Deeply wounded by our childhood traumas, some of us Baby Boomers speculate that we might have had a better shot at a normal life if our birth parents had abandoned us. We might have been adopted, been placed in foster homes, or had grown up in an orphanage.
But in those days the Abandoned Infant Protection Act hadn't been passed yet. And in social mores not rearing one's own offspring was verboten. The exception was what was permitted among the upper middle class. Here is Toni Messina's coverage of all that in Abovethelaw.com.
For a number of reasons contraception fails or isn't even used. Abortion does not fit into the value system. Yet not everyone is a fit for parenting. Thanks to the child-free movement, it's increasingly okay to op-out entirely on procreation.
But things get dicey once a human being is actually born to a woman or couple who would be subpar in rearing. The ideal solution would be to arrange an adoption. Less ideal is putting the infant in a "safe haven," ranging from a church to a hospital. Not a humane option is murdering the human being.
Given the Baby Jesus development, a common fantasy this holiday season is a do-over. My biological mother in then-very-Roman Catholic Jersey City, New Jersey, deposits me in the manger at St. Boniface parish. The Dominican nuns hail it as a miracle. For a time I am nurtured in a loving foster home. Then, a mature, well-put-together Protestant couple in Princeton, NJ adopts me. I grow up sound in mind and body.
Of course, it doesn't always play out that way. But it could. I would have gone with that possibility.