Pregnant, but don’t want to have a baby? Too bad — if you live in an abortion-restrictive state, you have to — and these people will adopt it… or so they say.
Following last week’s repeal of Roe v. Wade, the couple above were spotted outside the Supreme Court holding a sign that read, “We will adopt your baby.” At first glance, this seems like a somewhat well-meaning message. It would be nice to think that those forced to carry a pregnancy they never wanted will at least be able to find a comfortable home for their child, and oh look, here’s one now.
But, of course, this is a complete fantasy. As several experts have explained, adoption isn’t a substitute for abortion rights. Whether someone gives up a child for adoption or not, pregnancy is still associated with significant risks and burdens — including maternal death and homicide — that adoption can never solve. Adoption is also expensive — according to American Adoption, it can cost upwards of $70,000, or $20,000 more than the average American’s salary. So while there might be some wealthy couples clamoring to adopt your baby post-Roe, the reality is that most probably can’t afford it.
Furthermore, the couple holding the sign, Sebastian Schuff and Neydy Casillas, can’t even adopt in the first place — neither are U.S. citizens, so they can’t adopt anyone’s baby in this country. Why they decided to pose outside the Supreme Court and blatantly lie is anyone’s guess. The cheap opportunity for viral attention is among the least nefarious of those possibilities, highlighted by the fact that Casillas is well known as an anti-LGBT and anti-civil rights legal advisor in South America. Even if this couple could adopt, there are already 407,000 children in the U.S. foster care system in need of homes. If there are so many anti-abortion, pro-adoption parents in this country, why not start with those children, instead?
Finally, the supposed availability of adoptive parents does absolutely nothing to reduce the horrors of forced birth. Knowing that some rich couple might give your baby a home means little when you have to sacrifice your job, goals, time, money and possibly relationships to be pregnant and give birth, and it means even less when you’re faced with the phenomenal physical and financial costs related to it. An uninsured pregnancy and childbirth, for example, can cost over $30,000, which doesn’t account for the loss of income associated with taking time off before and after giving birth, or the potential for complications.
For all of these reasons — and the sheer weirdness of it all — Schuff and Casillas’ photo has quickly become a meme. Take any bizarre famous couple from real life or movies, like Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, and the comparison has probably been made.
Others have compared the couple to the story of the Hart family, in which parents Jennifer and Sarah Hart murdered their six adopted children and then committed suicide. This is obviously a particularly harsh comparison, but one that further points out the issues that children who do get adopted can face.
Really, then, none of the memes surrounding the “We will adopt your baby” couple are all that funny. They’re just sad — it’s sad that more children will end up in the foster-care system, it’s sad that people will be forced to continue unwanted pregnancies and it’s sad that freaks like Schuff and Casillas are using this moment as some sort of bizarre photo-op.
Nobody wins from this, not even prospective adoptive parents.