Thea Ramirez believes that one statistic often gets overlooked in the fiery debate over abortion. She’s founder and president of Adoption-Share, a website that serves as a networking tool for birth mothers, adoptive parents and adoption agencies. Her profile is part of AC360's series "What Keeps You Up at Night," which focuses on election issues.
I will respect adoption as an institution when it adapts to the voices and experiences of adult adoptees and responds to the credible research about adoption we now have. Sealed records for life never serve the best interests of the child, as research and adoptee experience clearly shows. Unfortunately, adoption as it is now practiced is driven by market forces and considers the wants and needs of adoptive parents over the wants and needs of children. Adoption and abortion are not opposite sides of the same coin, and studies show that there is no relation between abortion rates and adult adoptee access to original birth certificates. Even some in the pro-life community recognize this fact. Referring to a then-recent study, President of LifeNet Services Paul Swope wrote in 1998: "A pressure to end a pregnancy with an adoption does not save a child from abortion, but may in fact, be a determining factor in a woman choosing to terminate the pregnancy. ...The media does such a poor job at investigating the history and complexities of adoption. When will it present a well-balanced story that considers the history of sealed records and investigates what is blocking sensible and reasonable reform?
The question we should be asking is WHO is left out of the conversation. The answer is ADOPTEES.
We get "a chance at life", we get a replacement family. What we lose: our identities, our family medical history, our culture, our genealogical roots. There is no real need to erase our pre-adoptive history in order for us to be raised in a loving family. Unfortunately, the laws of most states consider it a package deal. Who does it REALLY serve? Certainly it doesn't serve US. Isn't adoption supposed to be "in the child's best interests"? So why all the secrecy and lies? Why are records sealed even in step-parent adoptions and "open" adoptions?
Some women chose abortion over adoption BECAUSE OF SEALED RECORDS. When will the pro-life movement understand this?
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