Here's a couple who offered to adopt an unwanted baby heading for an abortion.

Lots more people want to help.

A personal story about how Aid for Women helped her through and after her pregnancy.

There it is again, a question from a pro-choicer that’s intended as the final gotcha.

This came from a regular reader in a comment on my column about the Texas abortion law: “Would you be willing to adopt an unwanted baby whom the Texas anti-abortion law compels a woman to bear?”

Again and again, the question arrives, as if you won’t adopt a child destined to be “terminated” (i.e. aborted), you’re a hypocrite and all your pro-life assertions fall like a house of cards.

Well, no, I’m 79 and would soon leave whomever I’d adopt an orphan. But moving beyond the personal, it’s among the weakest of arguments. For example, “Would you be willing to adopt one of those unaccompanied minors that are flooding across the southern border?” Or, “How about an Afghan fleeing the Taliban?” Or “A struggling and impoverished black child from the South Side whose drug addicted mother has given up?”

Moreover, this might surprise my correspondent, in 1995 I wrote about such a couple in my Chicago Sun-Times column:

Family’s Reach Goes Beyond Womb

January 29, 1995 | Chicago Sun-Times (IL)Author/Byline: Dennis Byrne | Page: 33 | Section: EDITORIAL 564 Words 

While there’s not enough of Baby Richard to go around for everyone who wants him, Keith Strueber has an invitation for any of 1.5 million women each year who, not wanting their own children, terminate their pregnancies.

Come live with my family; we’ll help you have that child and get on your feet. If you can’t keep it, or find it a home, we’ll raise it ourselves.

Strueber’s offer came after he once again read about how pro-lifers like him supposedly stop caring about fetuses once they’re born. This time it was a Chicago Sun-Times letter to the editor saying protesting “anti-abortionists” should be forced to take home and raise unwanted children.

In a letter to me, he said: “I don’t protest at abortion clinics, although I thank those who courageously do so. However, I think that we can most effectively save the lives of the pre-born by offering our help and support.

“. . . If there is a pregnant woman reading this who would like to keep her baby, but doesn’t see how she can do it, we will take you into our home.

“When the child is born, if you want to keep him or her, we will make sure that you have the extended network of people willing to help you. When you are ready, we will make sure that you find affordable housing and employment, and that you continue to receive the moral support that you need to face the obstacles.

“If you merely want to give your child a chance at life, but can’t keep him or her, we’ll raise him or her for you. Please, give your child the same chance that your mother gave you, a chance to live.”

Strueber, his wife, Linda, and children Reagan, 12, and Meredith, 6, live in a four-bedroom home in bucolic Hebron, in McHenry County. Believing in “one-family at a time outreach,” the couple has talked to friends there about taking in not just pregnant women, but families fleeing CHA projects.

“My ideal is to be a refuge for young women and girls who don’t see their options . . .to give them a comfort zone,” he told me. That includes helping them find a job inthe community, where, with 1,000 residents and 1,400 jobs, opportunities abound.

Strueber belongs to no pro-life organization, and his pro-life friends are quietly so. But he doesn’t like the “big lie” that says pro-lifers’ convictions don’t extend beyond birth. The truth, he said, is that anyone wanting to adopt white babies face a discouragingly long wait. Whites wanting to adopt African-American babies are discouraged by the Association of Black Social Workers.

While some pro-choicers might simply dismiss his offer as so untypical of pro-lifers as to be of no consequence, Strueber correctly mentions the existence of long lists of pro-life groups offering similar help to women in “crisis pregnancies.”

No doubt, some will still have their doubts, figuring that his offer is some sort of a joke, a cynical ploy to make a rhetorical point. All I can say is that I’ve talked to himat length a couple of times, about many things. He doesn’t seem to be insincere or strange, but a man of honest and compassionate convictions. But if you are a womanin trouble and still in doubt, talk to him yourself. Call him at ….

Dennis Byrne is a member of the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board. His e-mailaddress is

The premise behind the “would-you-adopt” question is both ignorant and offensive. Check out Aid for Women. It is just one of many such crisis pregnancy centers in Chicago and in America that provide loving support and services as an alternative to abortion. Including residential and adoption services. I met a woman there who was fleeing China’s “one child” policy. Watch the following videos.

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  • Your anecdote from a quarter century ago adds nothing to an argument that has been going on for decades. That unwanted children of women who, by the hundreds of thousands, seek abortions would find loving homes requires more evidence than I have seen being offered. Today we have tens of thousands of foster children eligible for adoption, but who remain without adoptive families. Will the demand become greater when the supply increases?

    Beyond this, women reasonably decide to terminate their pregnancies far sooner than full term. Some of these reasons are discussed in an article in "Psychology Today" written by a psychologist. Even if your value system would deny these women that choice, you should understand why they make the decisions they do.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Of course I understand. But, did you study the Aid for Women material? Do you understand why so many millions of Americans understand that compassion extends to two persons, not just one?

  • It wasn't that long ago when you declared--twice--that it "falls to a conservative old white guy to come to the defense of the Afghan women." And who were you defending them against? "woman and girls who will be regarded as mere chattel by the Medieval forces of the real misogynists who are about to overrun Kabul."

    Yet, you insist today that women in America should submit to the dictates of a theocratic state-enforced belief that an unformed fetus is a sacred human being and that they must spend nine months of their lives bringing that unwanted amorphic entity to full term.

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