Tag Archives: abortion

Father Larry Richards – Confession

This past week, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, hosted a four-day parish mission led by  Father Larry Richards.  I was unable to attend the event on Monday and Tuesday due to prior obligations, but I made it to Wednesday and Thursday.  Wednesday focused on confession and Thursday focused on adoration and healing.

Wednesday, May 12 – Confession:

This is one of Father Larry’s most famous topics of discussion, so if you were unable to attend the event, you can see him speaking about confession at one of his other parish missions with a quick YouTube search. (Here is Part One on  YouTube.  It has four total parts). [see also: Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four]

Father Larry’s confession talk is extremely powerful in that he is able to make his audience examine their consciences in a way that probably goes deeper than ever before, but he is also able to cause them to feel absolute awe and wonder at God’s mercy.

At different times during the talk, I felt a combination of guilt, shame, gratitude, and overwhelming love.

He explained that mercy is when someone gives something good to someone who doesn’t deserve it.  That’s exactly what Jesus did for each of us in dying on the cross.  Jesus never sinned, yet He experienced excruciating pain in order to enable us to be forgiven for our sins and to one day reach the kingdom of Heaven.  As Catholics, we know this to be true, but often we take it for granted.

Father Larry holds many conferences for men, so he initially spoke to the men and husbands in the audience.  All of us, both men and women, should be praying daily, but it is the husband who is responsible for protecting and praying for his family.  If that is not the case, he is not doing his manly duty and it is problems like this, sins of omission, that are often the most grave sins.

He spoke about the many scrupulous Catholics who are constantly going to confession over every little mistake, but they fail to realize that venial sins are forgiven during Mass.  He says that Catholics should go to confession once a month, unless they have a mortal sin, in which case they must confess that as soon as possible.

He has a very blunt attitude about him, which is refreshing because he speaks the truth, not sugarcoating anything or trying to be politically correct.  There are probably a lot of people who were offended by his words not because they were wrong, but because they were challenging.  Any lukewarm Catholic was probably a bit frightened to understand that simply attending Mass on Sundays is not enough to inherit the kingdom of God.  Even those of us who consider ourselves to be passionately Catholic were pushed in our faith, feeling humbled at the inadequacies he exposed in each of us.  Priests were not exempt either, as he was very clear about the responsibility of priests to pray for their parishes.

He gave us a really good analogy of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  He once was working on a farm and had to carry a cow to a different area.  While he was walking with the calf on his shoulders, it started to urinate, getting all over him and even into his mouth.  This is the way that we treat Jesus.  All He wants to do is bring us home to Heaven, yet we urinate all over Him through our sins while he is simply carrying us on His shoulders.

I have heard priests discuss the Passion and I watch the film, The Passion of the Christ, every year during Lent to remember Jesus’ suffering, but never have I heard it described the way it was on Wednesday night.

People sometimes wonder whether Jesus can understand their pain when dealing with the loss of loved ones, heartbreak, or even physical pain.  Asking that sort of question is the equivalent of slapping Jesus Christ in the face.  Of course He can understand our pain.  The question is, can we understand His pain?

While Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was sweating blood.  Father Larry told us how our capillaries can burst when we are enduring significant stress and fear.  This is what was happening to Jesus because although He accepted His death for us, that did not mean that he was immune to fear.  He was terrified about the pain that he would soon experience.  

Then, Judas betrayed Him with a kiss on the cheek.  When we are experiencing heartbreak, we sometimes wonder if he can understand.  Jesus didn’t date or marry, so how could He understand the pain of a breakup or divorce?  But those questions show our lack of full understanding.

Jesus IS love.  He loves everyone with a deeper love than we can ever imagine.  He loved Judas, the man who betrayed Him with a kiss.  Did He experience heartbreak in that moment?  Absolutely.  We cannot fully grasp the extent of God’s love while we live in these earthly bodies, so it is we who cannot understand this heartbreak, not Jesus.

Father Larry continued to describe the pain of His Passion in a more detailed way than I have ever heard before.  He described the way Jesus was scourged and how the pieces of metal and sheep bone that were attached to the leather straps on the rod would not just slap Jesus’ skin, but tear it away.  This reminds me of the scourging scene in The Passion of the Christ when the metal on the strap gets stuck in Jesus’ side and is then ripped away with an extra tug.  I am unable to watch that moment in the film, yet this was the way the entire scourging process unfolded.

Father Larry described the crown of thorns as more of a cap of thorns.  The thorns were not like those on your average rose bush; they were one to three inches long and he said that they would have pierced his eyebrows, ears, and even his skull.  

All of this pain, and yet the actual crucifixion had not even begun.  It was then that Jesus had to carry the wooden crossbeam.  It was tied to his arms, but he was so exhausted from the scourging that Jesus could barely walk.  If I was to fall down, I would catch myself with my hands, but every time Jesus fell, He landed flat on his face, with the wood of the cross smashing into the back of His head.  

On most crucifixes, Jesus looks to be in pretty good shape.  We don’t want to terrify the people who enter our churches by portraying Him in a more realistic way, with chunks of flesh removed from his body and other strips of flesh torn and hanging, but that was the reality of the crucifixion.

I have heard so many people who refuse to watch movies about the Passion because it’s too much for them to handle.  I, too, prefer movies that lack that type of gore, but it is necessary to understand.  Father Larry did not mince his words in talking about the crucifixion.  It was absolutely gruesome, but we must realize that in order to be truly aware of the awesome gift Jesus gave to us in His death.

Once He was nailed to the cross, His body would sag down and forward.  He would be gasping for breath, only able to breathe once he pulled himself up by the nails in his wrists.  He only spoke seven times while on the cross, probably because every word was a struggle.

He was hanging there, experiencing more pain than we can ever imagine, yet He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  He was forgiving the people who were killing Him at the very moment of His crucifixion.  Yet we sometimes find ourselves unable to forgive those who hurt us years ago.
During the crucifixion, Jesus also established His mother, Mary, as our mother, when he said to John, “Behold your mother.”  He gave us the gift of Mary, yet some Catholics refuse to honor her as they should because they want to focus on Jesus.  We take Jesus’ gift of Mary and say, “No thanks, I’m good.”  She is a gift from God and we must give her the love and gratitude that she deserves as mother of our Savior.  Father Larry told us how he completed St. Louis de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Mary and now wears a chain on his wrist to represent how he is a slave to Jesus through Mary.

Because God cannot be near sin, Father Larry explained that Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” when He had accepted all of our sins.  God could not be with Jesus in that moment because Jesus was sin, which could only be overcome through His death.

With that, many of us were already feeling quite guilty, knowing that we had a hand in Jesus’ death.  I’ve met people who don’t like to say “crucify him” aloud when we read the Passion during Lent.  But although we didn’t say that word for word, we say it every time we sin.  We are the ones hammering those nails into Jesus’ hands and shoving the crown of thorns into His head with every sin we commit.


At that point, Father Larry started to review the examination of conscience with us.  

When people hear the term mortal sin, they often think about murder, adultery, and devil worship.  But mortal sin has three facets:

-full knowledge

-full consent

-serious matter

As a practicing Catholic who understands the Church’s teachings, that means that any time I commit a serious sin, it is probably a mortal sin since I know the teachings and I have chosen to commit that sin.  That is absolutely terrifying since it only takes one mortal sin to end up in hell.

Missing Sunday Mass or a holy day of obligation is a mortal sin unless we were really sick or otherwise unable to attend, yet there are tons of Catholics all over the world who are not at Mass each week.  Sure, some of them fail to realize that is sinful, but many of them do and are therefore culpable.  

When Father Larry spoke about the first commandment about not having false gods, he explained that most people never confess that sin, but all of us are guilty of it.  Unless God is always first in our lives, then we are culpable of that sin.  We often value money, success, and relationships more than God, which is shown in our priorities.  If we don’t pray daily, we definitely are guilty of this sin.

Father Larry did not shy away from sins of a sexual nature.  This can be an awkward subject for many, so some Catholics shy away from this topic, but it is a sin that so many people struggle with.  He admitted to dealing with his own lustful temptations on a daily basis.  I think it’s extremely honorable for a priest to stand up in front of over a thousand people and admit to that.  It also helps us to realize that we are not alone, that we all face temptation, but that we also all have the strength to avoid that temptation.

He also said how too many people focus too much on feeling bad about their sins of lust while forgetting about the sins of omission, arguably the worst sins.

He said how he often asks people in confession what they have done to help the poor and whether or not they pray every day.  Failing to do either of those things is much worse than many of the sexual sins that we focus on.  We should all be helping those in need as much as we can, giving 10% of our income away.

We must confess the sin if we ever had an abortion or helped anyone to get an abortion.  He suggests making a good confession and then asking God to reveal the child’s gender.  Then they would name the child, pray to him or her in Heaven, and ask that child for forgiveness.  They will then be united one day in Heaven.

It’s also a sin if we use artificial contraception.  This is a topic that many priests avoid.  Many people don’t want to make too many waves, but we must not forget about pivotal Catholic teachings as a result.  They want to pick and choose which teachings they believe in, but that is not how it works.  When we think back to Jesus’ suffering and death, we know that it was a result of each of our sins.  It is not up to us to decide.

Many frequently people say “oh my God!”  That is a sin that used to be punishable by death.  Just because we hear other Catholics and sometimes even priests or nuns say it does not mean that it is not a sin.  We have no right to take the Lord’s name in vain.

People often think they’re safe in terms of the fifth commandment since they haven’t killed, but we commit that sin every time we feel anger.  Anger is not of God.  Father Larry admitted to struggling with this on a daily basis.  Again, it was refreshing to understand that we are not alone in our struggles.  Priests aren’t immune from temptation and sin either.

After he reviewed the examination of conscience, we said the Act of Contrition aloud.  There were eleven priests who would be hearing confessions and he told us to be quick, not using it as a time for counseling since there were so many people there.  He also said that if we were one of those scrupulous people who had just been to confession three days ago, we needed to go to the back of the line to allow other people to confess their sins.  

The next night, he said how he ended up hearing confessions until 12:10 am and how there were some people there who had not been to confession in over fifty years.  He wanted to make sure that people in situations like that would not have to stand in the back of a line, possibly changing their mind and leaving with all of that sin hanging onto them.

Although I go to confession regularly, I felt even more renewed after confession on Wednesday.  I had never delved that deeply into an examination of conscience.   I had never felt so guilty about the sins that I have committed but simultaneously, I had never felt so loved and grateful for God’s mercy.

When my CCD students went to confession this year, I explained how fortunate they would be if they ever died on a day they went to confession.  They were obviously taken aback, but Father Larry explained the same thing, how if we died following a good confession, we would go straight to Heaven.  He even mentioned his movie idea of a priest who performs confessions and then slits the throats of the person who just confessed his or her sins since that would get them straight into Heaven.

Father Larry promised that during this mission, nobody would ever be bored and that their lives would be changed forever.  Through his animated, enthusiastic speech, jokes, and storytelling, we were definitely never bored.  And our lives were definitely changed forever.  I will never consider my examination of conscience the same way I had before hearing this talk.
I am so grateful that I was able to attend Wednesday night’s talk and I hope to be able to share Father Larry’s messages with the people who were not able to attend the mission.

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Confession lines on Wednesday night

Abortion Funding Changes

Donald Trump is not my favorite person in the world.  Let’s just get that straight.  I was not thrilled for his election or inauguration. (Though I wouldn’t have been thrilled about Hillary’s either, for that matter.)

But I have to admit that I am very happy about one of the first things I’ve heard him doing now that he is president.

Today, he signed an executive action to reinstate the Mexico City Policy.  This basically takes away funding from NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that perform abortions overseas.

According to CNN, this policy was first implemented during the Reagan administration and then rescinded during Obama’s presidency.

Of course, there are many people who are up in arms today, many of whom argue that this is the first step in restricting women’s rights:

“Donald Trump has turned his anti-women rhetoric into policy, and made it more difficult for women and families all over the world to access vital reproductive care. He really is living up to the lowest of expectations,” NARAL’s president, Ilyse Hogue, wrote.

Abortions being legal is not pro-women, despite what pro-choice people would like to have you believe.  And abortion being illegal is absolutely not anti-women.

To abort a baby is to take a human life that was created by a man and a woman.  The baby is just as much the man’s child as it is the woman’s.  The only difference is that the woman must carry this baby within her body.  I am not trying to make light of that situation.  I know that being pregnant is no easy task.  But to call abortion a woman’s issue ignores that fact that the man is 50% responsible for that pregnancy and that he has rights to that child.

If a woman has a baby, the father has legal rights to that child.  If the couple separates, that father must pay child support.  That is because we know that the child is not the woman’s property alone.  The father had an equal part in the pregnancy as the woman.

Why is the same not true of abortion?  Why must it be viewed solely as a woman’s issue?

If you think about the babies being murdered by abortion, it is clearly more than a woman’s issue.  It’s an issue of life and death, regardless of gender.

I’m not going to get into all of my reasons why I believe that abortion should be illegal right now, because I could go on all night.  But I absolutely applaud Trump for this bold move.

People like to argue that abortion does not affect those who do not support it; they simply choose not to have an abortion.  Depending on our laws, though, they are wrong.

Until the signing of this law, my taxpayer dollars were going toward abortion funding, not only within my own country, but overseas as well.  It is bad enough that I am, in a way, helping to kill innocent babies here in the US, but in foreign countries as well?  Don’t I have the right to choose not to fund what I believe to be murder?

Murder, after all, is the premeditated killing of another human being.  A baby is a human being.  It breathes, feels, grows.

If a pregnant woman is murdered, the killer receives two murder charges: one for the woman and one for the unborn baby.  Our laws, therefore, are contradictory.  In one situation, a fetus is viewed as human and its death is called murder.  In the other situation, the fetus is viewed as a bunch of cells and its death is called women’s rights.

A woman who I know from my old job recently had a son born prematurely.  He was born at 24 weeks this past fall.  He was just 1 lb, 9 oz.  Depending on the state in which this woman lived, she could have aborted that fetus at that same age.  Did he have some developmental issues?  Of course.  But today he is able to breathe on his own and he is still improving.

Abortion is not anti-woman or anti-man.  It is anti-life.

I heard about the women’s march that was going on this weekend.  I had no interest in attending because in many of the locations, the right to abortion was one of the issues that women were standing up for.

It saddens me to know that because I don’t condone murder, I will never stand up for so-called women’s rights or feminism.

Yes, I believe that women deserve equal pay for equal professions as men.  Yes, I believe that women are intelligent, capable human beings.  But does that give them the right to kill with the argument that it’s “their body”?  Absolutely not.

To be pro-life is more pro-women anyway.  Many women face terrible side effects from going through with abortion.  There are physical side effects like fever, nausea, infection, and death.  Then there are many emotional side effects, ranging from depression and guilt, to suicide.

The woman behind Roe v. Wade, whose name is Norma McCorvey, says that her part in legalizing abortion in 1973 was the biggest mistake of her life.  She started her own pro-life outreach in 1997 after realizing the flaws in her previous pro-choice attitude.

The annual March for Life is coming up this Friday.  When in college, I traveled to DC for the March for Life, which fights to protect life at all stages.  That is the march that I support much more than the women’s march.

So kudos to you, Donald Trump.  I may not see eye to eye with you, or feel warm fuzzies when I hear your name, but I am thankful for this small step that you have just taken in terms of fighting back against abortion.

The End of AP U.S. History in Oklahoma?

Sorry, AP U.S. History teachers, but you aren’t doing a nice enough job sugarcoating American history. You’re actually approaching the course in a realistic manner, but it’s really starting to make us look bad. Something needs to change ASAP.

This is basically what some Oklahoma lawmakers believe, according to recent news articles such as this one from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/18/us/oklahoma-ap-history/.

First off, I am not affiliated with any political party. I am registered as Independent since I really despise the way the party system is causing problems in our country. There are many Republican views that I support, but there are just as many that I oppose, and the same goes for the Democratic ideals. Part of the problems surrounding this AP course are the Democratic/Republican disagreements, and I really don’t care to focus on that aspect of the situation.

According to the article on CNN, some lawmakers believe that the course isn’t “pro-America enough.” One of the people supporting the fight to drop the course says that it has a “new emphasis on what is bad about America.” Ummmm. Really? Maybe that’s because there’s lots of problems with America that should be shown to the students who will be our future so that they can avoid repeating history. After all, it’s a well-known saying that history repeats itself.

Let’s look at some of the significant events of our country’s history. Many of these event are negative, yet they are also imperative to remember if you want a true look into our background:

-1600s – after explorers arrive and they begin to establish settlements in America, there’s many instances of Native Americans being killed despite the fact that it was their home first

-1754-1763 – French and Indian War

-1770 – Boston Massacre

-1775-1783 – American Revolution

-1776 – Declaration of Independence

-1787 – Constitution drafted

-1791 – Bill of Rights ratified

-1812-1814 – War of 1812

-1820 – Missouri Compromise (slavery is still legal in many states)

-1830 – Indian Removal Act signed, forcing the Native Americans who lived in the eastern US to move west of the Mississippi River

-1831 – Nat Turner leads major slave uprising; Turner is hanged; Virginia makes its slave laws even tougher

-1838 – Over 15,000 Cherokee Indians must march from Georgia to Oklahoma (the “Trail of Tears”) and over 4,000 of them die

-1846-1848 – Mexican War

-1861-1865 – Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy over slavery expansion

-1863 – Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in the Confederate states

-1865 – Abraham Lincoln is assassinated

-1870 – Fifteenth Amendment ratified – blacks now have the right to vote

-1890 – National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) is founded

-1896 -Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson determines racial segregation to be Constitutional, which leads to the Jim Crow laws

-1898 – Spanish-American War

-1908 – FBI established

-1914-1918 – World War I

-1919 – Nineteenth Amendment ratified – women now have the right to vote

-1919 – Treaty of Versailles

-1939-1945 – World War II

-1945 – U.S. drop atomic bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki

-1947 – CIA established

-1950-1953 – Korean War

-1950-1975 – Vietnam War

-1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis

-1963 – Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech; assassination of President John F. Kennedy

-1964 – Civil Rights Act signed

-1968 – Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated

-1973 – Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalizes abortion within the first trimester; Watergate hearings

-1991 – Persian Gulf War

-1995 – Oklahoma City bombing

-1999 – Columbine school shooting

-2001 – 9/11 terrorist attacks; Global War on Terrorism

-2007 – Virginia Tech shooting

-2012 – Sandy Hook, CT school shooting

-2013 – Boston Marathon bombing

Now I know there were many other events occurring in addition to the ones I outlined above. But take a look at that list. Many of the events are quite tragic, resulting in the deaths of many people. Some of these were necessary to ensure our freedom, but they’re still not inherently “good” acts. There have been many instances of unjust laws, among many other problems in our country’s history. It took quite some time to gain more equality for women and African Americans. Notice that I used the word “more”, since we still have a long way to go to attain true equality.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought that history courses were supposed to be as unbiased as possible. Obviously, a complete lack of a bias is probably impossible since every country teaches its history from its own point of view. But America, just like many other countries, has quite a bit of violence in its history. That’s just the way that it is. No, we shouldn’t only focus on the negatives, but we must be aware of them. We must try to learn from them. Ignoring them will not do any good for anyone.

What would be more harmful is to focus more on the positive events in our history, giving ourselves pats on the back for a job well done. We cannot forget the mistakes and problems that we faced in order to hope for any improvement in the future.

According to the CNN article, rather than focusing on the Constitution, AP U.S. History now focuses on “analyses of gender and racial oppression and class ethnicity and the lives of marginalized people, where the emphasis on instruction is of America as a nation of oppressors and exploiters.” It’s funny how people are fighting to eliminate this course because, as a person who was never interested in my high school history courses, this is one that actually sounds quite intriguing. The way Native Americans and African Americans have been treated in our history is appalling. This type of information cannot be forgotten.

Let’s face the reality. America DOES have a history of oppression, exploitation, racism, and violence. Today we still have not truly attained equality for many groups of people. We cannot run away from this fact. Teaching U.S. history with a focus on the positive events is not going to help our nation to make any progress.

-“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana

-“We simply cannot hope to build a better world if we turn our backs on our past.” -Randi Weingarten

Adoption Myths

Today, I read a startling article that I saw on Yahoo. This article made me consider some of the problems surrounding adoption, including the myths that people believe about adoption. Here is the link to the original article: http://news.yahoo.com/giving-away–anatoly-a—200851799.html

Myth #1: Adoptions always last for the child’s entire childhood, at least up to age 18.

The author of the Yahoo article, Lisa Belkin, discusses the topic of “un-adoptions” – something that I have never heard of, or considered, before. In this article, she provides examples of families who have had to “un-adopt” their children for a variety of reasons. Some of the children were very violent, killing pets and attempting to kill siblings and/or parents. Others are dangerous sexually, abusing their siblings. Basically, these parents, most of whom have adopted children internationally (though some of the children have come from America as well), are struggling to make the right choice. In these serious circumstances, is their only option to release a child from their adoption? Or can they gut it out?

Belkin mentions how “un-adopting” comes with a very negative connotation. People look at these parents as if they’re just giving up. But in each of her examples, the parents tried for years to fix the problem through doctors, therapists, and changes within their own home (like locking up knives, installing alarms, etc). At some point, though, when a parent’s adopted child is threatening to kill them, and their lives become in danger, the answer is not so easy.

Some of these children grew up in such terrible situations in their native countries, that the psychological damage from rape, malnutrition, and fetal alcohol syndrome, among many other problems, were difficult to overcome.

A woman named Cindy Peck has created a place where adoptive parents can send these children. It’s a farm in Montana and it does charge the parents for the child’s board. But it has found success in second adoptions. Many times, behavior improves because of being around different siblings, different personalities, and different settings altogether. This is obviously a major problem that few people realize exists.

In learning more about this topic, I wanted to do some research about American adoptions. When I was younger, I always wanted to adopt an African baby. When some people hear this, they think it’s anti-American. Or they think that it’s because someone wants to act like the celebrities, choosing a child from various countries. These people believe that parents who take part in international adoptions are making a bad choice because they are not helping their own country since there are children up for adoption here. But is that really the case?

Haiti-adoption-program

I remember, when learning about abortion, hearing that there are more families seeking to adopt children in the United States than there are children who are available for adoption. I didn’t want to address such concerns without really knowing about the issue at hand, so I decided to do some research and I found some interesting answers.

Myth #2: There are thousands of American children who live in orphanages for the majority of their childhood.

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption cites that there are 397,122 children in the United States right now who are not living with permanent families, but these are children in foster families, some of which will decide to adopt them. 32% of these children will wait about 3 years to be adopted. 3 years is the average amount of time an American child will be in foster care before being adopted.

I know that 3 years is a long time, but relative to children living in orphanages for most of their childhood in other countries, that’s not so bad. These children are living with foster families, so they are at least living out of the institutionalized setting that is considered home for orphans in many other countries. Foster care is by no means ideal, but compare that to the thousands of Chinese orphans due to the one child policy, and I don’t think someone can really argue that a person adopting internationally is not doing something great.

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But is it true that there’s more prospective parents than available children in the US? If so, then why are there still so many children living in temporary foster care rather than being placed with adoptive families?

I found an article in the Washington Post about adoption myths: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/07/AR2008110702807.html

Myth #3: There are more children in need of adoptive parents than there are American parents seeking adoption.

In this article, the Washington Post found that there are 660,000 women in the United States seeking to adopt. That’s almost double the number of children in foster care. But many of these women only want to adopt an infant (which is not a bad thing, since it is only with infants when a family can really raise the child from a young age, hopefully preventing some of the psychological side effects that can occur when an older child is adopted, as seen with the initial part of the post about “un-adoptions”). However, because of contraception and abortions, there are very few babies in the United States that are available for adoption.

Myth #4: If a woman chooses adoption over abortion, her baby will live in an orphanage or with foster families before eventually finding a permanent home.

Most women who become pregnant unintentionally either have an abortion or decide to raise the child themselves or with the help of their family members. So many women in their argument for abortion rather than adoption say that they don’t want their child growing up in an orphanage or in foster care. What they don’t realize is that a newborn American infant has literally thousands of families who would line up to be selected for the adoption. The Washington Post article explained that “relinquishment of infants at birth is extremely rare” in this country.

Although I’m pro-life, I understand that women have many reasons for choosing abortion. But I wonder if they would reconsider if they were informed of how quickly their baby would be adopted if they chose to complete the pregnancy. Teen parents Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra from MTV’s Teen Mom became pregnant unintentionally and chose to give the baby up for adoption in 2009. Parents Brandon and Teresa Davis were thrilled when they found out that they were finally going to be able to adopt the newborn they had been waiting for. The adoption process was completed before the birth of the baby, so the adoptive parents were ready from the moment of birth to take over. There was no foster care involved. I am sure that we could decrease the number of abortions that take place in the United States if girls were aware of the number of families who are waiting for years for a baby to adopt.

adoption-agency

Myth #5: Adoptive parents are too picky and only want a newborn baby.

Some people believe that adoptive parents are too picky. However, the Washington Post article cited the following statistics (the article was published in 2008):

-521,400 survey respondents said they would adopt a black child. In fact, there were 41,591 black children in foster care waiting to be adopted — or, 12.5 prospective parents for each waiting child.

-351,600 respondents said they would adopt children ages 6 to 12. There were 46,136 children ages 6 to 12 in foster care — or, 7.6 prospective parents for each waiting child.

-185,400 said they would adopt a child age 13 or older. There were 30,654 children age 13 or older in foster care — or, six prospective parents for each waiting child.

-181,800 respondents said they would adopt children with severe disabilities, and 447,000 said they would adopt two or more siblings at once.

Myth #6: If you are a good person with a stable lifestyle, it is easy to adopt within the United States.

Why, if these are the numbers of people who are willing to adopt babies of various ages, disabilities, and races, do we have any children in foster homes? Shouldn’t they all be adopted by now? Unfortunately, agencies focus more on screening out bad parents than they do matching up families with children. This is obviously a necessary aspect of the adoption process since we don’t want children put into unsafe, abusive situations. I’m glad that there’s a rigorous screening process. But the facts don’t lie: there are currently more families seeking adoption in the United States than there are children who are up for adoption.

So it makes sense that many families are adopting out of the United States. However, that process is extremely expensive (more than adopting within the US), so it can only realistically be done by families who are quite wealthy. Just adopting within the States is a highly expensive process. The chart below shows the amount of money the adoptive parents who were surveyed spent on adoptions:

adoption-cost

So when it comes down to it, a person should not be condemned because he or she is opting to adopt a baby internationally. I think it’s great when celebrities take part in this since they can easily pay the required fees. Most middle-class Americans would have a hard time spending the amount of money that is required to adopt a baby from another country.

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Hopefully I succeeded in my attempt to dispel some of the myths surrounding adoption both nationally and internationally. People need to be less quick to make judgments about topics they know little about. When it comes down to it, I also hope that some teens who become pregnant can realize these statistics so that they are aware that, if they choose to put their child up for adoption, there will be families ready with open arms to adopt their newborns.