The choice of adoption

Written by Sarah Batista

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The recent case involving the baby who was abandoned at a South Charlotte McDonalds is raising questions about the process of adoption.

WBTV went inside Christian Adoption Services (CAS) where there are pictures of smiling children everywhere.

The children were adopted because their birth parents simply couldn't meet their needs. That's what happened to baby Emma.  WBTV agreed to hide her mother's identity.

"My first thought was abortion, to terminate, but I didn't know if I could live with myself to do it," said a woman who calls herself Rose.

Rose, 21, is a single mother of three small children.  She knew keeping Emma would be selfish, so she turned to adoption instead.

"I don't have the means emotionally, physically or mentally to take care of another child," Rose said.

CAS Director Jim Woodward says he helps women in Rose's situation every day.

His job is to match each child with a loving family.  Depending on the family's preferences, the adoption process can take between 12 to 18 months.

"There are children that need families, they may not be the healthy babies, we need families here as well," said Jim Woodward, Director of Christian Adoption Services.

He says abandoned babies like the newborn recently left in a McDonald's bathroom are thrust into legal limbo.  With so many adoption resources available, it's hard to understand why.

"It's a tragedy that we didn't get the word out that there's a safe harbor for children," said Woodward.

Baby Emma's adoption is open, meaning Rose can maintain contact with her child. She is convinced she made a tough, but right decision.

"To choose to place your child up for adoption is giving them a gift, if you know you're not capable of taking care of them," said Rose.

Right now, there are more than 300 children waiting to be adopted in Mecklenburg County.