Adoption Access Inc. in Canton provides counseling before, during and after childbirth for mothers who need it, adoption counselor Janet Mariani said.She
said most girls are very scared when they find themselves pregnant.They worry about parental disapproval and are not mature enough to handle the situation.Many have spontaneous abortions or miscarriages and don't know what to do with the fetuses.
"We hear it all and see it all," Mrs. Mariani
said."We are grateful when we see the girls come in (for help)."She
said many counseling centers don't talk to the young mothers about the adoption alternative.She's
heard nurses ask the mothers, "How can you give away your own flesh and blood?"
"Society doesn't make it easy for child moms," Mrs. Mariani
said."No one gives adoption a good rap."She
said most moms would take the child home and continue to live in poverty."They've accidentally gotten pregnant and they're punished for it."
Once the girl takes the baby home and discovers the money isn't there, and family and friends aren't helping out, the girl has already bonded with the baby, she
said."Whatever the circumstances, they still can't give up the baby because society doesn't support them."She
said most girls who give up their babies are in their early 20s - most pregnant teenagers have abortions.Mrs. Mariani
said Adoption Access
has 60 families currently waiting to adopt a baby.The process of giving up a baby to adoption is easy.The mothers have a hand in helping choose the adoptive parents.The organization does a thorough home study and background check of the hopeful parents.
A relinquishment can be obtained from the birth mom 48 hours after the birth.
said Adoption Access
has been in business for 10 years and all adoptions are done legally - "ironclad."They are licensed in Texas and do 70 to 100 adoptions per year.The birth moms come from all over Texas and the adoptive couples come from around the United States.
"We help (the mothers) through the process, especially emotionally," she
said.Files can be sealed and information stays confidential.The mother's parents don't even have to know about it.
At Adoption Access
, all children are told "from the get go" they're adopted, Mrs. Mariani
said.If a child comes forward and wants to know their birth mom - when they are mature enough and the adoptive parents agree - we'll help them locate her
.If they're 18 years old, they can look into the adoption registry if the mother is listed.She
said most girls who get pregnant and have abortions don't realize what they've done."It's not real to them when it's a little speck inside them." Mrs. Mariani
said adoption needs to be a consciousness-raising thing.There needs to be a real awareness to what it's all about.
The holiday season officially began Thursday with Thanksgiving.The holidays for me have always been about family, especially the younger children in my family.Maybe the purpose of the Baby Grand tragedy happened to bring the community of Grand Saline and Van Zandt County together - to bring all of us who learned of the tragedy together to think about what we have and to be thankful for our family, especially the children.Hopefully it will bring awareness to the community and let people know of the options available for young mothers.