Continuing with my series on reproductive disabilities I came across a remarkable article. A Dr. Mats Brannstrom, a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the University of Gothenburg has developed a surgical technique, which involves the transplant of a healthy donor womb in to the body of a woman whose womb is not healthy, and the subsequent use of IVF treatments to implant an embryo into that womb. One Swedish woman has already given birth to a little boy and two more are expected to deliver soon. While I marvel at the amazing advancements of medical science I am saddened by the implication I see in such procedures and what it says about our views on children. This is a very complicated, expensive and invasive way to go about having children. As I will talk about in a future blog the costs for IVF can be exorbitant. What would motivate a couple to do this instead of adoption, which is often actually far less expensive and certainly less invasive? I would never presume to know what motivates people but in my own life, having considered IVF and come to certain conclusions about it, and having talked to couples struggling to conceive one motivator that continually pops up is the need to “have me own child”. This is the main factor I would like address. As a strong pro-lifer I champion the cause of the movement, however, I have one major grievance with the movement and that of the pro-death movement. I hardly ever hear adoption discussed thoughtfully from either group. Now I know that the pro-life movement is in full support of adoption. My problem is that many couples will go to great medical lengths to have children because they feel that adoption is out of reach. Why? it is expensive, it takes a long time, and often in many states the laws are so against adoptive couples that many who try give up. I think that there needs to be more education for couples dealing with reproductive disability on adoption, resources, help, etc. There are many misconceptions about adoption and unfortunately minority couples are less likely to consider adoption than Caucasian couples. There are many groups that we found in our adoption journey that help with costs. I think the mindset that we must “have our own” also needs to be addressed. As the mother of an adopted son I cannot imagine loving or feeling more bonded to a child than I do mine. He is mine in every way. He may not look like me, share my DNA, or come from my womb but he is my child. Thinking about how God has adopted us into his family can help Christian couples struggling with this aspect of adoption.
One thing that has angered me in the adoption process is the absolute ridiculousness of the process and how every state is different, some states don’t even really allow it, some have so many loop holes that couples get sacred, in some states adoption isn’t even an option for young girls to consider so there are no children to be adopted. The adoption process needs drastic reform and the pro-life movement needs to focus on this for adoption to be a real alternative to abortion. I spoke with a couple recently that had been trying to adopt from New England for several years and gave up. I asked them why it had been so difficult and they said that in their region girls who get pregnant are counseled right away to abort, they never even consider adoption placement so there were never any children to adopt in their region. The fear that a child may be taken is another stumbling block for couples. In New York for example the time a birth mother has to take her child back is about a year, and after that there are so many loop holes a couple constantly fears that their adopted child could be taken. The system is seriously complex and broken. Rather than be concerned about children it is often about money and legal matters.
It is my belief that the pro-life movement needs to challenge the current adoption process, push for reforms, and work to make sure that young women consider it as a wonderful option for their child. In a brief search for adoption reform movements I found many that are trying to reform against adoption and to make it even more difficult. The discussion needs to be more at the forefront of the Pro-life and anti-abortion movements. With all the horrible abortions performed everyday it would be wonderful to see these children placed in loving homes instead. I would love to see an Adoption Movement started to educate couples, young women, reform the process and help provide support develop and end Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics for good.
This is Vincent the first baby born through a womb transplant.