• Supporting adoption
    November 07,2013
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    November is National Adoption Month, and a reflection on best-practice adoption does not take place without also considering reproductive rights.

    Reproductive choice has once again become a political issue in the news, and Friends in Adoption, a licensed nonprofit agency, serving the Northeast with domestic adoption services for more than 30 years, wishes to weigh in.

    Since its inception, FIA has focused on helping people make an informed decision without judgment or pressure. FIA’s trained professionals understand that pregnancy decisions are personal, unique to each person or couple’s circumstances and a private matter.

    It is critical for women and couples facing a pregnancy decision to learn about all their legal options — knowing that they may be considering parenting, adoption or abortion. Ethical professionals listen and provide information and support to those individuals, without telling them which decision they should make.

    To truly celebrate November as Adoption Awareness Month, we ask people to respect women’s reproductive rights and view adoption as a legitimate reproductive choice without maligning either of her other two legal choices or aligning adoption with the anti-choice position.

    FIA is proud of the relationships it has formed with women’s health services across the U.S. It has received referrals from reproductive health centers including Planned Parenthoods for many years. FIA also receives and appreciates referrals from Crisis Pregnancy Centers. One of the reasons that health centers and professionals refer to FIA is because of its stance against reproductive coercion and inclusion of open adoption.

    FIA is passionate about adoption, cares about the women and couples who call them, and they want each person to make a decision that works best for them. We provide women and couples with the opportunity to talk with licensed, independent counselors and with specializing adoption attorneys while they make their decision, without being asked to make any commitment to adoption until they are sure it is what is best for them and for their child.

    If a woman or couple chooses adoption, FIA works with them through the decision-making processes around selecting an adoptive family, and provides lifelong support to all members in the adoptive circle: birth family, adoptive family, and of course, adopted person. The woman or couple determines the amount of openness desired throughout the process and after placement, and works with the adopting family to create a plan that works for all involved — keeping as central the best interests of the child. Qualified professionals provide the appropriate scaffolding.

    FIA continues to serve as a community resource, educating on adoption issues and supporting the members of the family of adoption. FIA’s website at www.friendsinadoption.org contains important information for women and couples facing a pregnancy decision. FIA values empowerment, open adoption, inclusiveness, and lifelong services. Please join us in celebrating adoption, birth and adoptive families, and most of all, our children.

    DAWN SMITH-PLINER

    (Founding director,

    Friends in Adoption)

    Poultney
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