Posts Tagged ‘ adoptive parents ’

Small Miracles / Small Miracles: What’s in a name?

When I ventured into the world of adoptions as an entrepreneur, I agonized over what to call my new company.  Understand that I was not opening as a licensed adoption agency (although that had been my background) but instead, my company offers complementary services particularly in terms of independent adoption counselling; and assists in completing and filing court documents for step-parent, adult and private-direct adoption.  With respect to step-families, I believe in the power of legal adoption to relieve at least a portion of the angst experienced by many families formed following domestic upheaval.

 

I chose “Small Miracles” because it seemed so appropriate.  My friends, colleagues and business advisors cautioned that it did not, “…at a glance…” clearly reflect my product or services; an attribute so important in a world where so much information whizzes by us at light speed.  From my perspective, however, the name was perfect.  At its root, my business was about children, who are both small and miraculous…I loved the imagery and I was excited to attach myself to the idea. Mistakenly, I believed that the name was unique.  An Internet search and the entire corporate registration process failed to reveal a conflict. I was so pleased with my new name and corporate identity!

 

The many calls that I received inquiring about pet adoption were my first clue that something had gone terribly wrong.  These calls did, however, cause me pause (paws) to wonder if I should add a new product line as there did appear to be a persistent and determined market.

 

In retrospect, my initial search of the Internet may have been too perfunctory.  How could I have missed the other companies who had, or were still using “Small Miracles” or a similar name?  Regardless, I had one very serious, very concerning, doppelganger.   There had been an “open” adoption agency based in Engelwood, Colorado named “Small Miracles Adoption”.  Worse than the unfortunate name-sharing was the fact that this particular, now defunct, agency has drawn the very public ire of many birth-mothers who express their very personal pain and rage through numerous blog and web-page postings.  I have received many calls from birth mothers looking for assistance with a variety of complaints involving the Colorado agency.  I have attempted to help them and have put them into direct contact with the appropriate State social services agencies; I am touched by their stories.

 

I support adoption…particularly, I support OPEN adoption.  I am proud to be affiliated with Adoption By Choice (ABC) who I consider to be a particularly ethical and professional organization.

 

For now, please understand that while I love animals, I cannot help you find a pet and please do not confuse me with Small Miracles Adoption formerly of Englewood, Colorado! We are located in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

How Practical Are Women’s Alternatives To Abortion?

Regardless of your political leanings, views on feminism, or your religious beliefs, when you work in adoption you cannot help but to view abortion as lost opportunities to build families. When you work each day with amazing, capable couples who long for children, the number of pregnancies that are terminated seems particularly difficult to reconcile. Please do not misunderstand, I do not take a position on the legal, moral, religious or medical implications of abortion or contraception. As a woman, and as a social worker, I understand that these issues are difficult and complex on both an individual and a social level. I would like to believe that my mind is open and that I have a generous perspective on these delicate issues.

The most recent statistics that I can find on therapeutic abortions, in Alberta, comes from the Stats Canada Therapeutic Abortion Survey results for 2006 (Reported 24 Aug 2009). Although based on clinic and hospital self-reporting, and the fact that the report doesn’t include late-stage abortions referred to U.S. doctors, the Alberta numbers are considered relatively accurate at 11, 936. This means that about 50 abortions occur in Alberta clinics and hospitals every working day of the year.

Currently there are about 180 – 200 couples registered with Alberta’s 4 remaining private not-for-profit adoption agencies that are waiting to adopt a child. Usually, a couple would expect to wait an average of 18 months and up to 3 years before they are selected by a birthparent (in open adoption). To put this in perspective, in just 8 working days in Alberta, the number of babies aborted could reduce the adoptive parent’s waiting list to zero. In Alberta, last year, the adoption agencies placed just under 100 children with families. This represents two days worth of abortions.

I think it is vitally important that we create real choices for women. In terms of unplanned, unsupported pregnancies, women have three basic choices: keep their babies despite the hardships, terminate the pregnancy, or follow through with the pregnancy and then place the baby for adoption.

Of these three options, why does abortion appear to be the disproportionate choice? If our society is truly sincere about providing equal choices for women then it also needs to support and promote the choices equally. As a society, are we doing enough to encourage and support women to keep their babies when, without direct assistance, that choice is effectively not available to them? Why, for example, would we fund abortion through our health insurance plan but leave adopting parents without financial support or subsidy for their adoption expenses?

Depending on your point of view, abortion may or may not be a legitimate choice for women. Regardless, the disproportionate number that choose abortion has to make you wonder if society has rendered the alternatives practical.