Bitch Ph. D has a post talking about the book, The Girls Who Went Away, which is about the (mostly white) women from the 40s-60s who got pregnant and then gave up their children for adoption.
There is an interesting point to be made about the drop in newborns available for adoption that corresponds to the increasing acceptability of single-parenthood and female sex outside of marriage. (Which I suspect some people will read as "Oh well that means we need to make single parenthood LESS acceptable. Shame the sluts!"
The reason I call this "Not Enough Orphans" is because not only the post, but the comments, really make it clear that adoption is can be absolutely fucking painful because in a lot of cases these children are absolutely wanted by their birth mothers. These are not little adorable cast-off orphans.
I'm particularly struck by comment by madmama.
I placed a child for adoption 13 years ago. Open adoption. I would never have considered closed adoption. In the paralyzing years following, I have lived in poverty (partly because I was so overcome with grief I could hardly get up each day, face the only work I could find after the birth, when, still bleeding from giving birth, I was hired at 7/11), dealt daily with a grief and loss and wondered why these people I chose to care for my child were so eager to take my baby but offered me no help. (Legally they couldn't, I know the reasons why, but it was a thought process. Also there was a governmental process to provide easy access to adoption, no such easy process to help me keep my child. In fact a woman at the pregnancy crisis centre said to me at the time, "Wouldn't it feel good to give a couple the gift of a baby?" Even then I thought she was full of shit, I thought, my baby is nobody's present. I never returned. But I had no other help.)It's an interesting dimension to the "family values" discussion is that many groups are eager to push the line that adoption is an option, but why aren't these same groups willing to offer significant governmental assistant (the way France or Finland does) to supporting motherhood in this country?
The number of women in American who a) accidentally get pregnant and b)genuinely do not wish to become a parent and c) would not choose to have an abortion, may bit just a tiny fraction of all adoptions.
It's an interesting question that if an accidentally pregnant American woman were suddenly whisked away to, say, Sweden, would her decision about whether to keep the child or whether to consider either adoption or abortion change? Does anyone know the rate of Swedish children available for non-relative adoption in Sweden? And what percentage of those children are newborns?