She is pregnant and sleeping in the park these days.
She has lost all her worldly possessions recently. So she lacks an ID, which would be necessary to qualify to stay in a shelter.
She’s in her late twenties, but looks much younger. Child Protective Services already has custody of her other children.
She has no family support and no income. Having dropped out of school in the ninth grade, she also lacks a job.
Her kids’ dad is in prison for domestic violence.
And she’s pregnant again, although she has gotten no prenatal care as of yet.
Sadly, this isn’t the exception, lately. It’s the reality facing too many prospective birthparents these days. For all the “public assistance” out there, there are still far too many people who are still falling between the cracks.
What Abrazo Can Do for Moms
It was another Abrazo birthmom who helped the homeless pregnant woman find our agency. She brought her along to Abrazo’s birthparent support group meeting for a (much-needed) free meal. Afterwards, the expectant mother asked Abrazo’s staff how to get an adoption plan started.
We assured her she doesn’t have to make adoption plans, because placement isn’t her only alternative. In San Antonio, there’s Guadalupe Home, which houses pregnant women. Haven for Hope, can help with not just housing but IDs for homeless people, too. Saving Our Sisters provides financial and material support for moms choosing parenting instead of adoption. And Life Choices, which offers free prenatal care for women who don’t have doctors nor medical coverage.
“I know I don’t have to do this,” she told us. “But I know I need to. It would be better for me, and for my baby, too.”
Here’s what Abrazo can do, for mothers who feel they need to make adoption plans: the agency can provide individual counseling as well as weekly support group meeting. Abrazo is able to provide maternity-related transportation for appointments, medical referrals, pregnancy housing, food and clothing. And Abrazo can assist with open adoption planning, placement services for babies, toddlers and sibling groups, and post-adoption support, as well.
Abrazo’s services cost the prospective placing parents nothing. Prospective birthmoms who use Abrazo’s services owe the agency nothing if they elect not to place. And those who do place their children for adoption also receive free post-adoption services like counseling and events such as Homecoming and Camp Abrazo.
What Adoption Can Do for Children
Adoption isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution, of course. Just because someone is single or poor or homeless doesn’t mean they are incapable of parenting with love.
Yet parenting is optional. And adoption can be optimal. (When it’s done the right way and for the right reasons, that is.)
Adoption can provide an at-risk child with a lower-risk home environment. It can give a child a mature and responsible two-parent family, in which there is consistent care and nurture. It offers that child ample food, stable shelter, reliable transportation, educational opportunity and quality healthcare.
Adoptive parents undergo in-depth home studies and background checks before they’re approved for placement. The families undergo 6-18 months of professional post-placement supervision, as well. This helps ensure that each child is thriving in the adoptive home, before finalization occurs.
At Abrazo, we practice open adoption. This offers adoptive families and birthfamilies the option of getting to know each other prior to placement and keeping in touch afterwards. It enables adoptees to grow up secure in the knowledge and love of all their parents.
And that’s what gives Abrazo’s kids roots and wings, both of which are so necessary for adoptees to thrive after being adopted.
(Which is exactly what we hope may help prevent a future generation of young women from finding themselves pregnant and sleeping in the park one day.)
Whether you’re pregnant and sleeping in the park or not, if you are considering adoption, please consider letting Abrazo help you make the best plans possible for you and your little one.