With the advent of vaccines, technology and industrialized ways of living, life span has increased since our grandparents were kids. By 2050, it is estimated that the planet will house more than 9 billion people. Though birth control is available to those who know about it and choose to use it, it is my belief that educating our youth about creating a family must now include the topics of overpopulation, the environment and adoption. It is no longer OK to only discuss safe sex with our hormone-driven, adolescent population. We now must, if our planet is to survive, show our children how poverty, environmental disasters and garbage are a direct result of too many people living on Planet Earth, consuming -- at least in the Western world -- far more than our share of resources.So we're supposed to ignore that part about 4-year-olds and computers and iPads? We're supposed to glide right past that part where we'll have to replace and landfill them as new technology comes along? We're not supposed to notice the environmental cost of rampant consumerism in the West? Ok, fine, you want to adopt? Then adopt. Don't come up with ridiculously unsupportable reasons to justify your life choices. Adding "saving the planet" to "saving an orphan" as an excuse isn't helping anyone.
* * *
Though I did not start out on the path of adoption, or writing a book about the experience, to promote adoption as a way to help heal the planet, as Oprah often has said (quoting Maya Angelou), "When you know better, you do better." It is my greatest hope that presenting the idea of choosing adoption as a first choice rather than a last option will plant knowing seeds in fertile minds and encourage people who inhabit this planet to make choices that perhaps they might not have made.
Maybe if a woman deeply feels the desire to give birth, she will do it one time, then decide that adopting to grow her family is the most conscious choice to make. Maybe if a couple finds that they cannot sustain a pregnancy, rather than go find a fertility doctor to prescribe drugs that possibly will make her pregnant, these people will decide that adoption is the better option.
The time has come to see that choosing adoption as a first choice, not a last option, for growing your family is the right thing to do -- for the planet, for a woman's body, and for the parentless children who ache for family.
Still hoping for change
4 weeks ago