A 17-year-old girl hopes to find a loving home for her baby boy who was born last week in India, allegedly conceived in rape.
The Times of India reports the young woman gave birth Friday at the Sassoon Hospital in India and made an adoption plan for him through the SoFoSH adoption agency.
Initially, the young woman and her parents petitioned the courts to have a late-term abortion after she allegedly was raped; she was 26-weeks pregnant at the time. However, the courts refused her request, saying the abortion could endanger her life, the India Times reports.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. However, women increasingly have been petitioning the high court for permission to abort their late-term unborn babies because of fetal abnormalities. Some families of young rape victims also have made requests to the high court.
The girl’s parents urged her to make an adoption plan for the child so that she could return to school, according to the report. Initially, the 17-year-old said she wanted to parent the baby, but her parents convinced her to pursue adoption instead.
The pressure that the girl’s parents put on her to make an adoption plan is concerning. Adoption is a loving alternative to abortion, but it is a difficult decision that birth mothers should make of their own free will. It also raises questions about whether her parents also may have pressured her to abort the baby.
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The parents allege that 23-year-old Prashant Ashok Sarwade raped and impregnated their daughter. Police arrested Sarwade but later released him on bail, according to the report.
However, Sarwade claims he and the girl were in a romantic relationship, ran away from home together and got married in August 2016.
Here’s more from the report:
While on the run a few months ago, the couple stayed at Sarwade’s maternal uncle’s house in Solapur, after a small marriage ceremony. She was brought back home after her father made the police complaint, leading to Sarwade’s arrest. “He hasn’t communicated with me since June. I was waiting for him, but he did not even ask my parents about me. Instead, he lied to me, saying his parents were turned away from our home when they came to visit us. I am confused: my father will not allow me to stay with Prashant, but I am worried about my baby, as he was kept in an incubator for a while,” the survivor said.
The young mother, who has shunned food since the last three days, trying to get her parents re-think their decision, eventually relented and agreed to go along with her father’s decision. Her mother explained that the family had momentarily considered a compromise, as the accused had petitioned for the restitution of conjugal rights at Solapur court. However, they turned away from this thought, when Sarwade failed to turn up to meet their daughter.
The teen’s mother accused Sarwade of manipulating their daughter’s emotions and convincing her to sneak away with him. She said the man and his family have not taken responsibility for the baby boy, and adoption is the best option for her daughter and grandson.
The Indian family probably does not have access to the same resources as women do in the United States. Cultural pressures also appear to be in play in the family’s case.
In the United States, pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies and other non-profits across the country offer pregnancy and parenting support to women and babies, including adoption information and support. However, these groups largely support women’s desires to parent and do not put pressure on women to make adoption plans. The adoption option is an emotional and difficult decision for birth mothers. Many adoption agencies now offer counseling to birth mothers post-adoption to help them through their grief and loss.
LifeNews Note: File photo.