You can click on the link below to watch Megan share her personal story about making a plan of adoption for her son.
“I first met with a counselor when I was six months pregnant. I knew adoption was best because my life was such a mess. My parents weren’t talking to me because I was living with a boyfriend they didn’t like. I had a 3-year-old son that was living with his father because I couldn’t take the pressure of raising him. I had some complications and my daughter was born two months early. I just felt like I couldn’t get my life on track. I found myself bouncing around with my daughter from place to place, going nowhere. I finally gave myself a deadline to find a safe place to live and start back to school. When my deadline passed, I decided to look at adoption again. I knew that my daughter deserved better than what I could give her. At one IPAS counselor’s suggestion, she went into a TLC home for a short time so I could see if I could live with adoption. I decided that adoption was best and she went to her adoptive home when she was six-months-old. I know she is doing well because I hear from her parents. I did go back to school and got my GED. Best of all, I have been able to become a mother to my son.”
Kelly, age 22
“I came to Infant of Prague for counseling before I knew what I was going to do. I thought a lot about adoption but in the end I decided to parent my son and raise him myself. It’s not easy, but I know I am a better mother because my counselor talked to me about parenting as well as adoption.”
Cindi, age 19
“I was 14 when my Mom drove me to the ER because of bad stomach cramps. It was then that I learned I was pregnant. I had denied to myself that I could be pregnant. My mom was in shock too! It was a hard delivery but my son looked beautiful to me. The hospital social worker called Infant of Prague and my baby was placed in a TLC home for a month while I tried to sort out what to do. I got to feed, bathe, and dress my son during the visits my parents and I had at the TLC home. My Infant of Prague social worker met with my parents and me over and over again. She told me something that really made sense to me. She said my heart and my head were battling each other (my heart said to parent my baby and my head said to let him be adopted). I was really torn up. I wanted my mom to make the decision for me but she kept saying it was my son and it had to be my decision. I finally called my counselor and told her that my head won out and I was ready to select a family for my baby. I cried, but I knew it was best for my baby boy. I gave the social worker a list of at least ten things I wanted for my son and my social worker found the perfect family for me. My son got everything that I wanted and I got to meet and stay in touch with his new family. They still send me pictures and letters.”
Melody, age 18
“I had been matched with a family through a facilitator. They were a very nice family but I realized they were not the right family for me. I met with a counselor at Infant of Prague and she helped me sort out my feelings about adoption. I looked at several albums of waiting families and found one that was just perfect for my daughter.”
Heather, age 17
“Adoption became a part of my life years ago, when I made the decision to make a plan of adoption with my daughter. This was a choice that changed my life forever, but a choice that I do not regret. Make no mistake, if I could have parented my daughter, I would have in a heartbeat. But circumstances would not allow me. This is when Brad and Lynn came into my life back in October 1990. From the moment I met them, I knew they were the couple I was looking for to raise my daughter. It’s hard to explain why I instantly felt they were the right choice from the beginning, but a big part of it was the incredible peace I felt inside of me. I did not feel pressure from Brad and Lynn, just their genuine concern for me and my child.
Even though I felt a peace from the very beginning, I did not make my final decision until I made a trip to their home early on in my pregnancy. I wanted to see their little family in action, stay in their home, and meet the family and special people in their life. I remember leaving their home that weekend, asking myself, “Is this what I want for my child?” and my answer was, “Yes!” We had spent hours talking about what parenthood meant to them and what their hopes were for the future. Brad and Lynn assured me from the very beginning that I would have the opportunity to be a part of my daughter’s life, and that meant so much to me. I never felt like they were just telling me what I wanted to hear, but felt that they genuinely meant what they said.
Having the choice to have an open adoption, made it easier for me to make the hard decision of allowing someone else to raise my child. I never had to wonder, ‘Is my child okay?’ because I already knew. Lynn always took the time to call me with updates as well as write me letters, and send me pictures. I will never forget the excitement I felt when I would receive pictures in the mail! To see her smile and the joy in her mom’s and dad’s face, was so comforting to me.
Brad and Lynn always made it known to me that their door was always open. Did I always walk through that door as the years passed by? No, but just knowing I could, made all the difference in the world to me.
My daughter is now 18-years-old and we communicate often! I treasure the visits we have with each other, and love hearing her tell me that she feels blessed to have two mothers who love her so much. That is what adoption is all about!”
Krista, age 45
This is the story of how IPAS helped a woman who chose to parent her child:
It is not unusual to get a call at the office from a friend or relative of a woman facing an unintended pregnancy. The caller is typically looking for help and advice that they can pass on to the individual in need. This was initially how Susan* came to us. Susan was in her third trimester of pregnancy and did not know whether she wanted to parent or make a plan of adoption for her child. In all reality, Susan was in a state of denial about the child she was carrying. Susan’s friend had heard of Infant of Prague, and after talking to a social worker at the office, connected Susan with the agency.
Susan was in her twenties, still lived at home, and was a part of a very dysfunctional family. She was unemployed and had no health insurance. Susan claimed that there was hardly any food in the house and that she was not receiving any type of government assistance which would have supplied her with groceries and cash aid. In addition to her substandard living conditions, Susan was pregnant by her on-and-off-again boyfriend who engaged in illegal activity. Susan had done nothing to prepare for the baby, and was not being realistic about what it meant to parent a child. She had not received prenatal care and was abusing substances.
An IPAS social worker got in touch with Susan, and within the first week of meeting took her to sign up for Pregnancy Medi-Cal and WIC. The same social worker also took Susan to see a doctor so that she would be under medical supervision for the rest of her pregnancy. Another social worker in the office did some family therapy with Susan and her mother. Susan was also transported to the welfare office where she was able to obtain cash aid. In addition, Susan got to spend quality time with a couple of different social workers as they invested in her life through mentoring, sharing meals, apartment hunting, and continued doctor appointments.
As Susan’s relationship with the IPAS social workers grew, she also received option counseling. Susan was able to realistically learn about what parenting or making a plan of adoption would look like. She viewed albums of waiting adoptive families. She explored openness and asked questions. She was provided with a non-judgmental, no pressure environment in which to make her decision.
When Susan decided to parent, an IPAS social worker took her to get baby furniture and clothes. She was connected to parenting classes offered in the community. She was encouraged to find a job. When the baby was induced, an IPAS social worker was the only one who stayed with her during her labor. Most importantly, Susan was not alone in her time of need even though she wasn’t making a plan of adoption.
Susan’s case is not unusual. About 50% of the women that work with an IPAS social worker decide to parent. It is the mission of Infant of Prague to help women with an unintended pregnancy learn about their options and decide what is best for her and her baby. Should a woman decide to parent, IPAS is there to celebrate and support her as she moves forward, as in Susan’s case. If a woman decides to make a plan of adoption, IPAS is there to affirm, counsel, and hold her hand as she places her child with a waiting adoptive family. Either way, IPAS is ready and willing to help.