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A woman who grew up in foster care explains why the 'adoption not abortion' argument doesn't fly.

People who want abortion legally banned frequently argue for adoption as the alternative. But it's not that simple.

Anti-abortion advocates often tout adoption as the natural alternative to abortion, the idea being that those who are pregnant but don't want a baby don't have to keep it. They can go through pregnancy, deliver the baby, and then place the baby into the adoption system.


But there are multiple reasons why adoption isn't the answer to the abortion question. For one, pregnancy and childbirth are major physical and emotional experiences with real medical risks and consequences. Abortion often is, too, but let's not pretend that pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption is a simple alternative—especially when adoption itself is fraught with many of its own complexities and potential for real harm.

It would be nice if it were as simple as delivering a baby into the loving arms of adoptive parents, but it's not. Trauma lies at the heart of many adoption stories—trauma for birth parents as well as the children placed into a system that is overburdened and broken in too many ways.

Olivia Paige grew up in the adoption system, seeing first hand how many kids are failed by it.

As someone who grew up living in multiple foster homes, Olivia Paige took to Facebook to share some insights about the adoption system with everyone who says "Adoption is always an option.":

"Let me start off by reminding you of the 390,000+ children and teens in foster care, 100,000+ of which are waiting to be adopted," she wrote. "Around 50,000 are placed up for adoption each year—these abortion bans are sure to make those numbers grow so let me share some statistics with you.

20% of teens who age out of foster care become instantly homeless, with no support system in place. There is less than a 3% chance that any of these kids will obtain any sort of degree. 25% suffer from PTSD. 1 out of every 2 kids will develop substance abuse problems. Adopted children make up only 2% of children under 18.

What about the rest of them? I'll share what it was like for me, one of the lucky ones. Someone who by no means had it easy, but had just enough love and support to make it out alright."



"The photo attached is an actual flyer that was handed out to prospective adoptive homes for several years through my teens," Paige continued. "I was never adopted. I spent a decade in foster care, bouncing between 'homes' with strangers in places I'd never known before. With no warning, a social worker would show up and tell me I'd have to pack my things (the very few I had) and leave whatever strange place I'd kept myself from getting too comfortable in at the drop of a hat. I had no say in the matter. New school, new unwanted life - overnight. There was never any telling what the next place would be like."

Paige, now 22, said that she lived in a few good places, but that she was physically and sexually abused in two separate foster homes. She'd moved dozens of times by age 18.

"I was hospitalized at 11 years old," she wrote, "due to malnutrition and a swift blow to the head, then lied to the police because I was afraid of what would happen to me if I told the truth about how I got there or why I was covered head to toe in bruises. I learned that speaking up only creates more problems. So I kept my mouth shut.

I watched a foster parent take in 5 special needs children, and a few months later add a deck, new sunroom and hot tub to her house with money from the state. She later lost her license when it as apparent that she was neglecting these children. I've seen these situations over and over, I've also lived them. I spent ten years feeling unworthy of love, unwanted and waiting for the next bad thing to happen to me. This is just the beginning of it all."

Paige emancipated out of the system at 16 and is doing well, but thousands kids in the adoption system are not so lucky.

Paige made it through the system, but the scars of her experiences still linger. Thankfully, she's found a healthy way to cope and express herself through creative photography and self-portraiture.But Paige knows there are tens of thousands of kids who won't be so lucky, which is why she feels so strongly against people using adoption as a "solution" to abortion.


Paige says she took the portrait on the left just after she was emancipated and still felt unseen. "I still felt like I was unable to see the light," she told Upworthy. "It's a very binary image—much like my view of what life was like. It was either good, or bad with no gray areas."i.upworthy.com

"Do you know what it's like to log onto the

adoptuskids.org website and see your name and face, year after year?" she wrote. "Knowing that nobody is in your corner. That you have no place to go. Well, I'm glad you don't and you never have to. But those kids you were so adamant about before they were born? A large number of them will.

Are these those 'rights' you were talking about? A life is not saved just by letting it be born.

Not being able to leave your foster home unless escorted by social worker or foster parent? To be unable to live a normal life? To be fully unprepared for adulthood with no safety net or support?

This isn't just *my* reality. This is the reality of hundreds of thousands of children who still face this every day, and the many more who you are signing up for this. A potential lifetime of loneliness, fear, neglect, worry and heartbreak. I dare you to say 'adoption is always an option' to any of the several tens of thousands who have been waiting patiently for years for someone to come along and give them the chance to define the word 'family'."

Some commenters asked kids like Paige if they would prefer to have never born. Their answers might surprise you.

Other people who struggled in the adoption system commented on Paige's post, and a couple of people had the audacity to ask if they'd rather have been aborted.

One person answered that there were times when yes, they'd have preferred that. Another answered that she can't speak for anyone else, but yes, she "sure as hell" would prefer that. Some pointed out that they would never have known, hence it's a dumb question. Paige herself responded, "Yes, I think that a lump of cells being aborted is better than the millions who will be born into a life like this. Absolutely." She said she doesn't wish she were dead, but also reiterated that that wasn't at all the point of her post.

"Forcing mothers to give birth under the guise of some false promise of adoption is wrong, for every party involved," Paige concluded in her post. "Nobody is forcing you to have an abortion, stop making decisions for others and stay out of other people's uteruses. This is the message I am trying to send by sharing my story.

I'll say it again, I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm not sharing this because I want sympathy. I don't need it. But those kids? They do. Their voices are unheard. And soon there will be more out there that your "hopes and prayers" will do nothing for—so please, take action now. Kids should be in homes with families that truly love them. If you're so adamant about kids being born—go through the process and adopt some yourself."

Paige said that if people want to help kids like her, they can join Big Brothers Big Sisters and look into fostering and adopting.

Let's take care of the kids who are here and need parents before pushing more kids to an already overburdened system through restrictive abortion laws.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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