' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Help for a mother-to be to keep her baby

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Help for a mother-to be to keep her baby

Jane
NOTE: WE ARE UPDATING "SOURCES" AS READERS PASS THEM ALONG.

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.
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."
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.

Lorraine
But what can we do to stop this kind of "forced" adoption? For one thing, all of us affected by adoption need to insist that our elected officials help low income mothers, for surely keeping mothers and babies together should be an important societal objective, especially now that we know separating children from their natural families except in times of great need is not healthy.

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
Job training

Non-profits:
Food banks
Goodwill and Salvation Army for inexpensive baby clothing and furniture

San Francisco, California
Homeless PreNatal Program

Metro-Denver, Colorado
Hope House of Colorado

Polk County, Florida
New Life Center for Family Preservation, Inc

DuPage County, Illinois
Teen Parent Connection

Holyoke, Massachusetts
The Care Center

Boston, Massachusetts
Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy (information and referral)

Billings, Montana
Young Families Early Head Start

Ardmore, Oklahoma
MAMA Knows, Inc (Mothers Against Mothers Alone)

Portland, Oregon
Catholic Charities (At least in OR, they try to keep mother and child together.)
Mother and Child Education Center

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Angels' Place

Houston,Texas
Covenant House
_______________________________
FROM FMF:
If you're uncertain about adoption, keep your baby
Shotgun Adoptions via Crisis Pregnancy Centers 

33 comments :

  1. Great idea. I'll see what I can dig up re. NC.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I just found a card in an elevator at a hospital yesterday -- hot pink and saying 'pregnant and scared?' it was for something called candle in the window and I looked it up online and it looks like it's pushing adoption as a 'wonderful alternative' to abortion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-youth-programs/mother-child-teenage-pregnancy-help

    There is one in Houston. I have been there, because back in the late 80's, my Dad owned a company who did printing for them. They are not an adoption agency, but they will help mothers keep their children!

    Please, there are places to go for help. I believe they even do job training and help young Moms get on their feet.

    You don't have to give up your baby!! Don't do it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't think it's the responsibility of the government to subsidize this. If there are private groups out there that are willing and able to support mothers like this, that is who we should lean on. But it's not society's responsibility to help when we have budget deficits and so many others in need of help.

    There are times when people need to help themselves rather than always leaning on others to help them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure the mothers will contribute to the economy once they have stopped bleeding Anonymous

      Delete
    2. home owners are subsidized, business owners have business tax deductions, and single moms should be helped? why?

      Delete
  5. Anonymous at 9:49
    Me thinks you want to "help yourself" to these babies.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Methinks so, too, Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Homeless PreNatal Program 2500 18th St San Fransisco CA 415-546-6756 www.homelessprenatal.org

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anon @ 9:49 am - ok, that's your opinion, fine, whatever. Glad you are not running the country.

    She is 19 and wants to keep her baby. I applaud her. If she needs to "lean on others" temporarily then so be it. No one should have to give up their child simply because she is poor.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anon at 9:49: your comment is disgraceful . Every bit of help to keep mother and child together should be given. Every last dollar.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Julia Emily - every last dollar? Every one? Above Cancer research, funding for schools, nursing homes, police and fire departments, Welfare, food stamps, Free or reduced lunch, mental health initiatives, aid to foreign countries battling Ebola, Aids, persecution?

    I agree with Anon and I am an adult adoptee. My heart goes out to this young woman but her support should come from the father who is equally responsible, her family, private charities and the public support networks already in place. Resources should be spent forcing the young man equally responsible for this pregnancy to assist in support for that child.

    Nothing disgraceful about common sense or pragmatism. Lashing out at others will not assist this young woman but pointing out that current programs do exist to aid her and her unborn child will.

    Jade NOT wanting to help herself to someone elses' child but also not responsible to paying for another's mistake

    ReplyDelete
  11. in city of one, francine agonizes that the poor did not give up their babies (she, at 11, lost her mom (dad died before)) and asked all her relatives why didn't they keep her. they just said it was the "thing to do" losing your family is a huge lose and emotional torture. the poor know the government programs and 'the babies need to be rich' ruse. if after a mom is told the truth of the poor outcome for babies and the REAL heart break she will feel, them i am okay with her surrendering. no one should make this decision based on the agency lies and propaganda

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, Anon @ 9:49 am - are you aware that adopters get an enormous adoption tax credit for adopting? Are you aware that many of them do fundraisers of various kinds and get big chunks of cash from others in order to afford to take someone else's baby? Let me put it another way: this 19-year-old mother in dire circumstances could be forced to surrender her child due to poverty and her child handed to people who are affording the adoption through a government subsidy and private donations. Where is the justice in your scenario?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jade: Yep. Every available dollar should go to keeping mother and child together. I guess adoption did not tear you apart as it did me. The programs you mention, with the exception of one or two, are just as corrupt as the adoption industry. I don't want to see any more money go to those programs. I want to see the corruption in adoption end. The big money that is being made must be used to keep mother and child together.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Actually no Barbara. I fully support if you and others who follow this board who want to help this young woman to raise her baby.

    Jade gets it. I don't want to help myself to someone else's child but don't feel that I and others should be responsible for someone else's situation.

    ReplyDelete
  15. SarahM,

    Let's be honest the Adoption Tax credit is just a subsidy for the Adoption industry. If you put a ceiling on private adoptions to level out what the average adoptive parent/couple pays for their adoption minus the adoption tax credit it would make the tax credit unnecessary.

    As far as fundraising, I said earlier I had no issue with private donations for expectant mothers like this in fact I support it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm an adoptee who founded a non-profit organization focused on family preservation in Central Florida.
    www.facebook.com/nlclakeland
    NLClakeland.org

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is from an article in Good Housekeeping, March 2014, p.30. There is a nonprofit called MAMA Knows, Inc., located in Ardmore, OK, that helps young and single moms prepare for the reality of parent.

    http://www.vtizzle.com/mki/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin, I'd added MAMA Knows to the list.

      To all our readers, keep your recommendations coming and ask others to recommend programs.

      Delete
  18. Are you serious? We (the United States) have tons of programs to help women in crisis pregnancy situations. Outside of that, Churches and religious communities of all types offer so much. SO MUCH. I am a "first mother" and a soon to be surrogate mother, for the same family, providing a biological sibling for my adopted son. During my crisis pregnancy I found endless support, outside of my family. As a matter of fact I had to convince them that I wanted to place my child and tell them to back off. So many kinds of support exist already for these women. Its time to accept that not all women want to or should keep their children. Adoption is not the evil. Closed mindedness is, no matter what side of the table you are on. This website is just as coercive and biased as any adoption agency. My God, shame on all of you. We all know adoption is not an alternative to abortion, lets educate these ladies and let them make their own decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Glad adoption helped YOU...but your child and now children may not be so happy. It is NOT a good thing to be brought up in a family of biological strangers, Its hard...no matter how much they love the child..it is still something to be dealt with. Congrats...your a adaoptive parents wet dream. As far a being a mom...not so much. Adoption only as a last resort..not a first choice. Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How could you tell adoption was my first choice? My reason is solid. Doing what is best for your child, despite the potential pain it may cause you, is being a good mother. The specifics of my case don't really matter, its the thought that all mothers should keep their children, regardless, that is dangerous. With planning and effort I have managed to be a permanent and growing force in my child's life. Not all adopting parents are just trying to take your baby and run. Come out of the dark ages and into the light. "Family" has been redefined. Adoption is not black and white like it used to be and this website perpetuating that lie is infuriating. If you hate adoption, you only have yourself to blame. You signed the papers, you gave away your child, deal with the consequences, just like the rest of us. Your not the only ones in this situation. Start coping, and stop whining. You're not doing anyone any good.

      Delete
    2. Jenny Reese wrote:""Family" has been redefined."

      But the emotions of a child who is given up for adoption have not. Although it is better that the adopted child is not completely in the dark about who his or her natural parents are, it hurts just the same to be given up. Even if society is supposedly so much more open minded about what constitutes a 'family'. And dpen most certainly does not have only herself to blame. She is an adoptee, not a first mother, and she had not say whatsoever in being an adopted.

      Delete
    3. Jenny Reese wrote: 'you only have yourself to blame.'

      I suspect you are someone who blames the individuals dying of emphysema for their own early and agonising death because they smoked.

      No acknowledgment of the massive social architecture that made every much-emulated film star blow glamorous smoke rings throughout films of the 1950s, or of those many bright posters featuring smiling doctors handing out ciggies to fight common infections. No acknowledgment of the long stifled research papers connecting smoking with cancer. No nod to the giant budgets handed over decades to clever advertising execs for promoting cigarettes.

      Sure, blame the victims. Much easier.

      Delete
    4. Jenny Reese wrote: 'you only have yourself to blame.'

      I suspect you are someone who blames the individuals dying of emphysema for their own early and agonising death because they smoked.

      No acknowledgment of the massive social architecture that made every much-emulated film star blow glamorous smoke rings throughout films of the 1950s and 1960s, or of those many bright posters featuring smiling doctors handing out highly addictive ciggies to fight common infections. No acknowledgment of the long stifled research papers connecting smoking with cancer. No nod to the giant budgets handed over decades to clever advertising execs for promoting cigarettes.

      Sure, blame the victims. Much easier.

      Delete
  20. Please add Angels' Place with three locations in Pittsburgh, PA to your list. They help low-income single parents complete their education by providing them with no cost child care and family support programs.

    http://www.angelsplacepgh.org/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hope House in Colorado, Teen Parent Connection in Naperville, IL, The Care Center Holyoke, Mass. Also, while not an org offering direct help, their partners do, they could be contacted for info > Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jenny Reese: Most individuals do not think that their first choice is to be raised by genetic strangers. You already are understanding that by supplying a second child to the same family--who will be related.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right. I do understand the need for a biological connection. Its just difficult to understand why everyone here is so upset. Sincerely. We chose adoption, why be angry and carry this painful torch for life? My entire reason for being here is to understand the hostility the majority of people here feel for adoption, after all, it was your choice. Please, let me know if that is not the case.

      Delete
    2. Jenny, If you're going to be a crisis pregnancy counselor as your wrote on another post, you need to learn how to listen. As other commentators have told you, true choice means knowing all the facts and having the resources to make a reasoned decision. Many of us lost our babies because of cultural mores, ignorance, and lack or resources. If I had known anything about how adoption would affect me and my daughter, there's no way in hell that I would have given her up.

      You commented on the other post that you were a paranoid schizophrenic with an extreme lack of empathy for others. This is obvious from your comments. You don't want to hear our stories; you just want to parade your superiority as a mother who gave up her child and is happy for doing it.

      The scary thing is that you will become a crisis pregnancy counselor. A vulnerable mother-to-be might listen to you, unaware of your mental illness, and give up her baby,

      Delete
  23. http://www.youngfamiliesehs.org in Billings, MT
    Young Families is an Early Head Start program that serves primarily teen and low-income families with children birth to three years of age, pregnant women, and infants and toddlers with special needs. Also offers home visits and free child care.

    ReplyDelete

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