed and ashamed and told their daughters they couldn’t bring the little bastard home. People seldom discuss their own family’s role in relinquishment, at least publicly. It’s always about social workers and the adoption industry and never about the piggy parents. It seems that all is forgiven. The root of all oppression is the family, and the root of the family as we know it today is patriarchy ; yet few acknowledge this (in any sense, not just adoption.

  18. I thought you meant that, but just wanted to be certain. For sure you’re right. It’s like it’s taboo to even talk about it.

    I think it has a lot to do with hierarchies of power, as well as a shirking of responsibility by passing it on to those who claim broad expertise in matters that are not in fact broad but are really specific and personal.
    I remember reading an article some years ago (which unfortunately I can no longer find although I’ve searched and searched) that made a lot of sense to me. It depicted the usual pre-relinquishment scenario as the mother of the pregnant girl flipping out, then the family would take the matter to a priest or social worker who would then take charge and put the wheels in motion. That isn’t quite what happened in my case, as pretty much all the players necessary to get the ball rolling lived under one roof anyway.

    However, I’ve heard other women who’ve relinquished say that their parents were misled by clergy or social workers into going along with the adoption, and that they wouldn’t have done so if they hadn’t been so duped.

    Who knows? Maybe the truth is 1/2 way between. I don’t think they’d have allowed themselves to be ‘duped’ if at least part of them hadn’t wanted to be.

    I think there’s a natural desire to exonerate one’s parents, perhaps because of childish dependency at the time – the need to believe that one’s parents always acted in one’s best interests (if indeed they even knew what those ‘best interests’ were, which in the state of hysteria most conventional families are thrown into on discovering that their precious daughter is pregnant, is highly doubtful). Even with very imperfect parents, immature and dependent young people are afraid of losing them, especially if they’re in a state of crisis themselves. It’s like the ‘always keep a-hold of nurse for fear of finding something worse’ syndrome.

    The point is that parents are the first line of defense for young people, just as young mothers should be the first line of defense for their infants. But unfortunately too often the former sometimes seems to have cancelled out the latter. If that makes sense.

  19. Kippa, those are some wise comments about the role of parents in surrender. In most cases it is very complicated, neither JUST society or evil social workers nor JUST embarrassed grandparents, but an unfortunate combination of all that, plus a young mom still looking to her parents to protect her and her baby.

    All I saw when I surrendered my child is that I was scared shitless I would never be able to take care of him, and my parents had dropped the ball and were not rescuing me and insisting I bring him home. In retrospect, I realize that my parents were still both working, supporting my brother in college, and taking care of my senile and incapacitated grandmother. They were not young parents, and already had their hands full. And I was in a state of deep depression as much over losing my boyfriend who I thought would become my husband as losing my child. That was my reality, it is not everyone’s but we don’t really all have to have the same story to feel the same grief and loss.

    Yes, I did forgive my parents, but only because they were so sorry later, and supported all my efforts to find my child and my work in adoption reform. They were also very involved in helping raise my other children. Other mothers I know had parents who were never sorry and never cared about the surrendered grandchild; that is a very different scenario. Before my Dad died, I asked him if he thought I should try to find my son Mike again, as I had lost touch with him and did not then have a current address, and he said “Yes.”

    I do not blame anyone for my surrender any more than I blame myself, and Mike’s father who had better things to do with a new girlfriend, later his wife, later still his first ex-wife. What was the point of leaving me and our child?

    Every surrender is unique, everyone has to live with themselves and their families.

  20. One of the weirder things my amom ever did was mail me a copy of Dobson’s “Raising Boys” which I read, as I am a compulsive reader, then I called her up laughing and read sections aloud to her, until she asked me to “please stop” it included advice on how to prevent my son from masturbating.

    Being that she is not Christian, it is even stranger.

    These wolves-in-sheeps-clothing people that call themselves Christian as if calling themselves that excuses their harmful behavior, has got to be one of God’s great jokes, like communism, we are all going to share now, even if it means I have to shoot you in the back of the head.

    Another great in theory, awful in practice situation.

    I could laugh if they weren’t doing so much very real harm to so very many people.

  21. A beating heart that is stopped by any means is the death of a person. His mother nor his father have a right to terminate the child’s life. You want to argue “it is not a child” until birth to make yourselves feel better – you can – but you can’t ignore that given the right to continue it will live on to full maturity and its true potential as a human. You can’t say a soul is not lost. You want to claim it is your right as a woman to terminate the child -under US law it is – but that is a low standard considering we all know the truth; you are putting your own life ahead of your child’s. You want to argue the Children are better off not being born to poverty or hardship – if the majority of abortions were to impoverished or bad parents you would still have a hard time convincing the millions that have come from these places to enjoy their own lives that they should have been terminated. And you don’t have the right to make that decision. These are lives not statistics on your leger. Life past conception are simply born of facts of a biological process known to you all – everything else is self-entitlement and politics. Don’t distract with the personalities of the messengers from either side – stick to the fact. I know you wont approve this but I wanted you to read it.

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