Adoption is often promoted as an alternative to abortion by people who seem to think that pregnancy and childbirth are no big deal. Okay, maybe that was a loaded statement, but it certainly seems as though the people who promote adoption in this way don’t understand (or don’t care) that people seek abortions for reasons other than not wanting or being able to raise a child. Medical issues making pregnancy risky or difficult come to mind.
Now, Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio, who had the distinction of being the only Democrat in the Senate to vote for HB2, is pushing a new type of abortion restriction. Prior to obtaining an abortion, a person must complete a three-hour adoption course. I think the Feminist Justice League said it best in their open letter to Sen. Lucio:
Requiring this class will place undue burden on people who are geographically marginalized and lack internet access. More importantly, however, it gives the impression you think women are stupid. I certainly hope I’m correct in assuming that’s a false impression.
Whether Sen. Lucio actually thinks people are stupid or not, his proposal is part of a long line of assumptions that people don’t know how pregnancy works or what is inside their uteri. This is the attitude underlying all those mandatory ultrasound laws.
This seemed like a good opportunity to look at how many children are awaiting adoption in the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ (DFPS) care. This is the state agency that operates Child Protective Services, or CPS. I spent a couple of years representing parents, and occasionally kids, in CPS cases, so while I’m far from an expert on the subject, I have some understanding of how complicated a subject “adoption” can be. Continue reading