As I was writing, it struck me that the moral issues of giving away ones flesh and blood have not been well-explored. Most American women who cannot raise a child apparently would rather not bring their child to life, or would kill their baby depending upon your frame of reference, than give birth and give away the child. When I had an abortion years ago, giving away my flesh and blood was inconceivable, even with the realization that I was making a life and death decision. It seemed less responsible to carry a pregnancy to term and give the child away than to have an abortion.
Regardless of your take on the morality of abortion, there seems a visceral revulsion to giving away your flesh and blood that is at least the equal of the visceral revulsion to abortion (which has its own psychic costs.) What do you think is at the root of this?
If I look at it abstractly, I don't see a moral equivalence between taking even a potential life and putting a child up for adoption. But I think there is something hardwired about letting go of your genetic heritage that we don't acknowledge.
I suspect that the lack of control in adoption is an issue- open adoptions might well reduce abortions, or adoptions like they have in Germany where the birth mother becomes part of the extended family. But there is something stronger because our abortion rate wouldn't be 1/5 pregnancies when open adoption is at least an option. And I don't think embarrassment, inconvenience or the great physical difficulty of pregnancy is the only reason why we don't have more unplanned children put up for adoption.
More information about text formats