Adoptees: The Not-Aborted


Sometimes a meme comes along that makes me want to track the originator down so I can smack them upside their empty head. This is one of those memes.

Before anyone gets in a snit, hear me out. This is not a pro-abortion or anti-adoption message. This is a Not-confusing-adoption-and-abortion-as-opposite-sides-of-the-same-coin plea.

Here is why you should also be offended or at least irritated:

It is impossible to abort a child. This girl looks to be about five years old. When was the last time you heard of a five year old embryo? It’s pretty darn obvious this little person is not a candidate for abortion.

I don’t know where they got the photo or who the cute girl is, but by using her image, the implication is that she was adopted instead of (horrors!) aborted.

See what they did there? Put an adorable, sweet-cheeked child in a meme promoting adoption – because that’s what this is – and we make an instant, sympathetic attachment to her. The child that you want is embodied in this child, and someone out there will abort that child because it’s less expensive that way! Oh my god, we have to save her!

Next, it confuses the money issue by implying the same person who pays for an adoption (the adoptive parent) would also be responsible for paying for an abortion for the same woman.

Conversely, it could be read that the mother is the one paying for either. Or, it could be further interpreted that the woman who aborts (whore) is only looking for a cheap and easy way out, while the woman who relinquishes (saint) does the difficult but right thing.

This once again promotes the adopter-as-savior narrative; someone who used their life savings (or online fundraiser) to purchase a child, thus saving them from an orphanage or death. No mention is made of the possibility of helping a woman/girl/couple who needs temporary assistance. This is to give only two possible outcomes: Life or death. Which would you choose for the cute girl? Life, of course! So you agree, adoption is the answer.

You’re being played. Do you see it yet?

Nothing is said about where the money goes – who actually profits – only that adoption costs more and that’s not fair. Adoption is a $3-billion+ a year industry. You can bet the money is not making the “birth mothers” rich.

As I wrote in an earlier post (I’m Not Your Pro-Life Prop) this overly-simplistic and false debate reduces people who were adopted to two just possibilities: adoption or abortion, because no other choice is presented. If someone was adopted, they were saved from abortion. This is wrong and offensive, and further commodifies adoptees as things that are alternately “saved, abandoned, bought, gifted, rejected, blessings, mistakes, forever-children, or miracles”, when we are, first and last: people.

Don’t be taken in by slick advertising.

Elle Cuardaigh is author of The Tangled Red Thread and contributor to The Adoptee Survival Guide


twitter: @ElleCuardaigh






















6 thoughts on “Adoptees: The Not-Aborted

  1. I long-ago resolved for myself the abortion issue so this means I don’t think about it very much. But this blog post brought to mind advertisement that started in the mid-70s in response to the legalization of abortion. “Choose Life” was the slogan on billboards, in newspapers, and magazines. This was the beginning of our present-day situation. I cringed back then with a vague understanding of the implications. Your words here clarify what I’ve been sensing all these years. Thank you!

  2. When a woman gets pregnant, she has two options: Carry to term or abort. Once the child is born, then and ONLY then can a woman decide to keep the child or relinquish. Adoption is NOT the opposite of abortion!

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