Information to help you support patients and clients who are facing unplanned pregnancy.

 

  1. Someone who makes an adoption plan doesn’t care about their baby.

Through the years, we’ve counseled many pregnant or parenting clients who are struggling to figure out how to raise their child despite the complex or crisis situations in which they have found themselves. One thing all of these clients have in common is their deep love for their child and strong desire for the best possible future for their baby. It’s important to offer support without judgment, and to provide adoption resources to patients and clients who need information about their options.

 

  1. Women have usually made up their mind regarding adoption prior to delivery.

In the past year, half of our adoption placements were made by women who did not consider adoption until they were at the hospital. Our staff can provide options counseling at the hospital the same day that a woman delivers her child, and if a mother needs additional time after birth to make her decision, we can also offer temporary in-home care for her newborn. Women can’t relinquish their parental rights until at least 72 hours after birth, and they should be treated like any other woman during labor and delivery: explaining medical procedures, answering questions and using supportive language. Be flexible to their hospital plan and aware that their wishes may change.

  1. When an expectant parent receives options counseling, they feel pressured into making an adoption plan.

Most expectant parents who contact us are at the point in their pregnancy where they are choosing between two options: parenting or adoption. Over multiple sessions, their counselor will support them as they explore issues such as their support system, finances, future goals, and grief and loss following placement. Through our free and confidential counseling, we strive to empower our clients with the information and resources they need to make an informed decision for themselves and their baby.

 

For expectant parents making an adoption plan, they decide the level of communication they will have with their child’s adoptive parents before and during birth, as well as the level of involvement their counselor will have with them at the hospital.

One of our empowered moms Jasmine and her children

A quarter of the clients we’ve counseled over the past year chose to parent. And when they do choose to parent, we provide parenting resources and referrals for them, and enroll eligible parents into our Empowering Women, Strengthening Families program.

 

 

  1. It’s difficult to find an adoptive family for a baby with substance exposure or whose biological parent has a mental health history.

Over half of biological parents in our program self-report substance use and/or mental health issues, while families waiting to adopt through Holt-Sunny Ridge attend over 20 hours of training on common special needs, risk factors and long-term effects of substance exposure to a child in utero. Through the years, we have placed many children who have complex medical issues or developmental delays with the loving, permanent families they need and deserve.

 

  1. Birth parent and adoptive parent support ends after placement.

At Holt-Sunny Ridge, our staff makes a lifelong commitment to birth parents, adoptive families and adoptees. Our support for birth parents includes counseling, referrals and facilitating communication with their child’s adoptive family. For adoptive parents and adoptees, we offer individual and family therapy in our Bolingbrook office. We also provide post-adoption services including parenting workshops, coaching, trauma-informed camps and adoptee support groups.

Amy, Olivia, Loann and Nancy

The staff at Holt-Sunny Ridge wants to work with you to support your patients and clients in crisis. How can we partner with you to be a resource for women facing unplanned pregnancy?

For immediate support for a woman facing unplanned pregnancy, contact us 24/7 at 800-Baby-Mom.

 

For patient resources or to schedule an in-service training for your staff, please contact Kristina Knapp at kristinak@holtusa.org.

 

Holt-Sunny Ridge is a DCFS-licensed, non-profit child welfare agency that provides pregnancy options counseling and domestic adoption services in Illinois and Wisconsin.