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New Anti-Choice Strategy: Make it Super Easy to Adopt Children, Ignore Consequences

New Anti-Choice Strategy: Make it Super Easy to Adopt Children, Ignore Consequences

This summer, the state of Ohio passed a number of restrictions to accessing abortion and birth control, adding the new rules as amendments to the state’s budget to avoid feedback and debate at the Capitol. Among these amendments was a new rule that would reallocate family planning funding in a way that could leave 11 counties without any subsidized family planning services, another that had the potential to more easily shutter abortion clinics and had already closed the clinics in the city of Toledo, and even a mandatory ultrasound.

Leading the charge to push these amendments through and to pressure Republican Governor John Kasich to not use his line item veto was Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis. Now, Gonidakis has a new goal: deregulating adoption.

“We’re trying to make adoptions better, cheaper and faster,” Gonidakis told the Columbus Dispatch. Among the changes he hopes to see are an increase of an adoption tax credit from the current $1,500 to a new level of $10,000, as well as removing the funds that can be provided to a birth mother to help with her expenses, which would instead go to adoption agencies or attorneys to disperse on her behalf.

In other words, he would like families who adopt to have more assets and perks, and for those who are providing them with children to be monitored more closely and treated with suspicion as they carry the adoptive parents’ new family members.

If it isn’t clear that the proposed regulations are made solely to reward those who are adopting, and at the expense of a child’s birth parents, the new rules regarding birth fathers clarifies. Rather than a full month to register to potentially block an adoption and assert parental rights, a father would be limited to just seven days after birth to act. Adoptions would be finalized in 60 days, rather than the twelve months they currently require.

In a state that has already made it clear that it not only wants to mandate that every pregnancy be brought to term and is more than willing to cut off access to contraception to those who are struggling financially, the move to deregulate domestic adoption makes sense. Ohio already approved taking funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) budget and giving them to crisis pregnancy centers, proving how little they prioritize struggling families trying to stay together.

In upping the credits for adoption, especially when at the same time sending any financial support for the pregnant person to an agency or lawyer to be doled out to her because she can’t be trusted to use it properly, Gonidakis and his allies essentially are arguing that those “good” families who can care for children should be even more heavily rewarded to have them do so, while those “bad” parents who cannot care for them and need to give them up should be punished.

“Bad domestic regulation is sadly an old story, but this doubles down,” Kathryn Joyce, author of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption, stated on Twitter. “And many will buy in because of cultural blind spots about adoption.”

We’ve already seen the bad things that can occur in unregulated overseas adoptions. As a Reuters investigation in September reported, some families hoping to grow their families have looked outside the U.S. to other countries, where it is easier to adopt. Instances of adults seeking numerous children for less scrupulous reasons, including financial gain, have risen as restrictions are less onerous overseas. Those who adopted children they later regretted have even gone as far as to give them to strangers to get them out of their houses.

Yet Ohio is looking at these “better, cheaper and faster” adoptions as something to emulate, and with exponentially greater financial perks added as well. That seems like a system ripe for abuse, especially from a group of advocates insistent that preventing pregnancies is not a state concern.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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118 comments

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10:45PM PST on Dec 1, 2013

not being there for children is evil

7:56AM PST on Nov 14, 2013

we can't fix stupid, and ultimately these children will pay the price

1:05AM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

When you're doing your darnedest to recreate a 19th century problem, no one should be surprised when you come up with a 19th century solution!

2:35PM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

Noted.

11:23PM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

So many good comments here, like many others have remarked, these men seem to think they have the right to tell women how and when to reproduce, then want their babies to farm out instead of helping them keep them. This is crazy, but then again, look at who we're dealing with.

11:06AM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

adoption is the way to go if you can afford it

8:37AM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

When are women going to stop drinking the Kool-aid these men hand out and start telling them to get out? The Zelot need to punish women gets stronger as we do.

We have to join together and vote these cretins out of office.

1:55PM PDT on Oct 14, 2013

Suba G. wrote: "Holly M.
If that "child" knew what kind of life they was in for, they might just as well choose death."

As so many who are anti-abortionists are also Christians, I find the following passage from the old testament rather amusing. As Jeremiah, the one given divine status by his god guy, had this to say about abortion.
Jeremiah 20:14-18 - New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 Cursed be the day when I was born;
Let the day not be blessed when my mother bore me!
15 Cursed be the man who brought the news
To my father, saying,
“A baby boy has been born to you!”
And made him very happy.
16 But let that man be like the cities
Which the Lord overthrew without relenting,
And let him hear an outcry in the morning
And a shout of alarm at noon;
17 Because he did not kill me before birth,
So that my mother would have been my grave,
And her womb ever pregnant.
18 Why did I ever come forth from the womb To look on trouble and sorrow, So that my days have been spent in shame?

10:09AM PDT on Oct 14, 2013

Unfortunately, ignorance breeds more ignorance. I'm tired of seeing these far right 'conservatives' who are "pro-life" between conception and delivery, then could care less what happens to an unwanted child after birth. Ultimately, they are more concerned with pushing their anti-women, anti-rights agenda than anything else.... except the money lining their wallets.

6:56AM PDT on Oct 14, 2013

Again, these anti-choice MEN are deciding personal issues that they have no right to be involved in. If you don't believe in abortion... don't have one. Simple.

These people are trying to force their morals and religious beliefs on others who don't share those beliefs. They make it difficult to prevent pregnancies, near impossible to get a legal abortion, make adoptions like puppy mills with the same abusive outcomes...and then cut as much aid to struggling families as they can.

Then they judge themselves to be morally superior. Mind boggling.

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