Adoption has traditionally been the closed adoption, where the adoptive parents are told nothing about the birthparents and vice versa. The adoptive parents would not be able to tell their child anything about his origin, his family medical history, or anything else about his past. The birthparents would not know anything about what happened to their child. The classical story about the birthmother who is haunted for the rest of her life by the worries about what happened to her child, stems from this practise.
A friend of mine was adopted in a different manner. The mother had arranged with some friendly neighbours that they would take care of the baby. This was in a small town, and in those days there was less bureaucracy involved. The birth took place, and a rather worried midwife turned up at the prospective parents' house: "She had twins ...." The parents made a quick decision: "Give us both of them, then."
This way of adoption has become more common over the last years. It is an open adoption, because the birthparents are involved in choosing the adoptive parents, and no information is kept secret. Usually it is not arranged between friendly neighbours or family members any more. Nowadays - at least in America - there are agencies to arrange it, to help birthparents and prospective adoptive parents get together, and to help with the bureaucracy involved.
In many cases just the birthmother is actively involved. She usually stays in touch with her child and the new family, and continues to be part of her child's life, even though she does not have the ultimate responsibility for her son or daughter. Perhaps was that the very reason why she chose adoption - she felt too young to be able to handle such a responsibility.
To me this seems like a good alternative to abortion. The child doesn't need to die - the birthmother doesn't need to leave her child to an unknown fate with complete strangers. Responsible agencies are of course important, but the birthmother has the possibility to see for herself the new family, if she so chooses. This could be the solution for many who feel that aborting their child is better than "giving it away to strangers". Perhaps they would let their baby be born if they knew that they would be relieved of the responsibility, while at the same time they could be part of his future and see what became of the child. This could reduce the abortion rate considerably.
And if thus more children became available for adoption, this would also be the solution for many who struggle with infertility and long for a child. There aren't many children available for closed adoption, and the queues are enormous.
On alternatives to abortion: My Pro-life page
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