“When I had sexual intercourse with my boyfriend I felt that God would protect me from getting pregnant – that God would not let it happen to me because he knew I couldn’t cope.”

This naïve observation by a birth mother brought a roar of laughter from the audience who jammed the “Adoption – A Loving Choice” workshop at the National Syposium on Human Life, sponsored by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in early October at the Bayview Glen church in Thornhill, Ontario.

Karen Gibb, the Executive Director of “Jewels for Jesus,” a Christian mission that operates an adoption agency at a home for unwed mothers, chaired the paned thet included two birth mothers and two adoptinf couples that shered their experiences.

It is sad to hear the complaint by one adopting couple of the 60,000 (offical) abortions that take place yearly in Canada while there are 60,000 couples seeking to adopt a baby. It was ‘just awful to hear about abortions and other forms of child abuse when there are thousands of loving couples out there hungering for a baby to care for,” said one adopting mother.

One pregnant girl was said to have gone to a Pentecostal Guiding Association where she was urged to give her baby up for adoption. The adopting parent said “think if she would have gone to another kind of agency.”

The two young birth mothers on the panel spoke freely about their individual decisions not to have an abortion and why they put their babies up for adoption. Some birth mothers have second thoughts, one said, but she believes that she did the right thing by giving up her baby, although she then went home and wept with her parents.

One grateful adopting mother stated that she considered her baby “a trust” and said she thinks about the birth mother every day. Another keeps in touch by sending pictures of the baby to the birth mother.

In response to an enquiry from the audience, one birth mother attending the workshop said that she had not wanted to make the decision as to who got her baby because at the time she had enough decisions to make. Some birth mothers select the couples they want to look after their babies.

“Our birth mother feels like a member of the family,” was a comment from an adopting father.

One birth mother, when she found she was pregnant, said “I started praying and decided to have my baby, feeling that it was what God wanted. Soon, everything was falling into place.” Another wished she could meet the adopting couple, “if you could meet the couple that are adopting, you’d feel better about giving up your baby.”

What about the experience of adopting couples? There are horrendous true stories about adopting couples chasing after babies all over the country, in Mexico and as far away as Brazil.

One adopting parent told of an acquaintance who has the distinction, she claims, of having the only legally adopted baby from Mexico. She mentioned dishonest lawyers, various unsympathetic government officials and large sums of money expended fruitlessly. At least she found a sympathetic Mexican judge, who, upon hearing her horror story, cleared the way for adoption. Obviously, she said, babies are more easily obtained illegally in Mexico.

Another adopting parent felt as though she had contacted al the doctors and lawyers in Canada seeking leads on a baby. Others mentioned all the references and documentation that they had to supply, the meetings that they had to attend, and running into couples in infertility clinics who were doing the same things. It was all emotionally draining, they said.

One said she got on a list for a baby and after a year and a half had reached the top of the list only to find that the agency had started another list and she was at the bottom of it! They almost had a baby three times but it fell through at the last moment when the mothers decided to keep their babies. Another frantic would-be-adopting mother stood at an abortuary day after day trying to talk pregnant girls into not having an abortion! She offered to pay all the costs of the confinement and something for expenses. Her persistence finally paid off when one girl agreed. She got he baby.

Another adopting parent who spoke freely of her experiences said that she was so excited when they got a baby that when she went into a store to buy a baptismal outfit she fainted. When she came to, the store clerk said “Maybe you’re pregnant?” She replied “Oh, I wouldn’t love to be!” She wasn’t.

She held the new baby in her arms in order to obtain the feeling of “instant bonding” she had heard talked about, and afterwards when a nurse suggested that she should wash her hands she said: “No.”

The painful thing, she said, is the 21-day waiting period when the birth mother can change her mind and keep the baby. It is a trauma for birth mothers too, she felt.

Unfortunately, an adopting mother admitted, there is very little co-operation among adopting couples because of the acute scarcity of babies. If you have an angle for getting names or a lead for your baby, you keep it to yourself. Doctors seeking babies have a better opportunity to obtain babies, she said, because of the connections in the medical profession.

One adopting mother in the audience complained to the panel about wrong-headed thinking by a minister who held the opinion that children conceived in wedlock were okay but born out of wedlock were not ordained to be born by God. She said that she had since found a more enlightened minister.

The workshop showed that there was a crying need for babies for thousands of couples in Canada who couldn’t have children but have oceans of love to give and need to nurture babies and must face the sad dilemma of the empty nursery, completely furnished for a baby of either sex.