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Opinion | Amy Coney Barrett’s View: Adoption, Not Abortion

When I was a freshman in college, I got pregnant. Unfortunately, this was in 1966, long before abortion was legal anywhere. I was trying to get an illegal abortion (I never wanted children), but when my widowed mother found out, she sent me to a home for unwed mothers in Texas (we lived in California). To avoid the “shame” she hid my pregnancy from all our friends and family.

After I gave birth, she toyed with the idea of adopting the baby herself (it didn’t occur to her how she’d explain that), until I told her she would have to choose me or the baby. She chose me, but when I came home, she withdrew my support for college and kicked me out of the house to support myself.

So, Justice Barrett, safe haven laws aren’t the solution. An unwanted pregnancy can destroy a future, a marriage or even a life.

Karen Kempler
San Francisco

To the Editor:

As an adoptive parent, I didn’t like the title of Elizabeth’s Spiers’s essay, “I Was Adopted. I Know the Trauma It Can Inflict,” and I didn’t want to read it, but I’m glad I did. I find myself in agreement.

We are fortunate to know our son’s birth parents. While they were sure that placing their child for adoption was the right thing to do, it was incredibly hard for them. We went to the hospital for the placement ceremony two days after he was born. We stood there — the birth parents and my husband and I — and choked out a few words while the baby cried in a bassinet. Then we picked up the baby and took him away, and they went home without him.

Even as my heart filled with love for this new child, it was breaking for the pain and loss I saw on the birth parents’ faces. Justice Amy Coney Barrett acts as if it’s no big deal to put your baby up for adoption. Being pregnant when you don’t want to be is a horrible quandary. Whatever path you choose, it is traumatic.

Ann Whitfield Powers
Portland, Ore.

To the Editor:

The birth mothers of all three of our now adult children have tearfully told me that they hope their child “doesn’t hate” them for placing them for adoption. They are racked with guilt and have been for decades. Our children have wondered over the years why they were placed for adoption, but not their older or younger siblings.

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