Adoption advocate speaks on abortion

GVL / Emily Frye
Author Angie Cruz

GVL / Emily Frye Author Angie Cruz

Allison Ribick

One of the most controversial issues in today’s society is the topic of abortion. The pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion movements are often cited in politician’s agendas and both have large followings. 

On Nov. 17, Grand Valley State University’s Students for Life club brought in Ryan Bomberger to speak about his thoughts on abortion and adoption. The lecture, “Hope Amongst Tragedy: An Adoption Story,” occurred from 9 to 10 p.m. on GVSU’s Allendale Campus.

Bomberger is the co-founder and chief creative officer of the Radiance Foundation, which seeks to educate people about social issues. He spoke of the campaigns that the Radiance Foundation puts out and his own experiences with adoption.

Bomberger was conceived through rape and was then adopted at six weeks old by a family that would grow to include 15 members, with adopted and biological children of varying racial backgrounds. He emphasized his mother’s heart for adoption, and her choice to be a mother to those who didn’t have one. Bomberger is an adoptive father as well.

Throughout his lecture, he debunked some common myths that individuals have toward adoption. Among them was the idea that children should be adopted by parents of the same racial background.

“A child doesn’t care what color their parent is, they just want to be loved,” Bomberger said. “I think transracial adoption is one of the most potent forms of racial reconciliation.”

Kinship care is when a child is raised by their next of kin. Bomberger discussed how black children end up in kinship care rather than foster care. Often, their family member is not prepared to care for the child, and then the child ends up back in the foster care system.

An individual’s possibility quotient is also something that Bomberger touched upon – how people often exceed their own expectations. Adoption can help a child tap into their potential and impacts not only the child and the parents, but also the community and potentially the world.

“Every human life has dignity despite circumstance,” Bomberger said.

Yaneli Perez, a psychology student at GVSU, attended the event.

“I chose to come because I looked up the academic lectures and this one caught my attention because it’s something that’s really controversial,” Perez said.

Bomberger spoke of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or simply Planned Parenthood, often in his lecture, which caught Perez’s attention.

“There are definitely things that people don’t agree with that Planned Parenthood has,” Perez said. “I think it’s better to be aware of things than not know the truth – to educate others now that you know.”

Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides health services such as birth control, cancer screenings, counseling and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. They are advocates for access to birth control, reproductive rights and comprehensive sex education through classrooms and online. They receive federal funding through the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act that President Richard Nixon signed into law in 1970, often called Title X funding.

One of the services they offer is abortion, which is often controversial due to the number they have conducted. Bomberger criticized Planned Parenthood for not addressing all of the options a woman with an unplanned pregnancy has, which he says makes them more inclined to choose abortion.

Bomberger mentioned how the national unintended pregnancy rate has not lowered, even though more contraception is available. In 1995, according to the CDC, it was at 49 percent and has risen to 51 percent today, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

To learn more about the Radiance Foundation, visit

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