Every Child A Wanted Child

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Each year in the United States, about 51,000 American children are placed for adoption. In addition, about 6,500 foreign children are adopted by Americans, for a total of a little under 58,000 children adopted per year.

There are no national statistics on how many people are waiting to adopt, but experts estimate it is somewhere between one and two million couples.1

Every year there are about 1.3 million abortions. Only 4% of women with unwanted pregnancies give their children up for adoption. Suppose somehow, incredibly, we were able to increase this from 4% to 50% tomorrow. Even at that rate (and assuming that all these children could make their way through the social services burocracy overnight), it would still take two to four years just to satisfy the present waiting lists. That's not accounting for any new couples who would decide to adopt in that three years. And if that many children became available for adoption, surely there are many people who have dropped off the waiting lists in discouragement who would get back on, or people who never got on a waiting list because it seemed too hopeless.

Planned Parenthood often justifies abortion with the slogan, "Every child a wanted child". Every child is wanted, and wanted desperately.

Anticipating An Objection

But wait, they will say, some children are wanted -- healthy white infants. But many children spend years bouncing around orphanages and foster care because no one wants them.

I do not have national statistics, but I got some statistics on this from the New York State Department of Social Services.2 They report that of the children currently waiting in foster care, 60% are black, 93% are over 3 years old, and "many" have physical or mental disabilities. Many of the children in foster care have just recently been placed on the list and will quickly be adopted, but this clearly includes the hard-to-place children. How many are there? They report, "nearly 1,000".

(And some of these are only hard-to-place because social workers have deliberately made them hard-to-place. 60% black. The problem is not that these children are unwanted. There are tens of thousands of people who would love to adopt them. The problem is that some social workers believe that it is bad for a child to be raised by someone with the wrong skin color, and so they will not allow white families to adopt these children.)

Meanwhile, there are 200,000 abortions in New York each year. 1,000 hard-to-place children is certainly 1,000 tragedies, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to literally millions of children who are being killed because they are "unwanted".


1. National Committee for Adoption, Adoption Factbook. Washington DC: 1989. As quoted in Hsu, Grace. "Encouraging Adoption". Family Research Council: 1995.

2. New York State Department of Social Services. "Adoption Brochure". http://www.state.ny.us/dss/adopt/brochure.htm. (Accessed 1996.)

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Posted 9 Sep 2000.

Copyright 1996 by Ohio Right to Life.
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