Last days of adoption?

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Adoption is offered as an option at the Bowie-Crofton Pregnancy Clinic, which served 1,300 teens and young women last year, said Pamela Palumbo, executive director.

A few years ago, she said, the clinic sent about 25 volunteers for adoption training from the National Council for Adoption (NCFA). The training definitely improved the volunteers’ comfort level in talking about adoption, she said, but it hasn’t affected the number of girls choosing it.

Instead, the vast majority of mothers — like Andrea Brown, Katie Egender and Amelia Mbuyi — choose to parent their children.

Four years ago when she became pregnant, Ms. Brown thought about abortion but rejected it. She then considered adoption for a while, but “after seeing the heartbeat,” she began “leaning more toward parenthood.”

With adoption, she said, “I felt like I would be handing the responsibility to someone else” and that didn’t feel right. She also felt she could manage single motherhood since she came from a strong family that was ready to back her up.

Being a single parent isn’t easy, said Ms. Brown, who works in the health industry in Maryland, but having her daughter has helped her make many good choices. “She is a daily reminder to me to think twice” about doing things, she said.

When Ms. Mbuyi became pregnant last year, she too thought about abortion and adoption. After deciding against abortion, she went to a pregnancy clinic for support.

The clinic workers “really pushed” adoption, she said, “but I was 21. I had a good job and had lived on my own already. So I pretty much had it set in my head that I was going to be a parent.” Also, she said, “I didn’t want to carry her for nine months and then say goodbye.”

For Mrs. Egender, parenthood was the only choice for her when she became pregnant three years ago.

“I knew from the moment I got pregnant, I intended on keeping my baby,” said the Loudoun County mother. “I was attached to it; it was a life.”

The pregnancy brought her and her boyfriend closer together, and they “went from dating, to marriage, to parenthood in a year,” she said. Today they have a second child - and no regrets.

Wishing for a child

Interest in adopting a baby remains high.

An estimated 10 million American couples “would likely attempt to adopt an infant domestically if they felt they had a realistic opportunity to do so,” pollster Richard B. Wirthlin said in the “Adoption Factbook IV,” issued in 2007 by NCFA, a trade group for adoption agencies.

The number of infertile couples is also likely to grow. Chlamydia, “the silent disease,” is spreading through the young population, and already 100,000 young women a year are experiencing severe damage to their reproductive organs due to complications from these infections.

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About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.

Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...

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