I encounter a lot of people who think pregnancy counseling won’t play a major part in their adoption experience. These include birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. The truth is that access to quality pregnancy counseling is profoundly important to everyone involved in the adoption process.
To the Birth Parents: Our free counseling services are a great way to help you process feelings that come with making an adoption plan. Being aware of what common struggles other birth parents have dealt with may help you to anticipate what will be difficult for you. Additionally, your pregnancy counselor will have suggestions for ways to process and cope with your grief. We make ourselves available to you according to your schedule, and we can come to you. Many of our birth parents have drawn heavily from the counseling services we offer, and have felt they made a profound difference in their ability to feel at peace with their adoption plan. Some clients choose not to access counseling services but seek and appreciate understanding their rights, or the ability they have to learn more about prospective adoptive parents than looking at a photo or video on line.
We are here to provide you with the kind and the amount of counseling that is right for you. Many birth parents that I work with are in crisis. These crises often extend beyond a fear that they may not be ready to parent a new child. Sometimes they have financial concerns. Others feel alone without the comfort and support of friends and family. Birth parents in these situations may need more help meeting immediate needs and do not have space to consider their emotional needs. That makes perfect sense. However, there will be feelings after those immediate needs are met. As pregnancy counselors, we realize that a birth parent’s needs continue well after the delivery or placement of their child. In fact we often spend as much time providing support to a client after a baby has been placed as before delivery.
To the Adoptive Parent: If you are new to the adoption process it may surprise you to learn how important birth parent support should be to you. There are several reasons for this. A birth parent who has access to counseling is more likely to make a decision they are comfortable with. And, a birth parent who has access to a counselor after placement has a healthy place to work through her or his feelings as you begin the important phase of bonding with your child. Someday, you will be answering questions from your child about his or her adoption. At that time, you will be more comfortable having those conversations knowing that his or her birth parent had access to support and comprehensive counseling.
Barker has long referred to our birth parents, adoptive parents, and staff as “The Barker Family” and that is really how we feel. We feel strongly about providing wrap around services to ensure that everyone in our family is well cared for. Whether you choose Barker or not, I hope that you value pregnancy counseling as much as we do, and make that a priority when selecting an agency.
To learn more, and speak with a pregnancy counselor, 24/7, toll-free at 1-888-731-6601. Or you may text, locally (MD, VA, DC) 240-600-1106.