Learning how to approach the adoption conversation

First slide

More than 30 people involved in organizations that assist pregnant women gathered at Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville May 9 to learn “How to Have the Adoption Conversation,” presented by Meaghan Lane, program manager for pregnancy and adoption support of Catholic Charities.

 

“Adoption is uncomfortable to talk about,” said Lane. “I can’t imagine how volunteers present it as an option when I’m uncomfortable. Planned Parenthood is comfortable talking about abortion. We’ll keep losing babies if we don’t get comfortable talking about adoption.”

 

Lane provided information about Catholic Charities adoption and pregnancy support and encouraged attendees to know about the agency’s impact and role.

 

“Adoption is interwoven in our community and lives,” she said after asking the attendees to raise their hands if they have been touched by adoption in some way. Many raised their hands.

 

Lane provided ways to change the language presented about adoption. “Don’t say ‘giving up your baby,’” she said. “A better choice is ‘make an adoption plan.’”

 

It is important to have empathy and compassion when talking with birth mothers, according to Lane. “How we feel about adoption comes across when we talk about it,” she said. “Our perceptions color our presentation about it.”

 

Lane gave handouts with questions to explore with clients, and potential responses to clients who say things such as, “I could never give my baby away” or “I am hoping to have a relationship with the father of the baby.”

 

Infant adoption rates have been low in recent years, according to Lane.

 

“Part of what I’m seeing as I make connections with people is that they are uncomfortable presenting it as an option,” she said.

 

Attendees were grateful for the presentation.

“I thought it was really efficient information for those of us who work or volunteer at a pregnancy center,” said Christina Mueller, a volunteer with New Eve Maternity Home in Winchester. “It’s uncomfortable even in that setting to bring up adoption. A lot of times the girls are defensive about it. The language she gave and the open-ended questions she provided to ask them are really beneficial.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018

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