On page 10, there's an article titled Unplanned pregnancy? Consider adoption.
The article gives several examples of women and couples who gave up or adopted children.
What caught my eye was a quote from one of the women who gave her daughter up for adoption. "Vivian advocated for reform and stream-lining adoption care. 'The Church should have an adoption and information ministry that is even better publicized than anti-abortion right-to-life stuff, because access to adoption is one of the best right to life moves we can make,' said Vivian."
I agree whole-heartedly. People standing on street corners carrying pictures of dead babies and praying the rosary do not seem friendly. They don't give options to young or impoverished mothers. They seem to be only attacking the doctors and nurses who perform abortions instead of targeting the problem of abortion. That's why I think providing more pregnancy planning centers, sex education for teens, and providing more public services for the poor are far more important. But all we see in the head lines is the Vatican's pro-life platform and the USCCB arguing about health care reform initiatives.
If you look on USCCB's website, there is no separate page for adoption. International adoptions are listed under migrant and refugee services. All other mentions of domestic adoptions are lost in the rhetoric of the pro-life page. How are a young mothers or couples going to understand anything about adoption services if the USCCB doesn't even have adoption as it's own ministry? It's already a separate organization on diocesan levels; why isn't it separate on a national level?
The other thing that caught me off guard in the article was when one of the couples mentioned that they had "gone through rigorous fertility procedures." The article doesn't explain what those procedures are, but I have my suspicions. According the Church's teachings, couples can use some fertility enhancements as long as they don't replace the act of sex in order to conceive. So things like IVF, using sperm donors, or egg donors are not morally acceptable. Yet, people incorrectly feel that Church urges couples to "be fruitful and multiply" and have as many children as they can even if it means resorting to IVF.
The Church doesn't have a "be fruitful and multiply stance." In fact, it's almost the opposite. The Church encourages couples to use Natural Family Planning Method. This means that if a couple wishes to not have children, but is open to the possibility of having children and practices NFP, they are still following the Church's wishes. Although many documents state that NFP should be used to control number or spacing, I still see many couples using NFP as a means to not have children. To me NFP is a form of birth control like condoms and birth control pills are. Although I realize many couples don't view NFP in this light, many couples do.
I have a friend who starting charting and taking her temperature before she was married because she and her husband initially decided to use the method. She said that the whole procedure was stressful and that her and her future husband felt more distant because they had to time when to have intercourse including whether or not it would be appropriate during the honey moon. After charting for a month, they decided not to allow NFP dictate their sexual intimacy and she stopped charting.
I don't blame her. I chart when my period is going to occur, but that's it. It's only to let me know if I've skipped a period or if there is some other medical issue. I don't like "feeling the consistency of my cervical mucus" or trying to wake up at the same time every morning in order to take my basal temperature. It makes me feel like I'm a guinea pig and it zaps any interest in my husband if I have to schedule sex. I know the NFP people are all rather angry at me for saying so. I know many who follow NFP say they feel more intimate and closer to their husband.
I saw the video during the "to be married" retreat and slowly slid down in my chair in utter embarassment. I don't think discussing my sex life with a room full of 100 strangers is cool. That should be something that me and my husband discuss or something that I'm given the freedom to discuss or not discuss. I don't think the Church should force me to watch a video on the subject just so I can be married. It's patronizing and embarassing. And I suppose that's my real reason for being mad about the whole NFP thing. I'm a grown up and feel like someone is forcing me to do something that I'm totally uncomfortable with. I understand that some people probably do feel comfortable with NFP and I respect their decision. So why aren't people respecting my family's decision and our right to privacy?