Teen BirthRates Are Low


Birthrates not meeting demand

 Teen birthrates are at historic lows, the Los Angeles Times proclaimed earlier this week. Time Magazine ran a similar article a couple of months ago, reflecting the same trend nationwide. My heart always takes a little leap when I spot headlines like these. I interpret this to mean that there are fewer girls cowering in some secret place, dreading their child’s birth. Fewer girls dreading the moment when they’ll place their child for adoption. But while this is most likely true, the demand for babies for adoption is still high.

Less sex, more b.c.

Teen birthrates reached their peak in 1991. And they have fallen every year since. According to several sources this decline is not due to more abortions, but fewer pregnancies. As to fewer pregnancies, it seems there are two reasons for that. Less sex. And more birth control. That ‘s a winning combination.

The peak of the wave

But it was during the late Baby Scoop era, 1970, that adoptions reached their all-time zenith of 175,000. Non-relative adoptions also hit a high in 1970 when 89,200 babies, including my son, were adopted by “unrelated petitioners.” 1970 was also the year of the highest percentage of adoptions (80%) completed by private agencies. My son and I hit the crest of a triple wave.

Supply exceeds demand

Unfortunately, a reduction in the baby supply (sounds a bit like a supply chain glitch, doesn’t it?) leads to abusive adoption practices. There might be fewer pregnant teens in your neighborhood, but that just means someone else is supplying the babies. In other words the faces and the places have changed, but there are still plenty of birthmothers walking around with empty arms.

photo credit: gail’sangle.net

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