Study Reveals Who Women Trust Most When it Comes to Decisions on Pregnancy
Where do pregnant women go first and most often for information and whose influence carries the most weight in the decision to raise, abort or place a child for adoption?
Glendale, Ariz., July 12, 2022 — In the wake of the recent SCOTUS reversal of Roe v. Wade, millions of women will be facing a different set of options regarding their pregnancies in the years ahead. Insight from a recent national survey is shining a light on who they’ll go to first and most often for counsel and how much influence different people and institutions carry in their decision-making.

Commissioned by the Opt Institute—a non-profit research foundation dedicated to improving access to and support for private infant adoption—the research asked women of prime childbearing age (15 to 44) about the most sought-after and powerful influences regarding their decision of how to handle an unintended pregnancy and revealed that their primary sources of information are family (41%), medical professionals (34%) and friends/peers (25%), followed by counselors/psychologists (20%), no one (20%) and Planned Parenthood (17%).

Church and religious leaders were seventh on the list at only 12%.
As for how much weight different influences carry in their decision-making on whether to raise, adopt or abort their child, religious beliefs and convictions were the fifth-most important factor among all women surveyed (15%) and somewhat surprisingly, third among self-identified Christians (trailing the child’s perceived best interests and financial considerations).

However, seven out of 10 women who possess a biblical worldview stated that their religious beliefs would have the greatest influence on their decision, making them the only religious subgroup for which more than three out of 10 women cited their faith as a major influence.

According to John Knox, founder of The Opt Institute, the research indicates overall that women are seeking trustworthy advice and that there is a big opportunity at hand for pastors to make a difference, if they are willing to speak openly and affirmatively about the benefits of adoption.
“Adoption is a sacrificial loving option that’s surprisingly not talked about in most churches. Too many churches are afraid of getting political, but now, with Roe v. Wade being overturned, the Church has a wonderful opportunity to lead and reintroduce adoption back into the conversation," he says. "When faced with an unintended pregnancy, research shows women feel they only have two choices— abortion and parenting. But, we know from a biblical standpoint that adoption is an option that has been modeled from the beginning. Christianity has a rich and beautiful theological tradition that can help frame the beauty of the self-sacrificial choice of adoption, and church leaders should not be afraid to proclaim that truth.”

The study also noted that there is no single type of information source that harbors substantial influence on women’s opinions about adoption. When the sample of women of childbearing age was asked to indicate how much influence each of 10 sources of influence had upon their attitudes and opinions related to adoption, only one source was said to have “a lot” of influence by at least one out of every four women — family, listed by 28%. Their religious leaders ranked second, with 22% of women claiming those leaders had a lot of influence on their thinking about adoption.

“This research has provided us with valuable insight into who is influencing women. Family members are the strongest influence on women across all ages. But perhaps surprisingly, we learned that, for many women, doctors and medical professionals have a greater influence even than friends and peers. So, we must equip medical and mental health professionals in fully understanding the benefits of adoption, so that they can provide the most accurate, helpful information to the women they serve. Opt Institute is committed to educating and supporting the advisors that women trust.”

Adoption & Its Competitors in American Society: Results of a National Survey Regarding Adoption in the United States in 2022 
by George Barna

CLICK HERE to view the full report

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Knox says, has also provided another group with an important opportunity to speak up and be heard.

“While adoption has always been an option for women, the Supreme Court’s decision has many people talking about the choices that women have when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Those of us who have been touched by adoption have experienced what a life-giving and positive choice it is, and this moment in history has provided us with the opportunity to share that message with others.”

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About the Study: Adoption & Its Competitors in American Society: Results of a National Survey Regarding Adoption in the United States in 2022 by George Barna

This research was commissioned by the Opt Institute, a national adoption research and think tank, to better understand perceptions and expectations related to adoption in the United States. The research was conducted among a qualified national sample of women who are considered to be of prime childbearing age (15 to 44). There are an estimated 65 million women currently in that age segment. The survey data with qualified women was collected several months before the Supreme Court ruling was handed down. There were 1,091 interviews completed in January 2022 among a national sample of women between the ages of 15 and 44. The survey interviews consisted of 64 closed-ended questions and lasted an average of 16 minutes apiece. The interviews were completed via an intentional mixed-mode data collection process, with 505 women interviewed via telephone and 586 via online surveys. All respondents were randomly sampled, with geographic quotas established and multiple contact attempts per potential respondent.
The full report, Adoption & Its Competitors in American Society: Results of a National Survey Regarding Adoption in the U.S. in 2022 by George Barna, is available here.
About the Cultural Research Center
The Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University is located on the school’s campus in Glendale, Arizona, in the Phoenix metropolitan area. In addition to conducting the annual American Worldview Inventory, CRC also introduced the ACU Student Worldview Inventory (SWVI) in 2020. That survey is administered to every ACU student at the start of each academic year, and a final administration among students just prior to their graduation. The ACU SWVI enables the University to track the worldview development of its student body and to make changes as recommended by the research. The Cultural Research Center also conducts nationwide research studies to understand the intersection of faith and culture and shares that information with organizations dedicated to transforming American culture with biblical truth. CRC is guided by George Barna, Director of Research, and Tracy Munsil, Executive Director. Like ACU, CRC embraces biblical Christianity but serves with a variety of Bible-centric, theologically conservative Christian ministries and remains politically non-partisan. Access to the results from past public surveys conducted by CRC, as well as additional information about the Cultural Research Center, can be accessed at Further information about Arizona Christian University is available at
About Opt Institute
Opt Institute is a non-profit research foundation and think tank dedicated to improving access to and support for private infant adoption. For more information, visit