OPINION: Let’s Make Adoption Easier in Idaho

Monday December 11, 2023

This November, we observed National Adoption Month here in Idaho. This annual event honors the courageous birth parents who choose life for their babies and the adoptive parents who open their home to a new family member.

Adoption is a bridge for those who are not ready to parent but still want to choose life for their unborn child. It is a viable solution for a challenging circumstance, one that invests in the child’s well-being while recognizing and understanding a birth parent’s limitations. Adoption puts the future of the child first.

Every child deserves to grow up in a safe home with parents and family who are ready, willing, and able to care for them. But sometimes, for various reasons, a child cannot be raised by their biological parents. That is why the option for adoption is so important, because it helps guarantee that every child can grow up in a stable and supportive home that can help guide them to a better future.

Adoption is also a blessing for those who want to grow their family and provide a child in need with a loving home. Across our country, the desire to adopt far outweighs the number of infants available for adoption. In fact, for every eligible baby there are at least 36 couples who are awaiting the chance to adopt a child.

Because I wholeheartedly support adoption as a loving option, I am very concerned about the obstacles that make this option seem too difficult. Women faced with an unintended pregnancy should be able to freely choose adoption for their unborn children, if that is the best choice for them. And yet, according to those who work in this field, Idaho’s laws are not necessarily adoption-friendly. I want to change that.

For instance, if there are financial obstacles that prevent a woman from choosing adoption, I believe we should remove those barriers and assure that adequate financial help will be offered.  If the legal process has become so cumbersome that it is a disqualifying factor, I believe we can look at streamlining that process to make it smoother and less intimidating. If birth mothers need to learn more about their adoption options or if they need some additional counseling, we should make those things available. Idaho’s laws should not be a hindrance but rather should support birth mothers in whatever ways possible.

Adoption is a compassionate and practical solution for individuals, families, and society as a whole. It relies on love and commitment; it puts another’s future before one’s own. And it fosters a culture that values and respects life.

Even though National Adoption Month has come to a close, I will continue to be a champion for Idaho’s children and an advocate for statutory changes that support parents and children throughout the adoption process.