An Open Letter to the Pro-life Community
from a Pro-Life Adoptee

“We need to take a stand for life.”

I agree. I'm pro-life.  
I'm one of you.
And I'm an adoptee. 

Photo Credit: Frank de Klein, Flickr

So, I say... let’s take a stand for LIFE.
Let's do this thing.

A roadblock to life is that much of the church and the pro-life community is pro BIRTH, not pro LIFE!

We tend to care immensely about making sure children are born, but not so much about them once they’ve arrived.


Life abundant. 

What does the abundant life include?

I don’t think this “life to the full” Jesus had in mind was making sure children get safely out the birth canal and then stripping them of their human rights. 

Do we care about the lives of adoptees? It appears we don't, by the laws we allow to remain in place and even fight to keep there. The pro-life community is largely responsible for much of the fact that adoptees still aren't treated equally. As someone who is an adoptee, a Christian and pro-life, this grieves me.

"Discrimination is never justified. When one class of people is denied information about the facts of their own lives that all other Americans have access to, this is discrimination and this is inconsistent with the principal that all men are created equal." 
 ~ Adoptee Rights Coalition

You’re concerned about life?
So am I. 
Deeply concerned.

Let’s care about children's lives by giving them the same rights as everyone else when they’re born.  We Christians and pro-lifers will really show how much we care about life as we champion equal rights for adoptees. 

Otherwise all our talk about life is just talk. 
And we are hypocrites.

I’ve been told plenty of times how important it was that my life was spared. 
(My natural mother never even considered an abortion, but that's beside the point.)

If you truly believe my LIFE is important then that means the totality of my LIFE is important, not just my birth. 

Jesus spoke of abundant life...life to the full.

How does denying a person's equal rights fit into the biblical declaration of life abundant?

How long will pro-lifers look the other way while injustices against adoptees continue?

Jesus stands for truth, not lies.
Transparency, not secrets.
Freedom, not bondage.

How much longer will the children whose lives were deemed so important to save be required to live under the bondage of archaic laws which prevent them from having what everyone else in America has?

Do we pro-lifers not see that the current system contributes to many adoptees' feelings of hopelessness, to be denied their human rights? Rights that everyone else has but them?

“I really don’t see this as any big deal…” some say.
“Can’t these adoptees just be happy they’re alive?"
"Life is all in what they make it.They just need to adjust their attitude!"

[Sigh]

A baby comes out of the womb, vulnerable and powerless. 
It's not about life being what they make it.
It's not about adjusting their attitude.
It's not about being thankful.

A baby is unable to lift their voice and speak on their behalf.  

Choices are made for them, the historical documents of their life altered and sealed.
And then they grow up and are denied.

But some of us adopted babies grow up and dare to lift our voice as fully empowered adult adoptees. 

We declare our desire for equal rights and what do we hear?

 "Life is what you make it! Move on!" while we pro-lifers go on desperately fighting for birth while drowning out our cries for life. Abundant life. Whole life.  If we cared about quality of life for an individual, we'd support values consistent with that.  


 “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” 
~Cicero
I'm grateful Abraham Lincoln didn't just tell the slaves that life was what they made it.

So thankful Susan B. Anthony didn't tell women to move on and not care about voting and to just be grateful the men were doing it.

It's not time for adoptees to move on, putting on our well worn cliches of life being what we make it and everything happening for a reason.

It's time for equality. 
And we need your help.
We need you to value our lives. Our whole lives, not just our in-utero lives.

Many pro-life groups do not support equal rights for adoptees because they believe it will cause more abortions. This is not true. Statistics prove that in states where adoptees have equal rights number of abortions have gone down.

Let's call it like it is -- part of the reason most pro-lifers look the other way is their love affair with adoption. Among the pro-life community there is tremendous support for adoption but little for family preservation.  Many seem to have respect for family, unless that family is a single mother and child. Guess what? Jesus loves single moms too.

How can those of us who call ourselves pro-life fail to grasp the deep importance of the mother-child bond? There is a primal wound that is created when mother and child are separated.  Attachment is present with all babies and their natural mothers -- not just with mothers who are married.  We of all people should understand and affirm this, doing all we can to support it. We fight for life, yet fiercely defend an institution that is eager to take babies away from their life-givers.

How many mothers and babies are we  helping once the children are actually out of the womb? And by help, I do not mean placing for adoption. I speak of putting our energy, our money, our time behind helping babies and mothers who are vulnerable and in need.

Maybe all of this is no big deal, if it didn’t happen to you.  
I get that.
We all care most about what touches our lives. 

That's one reason why I write here. 
This touches my life in the most personal of ways.
It's not just an "issue" to me...it's my everyday reality.
I am in my forties and still don't have a truthful birth certificate.

Yes, this is a big deal for me, and for  6—7 million adults in America, alone. 
And we desperately want people who trumpet caring about LIFE to care about ours.

I really want to know, my pro-life friends...do you value LIFE or just BIRTH?

Will you open your heart and honestly ask that question?

If you value a child's life, surely you value their equal rights too. 
 
Are you willing to not only walk or march for a child's birth but their LIFE in the truest sense?