The Instigator
LGordon
Pro (for)
The Contender
BezoomnyBratchny
Con (against)

Instead of Abortion, Adoption should be mandatory for unwanted children.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 399 times Debate No: 110043
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (0)

 

LGordon

Pro

I feel I should clear something up before I present my argument.

In the case of life-threatening situations to the mother, Abortion is a moral option and I have nothing against situations like this as long as the child has not developed signs of being conscious or shown visible signs of life. This however is my opinion on Abortion during mid or late term

To cut off the existence of an unborn child is not only immoral and selfish, it is also the deprivation of love and compassion to a possible person or family who are unable to have children or ones who simply wish to take care of forgotten children. My solution to the death of innocent children is to simply turn to a possible life for a human being instead of turning to killing them. Of course, Adoption is the most responsible choice for unwanted children because it promotes the greater good to the two or three people involved. The mother will not have a burden of a child she can not take care of, the child will have the possibility of the gift of life in or out of foster care, and the person or family that adopts the child who, with right training, raise the child.

Many people will counter this argument however saying that no one will adopt a child or that there are not enough people to take the children who would be put up for adoption. The latter is admittedly true in most cases but a chance at life, even if it means living in foster care for their entire life, is better than most certain death.

There also have been adults who live their entire lives adopting children and taking care of them because they feel it is their simple calling in life to help raise a child that could have been aborted. These families adopt nearly hundreds of children and foster even more. The idea that people will never adopt an unwanted child is completely biased towards the desperate love of wives and husbands who cannot have children and who will do anything in their power to raise child.

I would also like to clarify,

I will only debate anyone who knows what they believe about this subject and is willing to have a full debate on this topic.
BezoomnyBratchny

Con

Pro starts by claiming that to choose to abort a child is to deprive a family that is unable to have children of the very thing they so desperately crave. Pro later refutes themselves on this point by admitting that there are more children available for adoption than there are families willing to adopt them. The consideration then should be focused on a child doomed to die (I don't contest that a fetus is a human being) versus a child doomed to a life in foster care. Pro claims that foster care is the preferable option. In isolation, I would agree with Pro on this point. Considering those two options without any other outside factors would land me firmly in the foster care camp every time. I doubt there's many people that wouldn't say the same. It's a no brainer. But Pro is neglecting to factor a whole host of things into that equation before landing on the foster care side.

First, there's the picture that Pro paints of what a typical foster care home is like. I don't doubt that there are foster homes out there that live up to the rosy picture that Pro paints and I don't doubt that there are people as passionate about adopting and fostering lots of children as the people that Pro describes. But if we are talking about making adoption mandatory, we're talking about nationwide adoptions taking place in tens of thousands of foster homes and they are all going to vary. Do they all live up to this standard? Do they all live up to ANY standard? What is the average foster home environment like? Well, a look at the suicide rates of foster children may shed some light on this. Children in foster care are almost 3 times more likely to consider suicide than their peers that are not in foster care and almost 4 times more likely to actually attempt it[1]. Long-term foster care children are also much more prone to psychiatric problems later in life than people that had a regular upbringing[2]. These are not healthy environments to raise a child in.

Another factor that Pro neglects to mention is the effect that giving a baby up for adoption has on the mother. They simply dismiss the mother's feelings on the matter, perhaps even going so far as to imply that the mother is relieved to have the responsibility of the baby taken care of on their behalf, describing the "burden" being taken away from them. I by no means intend to play down the emotional strain that having an abortion involves. A woman can be the most ardent supporter of abortion in the world. But in that moment, there's something visceral that takes over and they can't help but be overwhelmed by it. And then of course there's a lengthy grieving period afterwards. But I would argue that the grief felt by a parent forced to give their child up for adoption is, at best, just as bad, and at worst, even worse than the grief felt because of abortion. With abortion, despite the unfortunate circumstances, one thing that is semi-positive is that you know at all times where the child is and that it's not conscious. With adoption, there are so many things that can run through a mother's mind and it's something that will be there for the rest of the mother's life. Where is my child? Are they ok? Who did they grow up to be? Are they even still alive? Is that them there in line at the DMV? And so on. Of course, there are open adoptions. These are arguably even worse though. Imagine the pain of interacting with your child, unable to tell them who you are, some until they reach a certain age, some never at all. All this time, hearing them call another woman mommy. Imagine how deeply that one word would cut into her soul every time it was said.

Another factor that Pro has neglected to mention is whether or not making adoption mandatory will actually cause it to happen. They simply assume that it will. Even if making adoption mandatory was the right thing to do, if it doesn't cause significantly more adoptions, it would be pointless at best. And if there are any unintended side effects on top of that, the lack of additional adoptions would create no positive impact and the unintended side effects would create plenty of negative impact, resulting in an overall net loss, morally speaking. The worldwide average abortion rate is 35 abortions per 1000 women (aged 15-44). In countries where abortion is legal, those rates are 34 in 1000. And in countries where abortion is illegal, those rates are 37 in 1000[3] The temptation here is to make a silly joke that if you want to reduce abortions, you'd be better off supporting abortion than rallying for mandatory adoptions. But I'll opt instead to stick to the point. It is unlikely that making adoption mandatory will cause a significant rise in children being brought to term and put up for adoption. It is much more likely that there will instead be the unintended side effect of a significant rise in DIY abortions and so called "back alley" abortions taking place without any health regulations keeping the performers of those abortions under check. The result of this would be devastating. 68,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions and there are between 2 and 7 million that sustain permanent internal injuries or end up with incomplete abortions or suffer infections and/or disease[4].

All things considered, the conclusion is that, on balance, mandatory adoption would be worse than women having the option of adoption or abortion. It therefore should not be enforced.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov... (page 11)
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3] http://www.thelancet.com...(16)30380-4/abstract
[4] http://www.who.int...
Debate Round No. 1
LGordon

Pro

First of all thank you for your reply.

On the subject of foster child suicide rate, if a baby is taken into a foster home it is mandatory that the home put that child's needs before anyone else in the home. This means that the child will have to go to a loving family as soon as possible regardless of foster home conditions. With proper childhood development and care for a baby, I might add, a child could have a chance to live a life that could have been taken away from them. Also, on the subject of foster care homes, most are state funded which require status checks often to help maintain order and care for the children living there.

The topic stated in your second paragraph is something i have talked with many people before. The same "visceral" feeling that mothers who have aborted a child fees, is the same feeling that mothers who have given up their children for adoption feel. It is always better to choose the possibility of life over aborting an unwanted child.

I agree with you on our third paragraph, actually. Federally outlawing abortion will not stop abortions, sadly. This however, is why we need the foster care system and need to encourage mothers to choose a life for their child instead of killing it. The foster care system is here to specifically help mothers who suffer with that terrible decision Even though back alley abortions will still happen if my solution is ever taken into account but that does not justify the fact that mothers selfishly choose to kill their child without giving it a chance to experience the gift of life.

Sadly, I could not find any articles to cite my claims so this round I am speaking solely from experience as a brother to many fostered and adopted children who have come and gone from my home.
BezoomnyBratchny

Con

I'm not sure what Pro means by it being mandatory to put a child's needs before anyone else in a foster home. I know of no such law that requires this. Perhaps Pro can point me in the direction of where a law or policy states this. And in any case, it's logically impossible for this to be the case due to the fact that foster homes contain more than one child so it would be self-contradictory for each child to be put before every other child in the home. The more children that are in a foster home, the more the love, attention, time allotted per child etc has to necessarily be shared between them. Children are also often moved around to more than one foster home during their time in care, making it harder still to latch onto a motherly and/or fatherly figure. Maybe I misinterpreted what Pro meant by this statement though. If so, I would ask them to please clarify. They can't solely have meant what they say in the next sentence because Pro already agreed at the outset that many children never end up getting out of the foster care system and into a loving home at all due to the supply exceeding the demand.

I agree with Pro that with proper child development and care for a baby, a child can have a chance at life that abortion would not have given them. But as I've already demonstrated in the previous round, this is often not the case and is only true when numerous factors are ignored. And of course, what I said in the previous paragraph also plays a role. The more children in a foster home, the more each child has to share the time allotted with the foster parents. This is the very definition of a lack of proper child development and care for a baby. An unintended but unavoidable form of neglect if you will.

Pro then states that most foster homes are state funded. This varies wildly from state to state[5] but I'm willing to accept that Pro's use of the word "most" is justified here. State funding certainly does outweigh private funding in most states and outweighs it significantly when taken as one measurement nationwide. So it's a fair statement by Pro. But Pro then uses this fact to assert that because of this, they're subject to status checks. This was in response to my question about what standards these foster homes maintain. But this does not answer my question, it merely changes what the question is. Because then the question becomes: how rigorous and thorough are these checks, what standards do the checks require in order to give any given home a pass and how easy is it to deceive the people doing the status checks? Foster parents in Oregon were able to repeatedly get the thumbs up from status checks despite keeping twins in homemade cages in a blacked out room and depriving them of food and water. One of the twins was also not given much needed regular medical care from a neurologist due to a shunt that was put in his head at birth to drain fluid. Pressure had built up and he was nearly comatose when finally rescued. The status checks had not kept on top of whether or not the carers were taking him to the neurologist. They weren't even bothering to visit the home in person for the status checks a lot of time. They often just did it via a phone call. And on the occasions when they did actually bother to visit the home, they were greeted with a room that had been set up as a fake nursery. The status checks were not sufficient at preventing - nor putting a stop to - this going on. If not for a relative of the foster parents blowing the whistle, it may have been allowed to continue indefinitely[6]. Another thing to consider here as well is that checking up on the children during their stay does nothing to help them after they leave. Where is the support for that? For instance, a collaborate study on Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin found that 24% of the children that came of age and had to leave foster care to make room for other younger children ended up homeless and almost half ended up in prison within two years of leaving foster care[7]. Is this really any kind of life to have?

Pro claims that the emotional trauma on a mother that has an abortion is the same as the emotional trauma of a mother that brings the child to term and puts it up for adoption. I have explained why I think this is not the case (insofar as emotional trauma can really be quantified in any meaningful way). That the best case scenarios for adoptions are just as bad as those for abortions and that in the worst case scenarios, the adoption option adds additional factors for trauma and are also longer lasting. So that collectively, the sum total of trauma felt by a sample group of women that give up their children for adoption is greater than the sum total of trauma felt by a sample group of the same size that have abortions. Pro has not given such an explanation for asserting that the trauma is the same or of a similar amount.

I'm glad that Pro and I can agree that outlawing abortions would not stop abortions from happening. This is not the entire point though. It's not just that it won't stop abortions, it's that it doesn't reduce them at all. Not even slightly. If outlawing abortions doesn't affect abortion rates, it's unlikely that encouraging adoption would change that either, given that the adoption option has always been available to those that opted for abortions and its availability is common knowledge. It's also worth noting that the goalposts have been moved here (although probably unintentionally). The resolution is about making adoption mandatory, not simply encouraging it. I agree with Pro that mothers are not justified in choosing to kill their child but Is the issue about the welfare of the child (as Pro has argued throughout this debate) or is it about bringing the mothers that have abortions to justice? Because the two are mutually exclusive. I argue that, on balance, adoptions are worse than abortions. But to bring mothers to justice for having abortions would require that adoption first become mandatory. Pro may not have their cake and eat it too.

[3] thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30380-4/abstract (reposted due to link not working properly when posted in the previous round)
[5] https://www.cga.ct.gov...
[6] http://www.oregonlive.com...
[7] https://www.chapinhall.org...
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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