Thursday, October 3, 2013
You know I've been on this kick of trying to find out where the rest of 'us' are. According to research, both mine and others, there are possibly millions of us out there who hold the title of 'birthmom' still living. Yet where are our support services? where are our programs? where is the compassionate response to our grief?
In a traditional, pro-life pregnancy center there are support groups for women who have previously terminated a pregnancy. In those groups they find support, acceptance and hopefully forgiveness for their choice.
In a traditional, pro-life pregnancy center there are support systems in place for women who find themselves unexpectantly pregnant and choose to parent the child. In our local center, for example, ladies can attend classes during their pregnancy that include CPR, labor and delivery and how to care for a newborn. After their bundle of joy arrives, they can stay on for two years to further their parenting education all the while earning points redeemable towards diapers, wipes, formula and clothing.
In that same pregnancy center, there is all kinds of verbal support for adoption. There are referrals to adoption agencies available. And if you're lucky, you may get to talk to someone like me, someone who's been there and can lend support and a listening ear.
But that's it. That's all. No follow up. No rewards. No programming. No two year support group.
So that makes me wonder. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the support systems come first making the way easier for single parenting? Or did the era of single parenting come first with the need for support systems following?
And does that apply to adoption? Would it make a difference on the number of children placed if more support systems were offered? Would it increase the number of women willing to come out of the birthmother closet and tell their stories?