Helping people make an informed decision
SOUTHWEST KANSAS REGISTER: In what ways have you seen women or couples benefit from adoption counseling?
AMY FALCON: I think that the counseling helps them to truly consider each of their options and helps them to feel good about their decision, whether it is to make an adoption plan or a parenting plan.
SKR: Can you share a personal story of a particular mom and how she benefited from adoption counseling? AMY FALCON: In this case, I worked with both of the birth parents. The birth father actually called to schedule the first appointment. I did end up working more with her than with him; however, he was involved initially. They were both high school seniors and were involved in sports/cheerleading, etc.... They decided that they wanted to make an adoption plan and were able to select a family from our program.
They met the family and started forming a relationship with them. They and their families became very close to this adoptive family; the birth mom even went to college in the town they lived in. I continued providing counseling to this birth mom for a year and a half after the birth of her child.
She is now engaged to a boy she met at college and is living in his home town. They are planning on getting married sometime next year.
I know that this birth mom struggled with her emotions for quite a while after the birth and relinquishment of her child. It takes approximately a year for them to really go through the grieving process. I think that the counseling helped her to get through those difficult times. She was also going through a break up with the father of her child, which was also a very difficult decision for her to make.
I know that the birth father also struggled with the decision, but both of them decided that they wanted a family for their child that could provide for her in the way that they weren’t able to at the time.
SKR: Have you seen an increase in moms seeking counseling?
AMY FALCON: I don’t know that there has been an increase. We have actually had a decrease in adoptions this year, but it does fluctuate from year to year. I have recently seen an increase in both expectant parents coming in for counseling versus just the expectant mothers. This is a good thing!
SKR: Are they mostly younger moms?
AMY FALCON: Most of them are younger, high school age generally. However, we do see college age as well.
SKR: What are some of the ways that you help the moms, apart from offering counseling. Do you direct them to places where they can get help, etc…?
AMY FALCON: We do refer them to other resources if needed. We help them apply for benefits if they are not receiving them, we refer them to the WIC program and low income housing. If they are pregnant and decide they are going to parent, we also refer them to our Teen Moms Program if they are between the ages of 13 and 23 year old. We will basically refer them for any services they may need and we are aware of.