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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am writing to you out of sheer frustration. I have just read another account of a young woman, apparently unable to deal with the prospect of parenthood, doing away with her newborn child.

As an adoption attorney, I work with many couples who are desperate to adopt. If the young parents had any idea how easy it would be for them to arrange an adoption, and how many people would thank God for a chance to parent a child, perhaps they would not take the drastic step of abandoning, or killing and disposing of a newborn.

I know in many cases they are ashamed and frightened, and want no one to know of their pregnancy. Please tell them that the consequences of murdering their newborn child are far more frightening and shameful than acknowledging their pregnancy and placing the child for adoption could ever be.

They can call any adoption agency or adoption attorney, and they will be treated with respect and sensitivity. There is no obligation and no cost. (Look under Adoption Services in the Yellow Pages.) If young women would do this, they would answer a family's prayers and assure themselves and their babies a better future. Abandonment is not the answer. Neither is murder. Adoption is.

Thank you for the opportunity to say this. You may use my name. -- LINDA E.F. LACH, ATTORNEY AT LAW, LIHUE, HAWAII

DEAR LINDA: It is hard to imagine that in the 1990s, a young woman could find herself pregnant, and be so uninformed and fearful of her parents that she would choose not to confide in the people who are supposed to protect and guide her. However, in some families the girls feel they cannot let their parents down by admitting they were sexually active. In other families, the relationship between parents and child is so dysfunctional the girl's fears are real.

I am printing your excellent letter in the hope that every young woman will read it. Although they may never need the information, perhaps they'll have a friend who will, and it will help to save innocent lives.

DEAR ABBY: You printed a letter from a woman who carried an unruly 3-year-old child (kicking and screaming) out of a store, and no one tried to stop her to find out if the child was her own, or if perhaps someone was trying to abduct the child.

Abby, parents should keep a family picture (mom, dad and children) in their purse or wallet as proof of parentage. -- MYRNA FELDMANN, DELANSON, N.Y.

DEAR MYRNA: Thank you for an excellent suggestion. Readers, make a note of this. It's good insurance.

DEAR ABBY: I laughed out loud at your response to "Wondering," whose husband had an affair three years before, but following surgery that left him impotent, he was very attentive to her. You were right on the money when you answered her question about why he had turned over a new leaf with, "Probably because there's not much left under the old one."

"Wondering" needs to wake up to the fact that her husband would still be cheating if he hadn't had the surgery. Now that his fun is over, he's staying closer to home.

My dog stopped jumping the fence after I got him neutered, but I sure wouldn't want to be married to him. -- STILL LAUGHING IN SAN DIEGO

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600