The lives of many babies who are given up for adoption are filled with tragedy and heartache. There are many cases in which these children were born dead or infected with serious diseases before their prospective parents decided to place them for adoption. Some are born into horrible circumstances, having been abandoned by their natural parents. Others were subjected to neglect and trauma as they were abandoned by their birth parents at a very early age.
An even greater number of these children were victims of sexual abuse, and some even experienced infanticide. Their traumatic backgrounds make it hard for them to adapt to a completely new way of life, which is why a great majority of them turn to adoption to get away from all these problems.
However, an ever-growing trend in the world of adoption is seen these days as more babies are being adopted from countries like Chile, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. Although these countries may have less stringent requirements when it comes to adopting someone off of their soil, there is still the stigma attached to being an orphan. The least two babies in these countries that were made available for adoption were adopted by Catholic priests. The story behind them is shocking at best and downright appalling at worst.
A group of Chilean mothers were in terrible emotional need of a mother and a father. Having experienced years of living through a tough divorce and then enduring the heartache of a painful marriage, they simply did not have the financial means to provide for their children. They therefore turned to adoptions, knowing that God would provide for them and give them a life of happiness. After all, the state of Chile had been providing for orphans and other abandoned babies for decades.
However, when they located a man in their town who was willing to take care of their son, it was only after he had gone through extensive screening and background checks that they knew that this man was actually their “son” and not some sperm from a boy.
This story is a reminder of just how important it is to screen those who wish to adopt. Ensuring that potential adoptive parents meet certain requirements beforehand can save both the birth mother and the new family much grief and heartache later. Asking potential adoptive parents to provide references, make themselves available for interviews, and undergo a background check are all reasonable steps that should be taken before any adoption is final.
For birth mothers, the most immediate concern will always be the safety of the child. If an adoption agency randomly chooses to remove a child from her care, there is no telling if she will be able to secure a new home before the situation gets worse. While most agencies try very hard not to get involved in cases such as these, it is not uncommon for them to mistakenly take custody of babies simply because the birth mothers did not fill out and submit the appropriate forms. Ensuring that agencies and private birth mothers meet the proper forms before hand can prevent further stress for the adoptive family.
For a priest or pastor accepting a baby from someone else’s care, there are a few things to consider before signing on the dotted line. The most important thing is ensuring that the intended parents meet the proper requirements to become foster parents and that they will be able to provide for the child. A church that is willing to give up a newborn for adoption may be willing to place the child with another family, but only after they have met the priest and church members. It’s important to remember that this is not an easy task, and that the church may need to be very wary about allowing the family into their homes.
Another concern for the adoption agency and the possible mother is where the surrogate will live during the period of the pregnancy. While most cities do not prohibit surrogate families from living together while the surrogate mother is pregnant, there is one: the state of Arkansas. As long as the surrogate lives in a state that does allow surrogacy, the father should be concerned about the welfare of the surrogate and whether she will be safe and allow him to visit her frequently. This can be a delicate matter for the priest to broach with the surrogate mother, but it is a necessary one for the surrogate mother to consider.
Most of these issues are easily solved if the surrogate and the family are ready to work things out. If not, there are plenty of agencies and resources available. In fact, the Catholic Church once had a policy of not funding adoptions, but this has since changed. If the surrogate does not have the money for the surrogate’s prenatal care and the surrogate mother has a history of neglecting babies, the adoptive family should speak to their priest or pastor to see if donating the baby’s remains to charity is an option. Most US hospitals accept fetal remains, so donating to charity is a possibility for most fertility cases.