Melissa Coles found herself pregnant at the age of 18.
Fearing that she and the father could not support a child, she went to the local abortion clinic on Parker Avenue in Indianapolis. But right before the abortion, she told the doctor, “I can’t do this,” and left.
Melissa’s son David was born Dec. 22, 1993. Soon after, he was adopted by the Scotton family in Louisiana, who had been longing for a child.
David was raised by the Scottons, knowing that he was adopted and almost aborted. Eventually, he began to speak at public events, sharing his story with pro-life groups. He won the Louisiana Pro-Life Oratory Contest at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, drawing local recognition for doing so.
Soon afterward, his birth mother, Melissa, contacted the adoption agency to see if David would be willing to meet her. David agreed.
Reflecting on the decision, he told CNA in a recent interview, “I wanted to thank my biological parents for leaving the abortion clinic and giving me the life I have today.”
“I am forever thankful they chose the adoption option for me,” he continued.
Around the same time, the executive director of the Louisiana Right to Life, Benjamin Clapper, reached out to David to see if he would be interested in filming the reunion between him and his biological parents.
Clapper’s original idea of filming the reunion as a pro-life video clip soon turned into the makings of a film, now called “I Lived on Parker Avenue.”
The short documentary, directed by Philip Braun III and produced by Joie De Vivre Media, was released online on March 8. The film explores the story of David’s birth parents, the Scotton family, and David’s own journey in discovering where his life began.
“From day one, our goal with this film was to reclaim the beauty of adoption,” said David. “I’ve dedicated so much of the last 5 years of my life, for free, to simply get this message out there.”
A film premier for the documentary was held earlier this week at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion.
The documentary’s message struck a particular chord with the governor, John Bel Edwards and his wife, who were instructed by their doctors to abort their own daughter after discovering a birth defect during pregnancy. However, they rejected the abortion.
David, who has promoted the film across the nation, to members of Congress and on television appearances, hopes that the documentary will showcase the extraordinary journey of adoption and invite women considering abortion to consider adoption instead.
“I hope those who watch will see what the adoption option can do. Without the adoption option, I would not be here today…my parents would not have the gift of their only child; nor would my grandparents have the gift of their only grandchild. That’s what adoption does. It can save lives and build families,” he said.
Moving forward, David plans on “always keeping in touch” with his birth parents, saying, “I am looking forward to seeing my biological sister and half-sister grow up as well.”
The documentary “I Lived on Parker Avenue” is now available online for free or for DVD purchase, and was also featured at the NewFilmakers Los Angeles Annual DocuSlate festival in December.
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