The Conservative Case for Adoption Reform

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Thursday, February 14, 2019


“Conservatives hate abortion but don’t care about what happens to the child after it’s born.”

If you have ever argued with a pro-choice supporter, chances are that you have heard this argument. A similarly frustrating character assassination is that we do not care what happens to children in the foster care system in the United States. But what if both sides have a point?

On one hand, abortion is morally evil and should be banned. On the other hand, the pro-choice community isn’t wrong that the foster care and adoption system in the United States is horrible and in desperate need for reform. Although those who support abortion are often just using this to justify their pro-choice position, there is something the pro-life community can do to mitigate this attack: support reform efforts for the foster care and adoption system.

If you have ever tried to adopt a child in the United States, it becomes incredibly clear to you that it is one of the most complicated and expensive processes that a couple can undertake. After countless home visits, legal fees, and mountains of paperwork, average costs are $40,000 if done through an agency. Private adoptions are cheaper, averaging around $6,000-$8,000, but this is still well out of the reach of many families that are looking to adopt. Given these costs, most of the children left in the foster care system, especially the older ones, grow up switching from one unfamiliar house to another until they are 18. According to the 2017 report published by the Children’s Bureau, over 400,000 children currently reside in the foster care system, a backlog that is only expected to grow.

What have Republicans done to reform the foster care system and remedy this situation? In 2016, Senator Orrin Hatch introduced legislation that would have moved money away from “warehouse” group homes, instead focusing the money on preventing these children from going into foster care in the first place. Unfortunately, this legislation did not pass.

Republicans have also led some efforts in state legislatures, such as Georgia, to speed up the adoption process, but federal efforts have been severely lacking. So, what should be done?

Pro-life Republicans can and should support any legislation that would cheapen and speed up the adoption process, allowing good parents that want to adopt a child equal opportunity to do so. I am not usually a proponent of federal subsidies, but, if there is something to be subsidized, putting children into good and loving homes is a worthy expenditure of federal funds. Instead of funding Planned Parenthood, an abortion factory masquerading as a health clinic, federal funding should be given to worthy organizations such as Children’s Rights, who fight to reform and improve state foster care systems that are in desperate need of an overhaul.

While it is an unfair and incorrect character smear that conservatives don’t care about children in foster care and waiting to be adopted, pro-choice activists do have a valid point. More attention and effort must be given to state foster care systems, which have largely been dysfunctional failures for decades.

If conservatives want to end this insipid counter attack and get back to the issue of ending abortion, we should push reform efforts on state and federal levels to make foster care and adoption more accessible and safer in the United States.

Adam Burnett is currently attending Western Illinois University, seeking a major in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. Adam has future plans to be a political correspondent/columnist for a major newspaper, but wouldn’t rule out a career in politics.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Adam Burnett

Western Illinois University

Adam Burnett is currently attending Western Illinois University, seeking a major in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. Adam has future plans to be a political correspondent/columnist for a major newspaper, but wouldn’t rule out a career in politics.

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