We can preach all day about why mothers should keep their babies, but the realities are some just can't see a way to do it. Their families won't help them and they don't know where to turn. One of these women, Morgan, who lives in the Houston area commented on our post "If you're uncertain about adoption, keep your baby":
"I don't want to give up my baby but I feel like I don't have a choice. I'm 19 years old and truly have NO support. I'm three months pregnant, the dad left for good. I told my mom, thinking I could at least get emotional support, but I got the exact opposite. I need to move out of my grandfather's house before the baby is born and I just got fired from my job, no income. I have six months or less.It's intolerable that in the United States, mothers should lose their children because they are poor. That's the unvarnished truth in a nutshell.
I know other people who did it alone, even younger than me but they all had parents and grandparents that helped financially and allowed them to live with them and even watched the kid most of the time. I have nothing. I'm crying thinking about it because it's not fair. I WANT MY BABY and I feel like I don't have a choice."
A note to those who will retort: "Well, she shouldn't have gotten pregnant if she didn't have a husband or the money to raise a baby." Yes, punish the mother, punish the child--for an entire lifetime. If I had a dime for every women during my lifetime who got pregnant in less than ideal circumstance, I'd be a very rich woman. It happens and punishing mother and child is morally wrong.
We need to help mothers find the help that is there. Mothers can locate resources by searching the Internet, but we urge them to be careful. Some adoption agencies and facilitators advertise that they can help mothers-to-be, but in fact their offer of help is just a ruse to trick mothers into placing their babies for adoption. Their idea of help is to shepherd vulnerable women into giving up their babies--because they have paying clients who want a baby. As for women like Mariah MacCarthy, we realize they are not interested in help; they think they are "helping" by giving their babies to people who want babies.
Yet we hope that women like her are the exception, and that most women and teens want to keep their own babies. That got us thinking that FMF can create a page listing resources to help distressed pregnant women like Morgan. For starters, I've put together a list of government resources and some non-profits in Portland, Oregon. We're asking readers to help out, adding government programs and programs in your area. Once we get information for most of the states we'll turn this into a permanent page. If you have a state program, please be very specific. If we can stop some unnecessary adoptions, it will be a good thing.
Government programs for mothers and children:
Welfare, now called TANF -- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Food stamps, now called SNAP -- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program
Health care through Medicaid
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children -- WIC
Housing -- Section 8
Employment-related day care
Goodwill and Salvation Army for inexpensive baby clothing and furniture
San Francisco, California
Homeless PreNatal Program
Hope House of Colorado
Polk County, Florida
New Life Center for Family Preservation, Inc
DuPage County, Illinois
Teen Parent Connection
The Care Center
Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy (information and referral)
Young Families Early Head Start
MAMA Knows, Inc (Mothers Against Mothers Alone)
Catholic Charities (At least in OR, they try to keep mother and child together.)
Mother and Child Education Center
If you're uncertain about adoption, keep your baby
Shotgun Adoptions via Crisis Pregnancy Centers