LDS Social Services
When a couple conceives a child outside of marriage, the consequence of that sexual relationship affects many people. These consequences can be very difficult and, in many cases, become a lifelong impairment to happiness and freedom. Yes, and the most difficult consequences come into play when an unwilling woman is persuaded into placing.
I shall never forget the experience of sitting at the side of a hospital bed with a young member of my ward. This young unmarried woman* had just given birth to a baby boy, and she faced some very difficult questions. As her bishop, I had been asked to visit with the family.
Well-meaning but mostly uninformed friends and family members were showering her with conflicting and confusing advice. They used implications of guilt and responsibility to support unwise and impractical solutions to the young woman’s situation. It seemed that each adviser was able to recall specific examples to support his or her advice. Most, it seemed to me, had motives of their own which were not properly focused on the two most important questions: What was best for the baby, and what was best for the young woman? There's that "best for the baby" phrase again....
The young woman wept as she faced the decisions which she must make, and then, as never before, she wanted the advice and assistance of her bishop. She had no desire to seek her own self-interest as she contemplated the magnitude of her problems. Over the next two days, we talked a great deal about these questions, during which time I provided her with as much information as I could. We both knew that in this case, as with everything else, the best information would come from those we sustain as prophets of the Lord. Hmmm.... let's just ignore all the studies by trained scientists and researchers that have been done if they're not LDS then, shall we? Never mind all those studies that say placing a child can cause PTSD, depression, increased chance of another unplanned pregnancy... yeah. Good idea.
On 1 February 1994 the First Presidency wrote a general letter on this very important subject. The letter reads, in part, as follows: “Priesthood and auxiliary leaders are again encouraged to renew their efforts to teach ward and stake members the importance of living chaste and virtuous lives. We note with alarm the continued decline of moral values in society and the resultant number of children being reared by unwed parents. … Every effort should be made in helping those who conceive out of wedlock to establish an eternal family relationship. Scary, just downright scary. When the unwed parents are unable or unwilling to marry, they should be encouraged to place the child for adoption, WHAAAAAAAAT???????????? So let's compound the situation by rushing into a marriage, huh? GREAT idea. Now what, I wonder, do they suggest should happen to the child when these two people who were never planning on marrying find themselves divorced within five years? preferably through LDS Social Services shameless plug....at least now we know the TRUE reason for this article--it's an advertisement for LDS . … Unwed parents who do not marry should not be counseled to keep the infant as a condition of repentance or out of an obligation to care for one’s own.Ok... does this hold true for adoption then, too? Unwed parents should not be counseled to place the child as a condition of repentance or out of an obligation to be "selfless"... right? … When deciding to place the baby for adoption, the best interests of the child should be the paramount consideration.” Again, one final ARRRRRRGGGGGG. Sooooo, shouldn't all married couples also ask themselves, upon finding they are pregnant, whether they are the "best" family for their child? I mean, hey, if Mr. and Mrs. X get pregnant, and Mr. X's eyes tend to wander and Mrs. X is a bit of a gossip, then maybe they ought to give their baby to a married couple who do NOT have those propensities, eh?
I swear to God, if people really do not think there is pressure and coercion to place in this current system, they are blind.