The pro-life community is lauding the Rev. Thomas Vander Woude, pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville, Va., for his parish's efforts to save the life of an unborn baby who has Down syndrome from being aborted by finding parents who might qualify to adopt the infant when he's born.
Early Monday morning, Geraldine Zahn Erikson posted a message on the church's Facebook page that read: "Posted by request of Fr. Vander Woude: There is a couple in another state who have contacted an adoption agency looking for a family to adopt their Downs Syndrome unborn baby. If a couple has not been found by today they plan to abort the baby. If you are interested in adopting this baby please contact Fr. VW IMMEDIATELY. we are asking all to pray for this baby and the wisdom that this couple realize the importance of human life and do not abort this beautiful gift from God."
Martha Drennan, director of adult faith formation at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, told The Christian Post on Thursday that replies to the urgent plea were overwhelming.
By Monday morning, Drennan had received calls from people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Netherlands, all of whom were interested in adopting the baby.
Drennan told CP that witnessing the response affirmed what she already knew, which is that "there are no unwanted children."
"The wonderful response absolutely shows that all babies are wanted – there are no unwanted babies," she said. "To say that any baby is an unwanted baby is a lie. It's just a matter of matching the right parents up with a child," during the adoption process.
Drennan explained that in our culture, there's a continual message that a handicap or disability is a legitimate reason for aborting a baby. "Every life is precious, from birth to natural death," she commented.
She also believes that what happened this week is a "great witness to everyone," to show that there are people who have a strong desire to adopt children, regardless of what their circumstance might be.
According to Drennan, adoption not only benefits the child, whose life is spared from abortion, but it also benefits the mother and her health.
After receiving more than 600 emails and hundreds of phone calls, Erikson posted an update to the social media site to thank everyone for sharing the notice about the adoption request and asked for people to "keep praying."
"The adoption agency presented the family with three choices today," she wrote. "If hearing about this has led you to think about adoption of a special needs child, please consider contacting one of the many agencies out there that specializes in this. We were contacted by the International Down Syndrome Coalition - IDSC that helps people from the moment their child is diagnosed with DS."
The pregnant mother who's unborn baby has Down syndrome lives in a state that prohibits late-term abortion after 24 weeks, and being nearly six months pregnant, she has limited time left to decide whether to have an abortion or agree to allow an approved couple to adopt her baby, ABC News reports.
Diane Grover, president of the International Down Syndrome Coalition, told the national network that "parents often aren't presented with up-to-date information, making a Down syndrome diagnosis feel overwhelming."
Grover also said she was proud of the couple who are considering adoption for their unborn baby.
"I'm proud of them for taking time to have someone tell them they have options and following through with their heart," she said.