Letter: Adoption choice

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The Independent Online
Sir: An important part of the abortion debate has been overlooked. There is an alternative to the sterile stand-off between pro-choice and pro-life. It is that every mother with an unwanted pregnancy could be made aware of the potential benefits and availability of an effective adoption service. The foetus lives, the childless couples can parent, and what could have been a devastating experience for the mother can be turned round, with support, into something genuinely positive. As a doctor in the NHS I have worked in gynaecology clinics where adoption is rarely presented as a viable option, let alone a positive one.

The social situation has changed since the act of 1967. There is no longer such a stigma attached to teenage pregnancies, and there is now a desperate shortage of babies for adoption. In England and Wales in 1993 there were 157,846 abortions and in the same period 6,930 adoptions. It is estimated that one in 10 couples are infertile.

We need to establish a pro-adoption attitude and not an anti-abortion one.

Dr KATE O'KELLY

Petersfield, Hampshire

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