Prolife Forum: adoption and discussing contraception with family

adoption and discussing contraception with family QUESTION from Anon May 8, 2001 Hello,
I've got two questions regarding situations in my family that I'm looking for some advice on.
First, my cousin who is 17 is pregnant. Thankfully, she is not considering abortion. I am trying to convince her that she should choose adoption, even though she will be graduating from high school in a month and could conceivably keep the baby. (She is no longer dating the father). Even though she is not Catholic and doesn't really care about the Church, I would like to make sure that my advice follows the Church's teaching. Is adoption prefered over single parenthood by the birth mother?
Secondly, I also need advice on talking to my 3 sisters who are married and all using artificial birth control. 2 of them are fully practicing Catholics, but perhaps just don't really know any better. The 3rd isn't currently practicing and plans on never having children. Do I have any business at all even talking to them about it?
It is only recently that I have even learned about the Church's teaching, largely due to this forum. My parents don't feel like it is their place at this point to start lecturing.
I'm a little nervous that these questions are too personal (especially if I get them to start checking these message boards!), but if you think they are appropriate and helpful to answer publicly, please do.
Thanks so much for your time.
ANSWER by Mr. Troy Martz on May 10, 2001 Dear Anon:
Thank you for your question, unfortunately the situation you describe is all too common in our modern society.
First, the question of adoption. If we turn to Evangelium Vitae we find praise for those willing to open their lives and homes to children:

EV 93.2. . .A particularly significant expression of solidarity between families is a willingness to adopt or take in children abandoned by their parents or in situations of serious hardship. True parental love is ready to go beyond the bonds of flesh and blood in order to accept children from other families, offering them whatever is necessary for their well-being and full development. . .
As a further point, adoption is a great good to society that morally fulfills parental desires on the part of those who are unable to have children. This is discussed in Familiaris Consortio:

FC 14.4 It must not be forgotten, however, that, even when procreation is not possible, conjugal life does not for this reason lose its value. Physical sterility in fact can be for spouses the occasion for other important services to the life of the human person, for example, adoption, various forms of educational work, and assistance to other families and to poor or handicapped children.
These clearly show us the value and blessing that adoptive parents provide to the children and to society as a whole.
Secondly, you ask about how to present the Church's teachings to those you love and want to help out of the destructive contraceptive mentallity. People of your generation (and mine) know very little of the Truth of the Church's teachings in this and other subjects because many of the previous generation failed to pass on the teachings of the Church and failed to keep radical liberalism in check. But this is only part of the problem. We all share in the blame when we refuse to learn the Truth and hold each other up to that Truth.
I say all of that to say this: It is not only our business to present this teaching to those who are ignorant -- we MUST show them the Light of the Truth. After all, we are our brother's (and sister's) keeper! If you knew the drink your sister was about to drink was tainted with cynanide, you certainly would be obligated to do your best to stop her. With artificial contraception, she is doing worse than killing her body, she is pulling herself away from the saving grace her soul needs.
I would like to quote from my previous answer: I would challenge anyone who claims to disagree with the Church’s teaching on contraception to ACTUALLY READ Humanae Vitae. Few people even try to make an informed dissent. When you read it you will realize that the Church COULD NOT teach otherwise without denying God’s natural law, reducing the dignity of women to mere objects of lust, and destroying the loving bond that holds families together.
Start with reading Humanae Vitae yourself and encouraging your family to read it. (Don't leave your parents out -- the older generation needs to relearn a greater respect for the pastoral love found there.) A copy of Humanae Vitae: A Challenge to Love, a new translation from the Latin by Janet E. Smith, Ph.D. and is available by sending $2.00 for each copy to:

New Hope Publications New Hope, Kentucky 40052
Just request the Encyclical with payment and they will be glad to help. Send me an e-mail directly if you are interested in volume purchases. I highly recommend anyone wanting to learn the truth of what the Church teaches and why she teaches this truth own and prayfully and humbly read Humanae Vitae. Also useful in educating yourself on these matters is Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, also written by Dr. Smith.
For more information on the harmful effects of contraception, see the Gift Foundation's website www.giftfoundation.org. Gift Foundation's Pandora's Pillbox 1 tape set is a great starting point. They are very inexpensive and a great resource to help you learn the facts about contraception and present these facts in a way that will preserve your relationship with your family.
Pax Christi,
Troy Martz
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