by Joshua Pinho
Amidst a crowded Day One schedule, CPAC yesterday afternoon featured an important panel called “Adoption: Every Child Deserves a Strong Family,” moderated by John Eddy, a board member of the ACU, and featuring Dr. Wendy Warcholik, Co-Director of the ACU’s Family Prosperity Initiative, Stan Swim, of the GFC Foundation, and Charlie Gerow, Vice Chairman of the ACU. The panel, unfortunately shortened due to delays with security, focused on the importance of strong families and adoption.
Mr. Gerow opened the panel with a personal story of his mother’s decision to put him up for adoption. After his biological father left his family, and due to the severe poverty in Southern Brazil at the time, she was left with little choice. She had one simple request of the missionaries that handled her son’s adoption: that her son be adopted by Americans, as this would be his best chance to learn how to read. “I did, in fact, learn how to read,” Gerow joked.
According to Dr. Warcholik, there are currently 670,000 children in foster care alone. She asserted that in order for children of adoption to succeed there needs to be a culture in the United States that values the family unit as a building block of success.
This is also built, according to Stan Swim, on a sequence of success that should be taught to our children: finish schooling, then get married, and then have children. Swim asserted that when our society values this sequence, and further, when both the mother and father of a child have followed this sequence, families are set up for even likelier success.
Swim, himself the father of adopted children, stated that every adoption begins in imperfection, though he emphasized steps can be taken to combat such imperfections. For example, Swim believes that closed adoptions, adoptions in which the state keeps the details of adoptive and biological parents hidden from the other party, are more conducive to building trust between adoptive parents and biological parents, however counterintuitive this might seem. He contends that when adoptive parents and biological parents are able to choose what details to share, and what potentially awkward details to avoid, they have a greater ability to build trust.
Swim expressed hope that the current administration would loosen restrictions on foreign adoptions that the Obama administration added to The Hague Convention. Swim believes that The Hague rules are sufficient, and these additional rules have only made a complicated process that much more difficult for families.
In closing, Mr. Gerow countered the pro-abortion lobby’s claim that there are already “too many unwanted children,” with a quote from Mother Teresa. When asked what should be done about unwanted children, Mother Teresa responded, “Unwanted children? Bring them to me.”