Stronger Beginnings Approach
Bethany Christian Services is a nationwide nonprofit organization that brings families together and keeps them together. The Minnesota office of Bethany Christian Services is launching a pilot program that will have a profound impact on the way adoptions are handled in the future. The pilot program will be called Stronger Beginnings. This enhanced model of transition for birth mothers and adoptive parents will reduce stress on all parties, including and especially, the newborn babies.
What is the current model of care?
Currently, pregnant women considering adoption feel tremendous stress surrounding the decisions they’ll be making with respect to their baby and their future. Such decision-making is rushed and often takes place in a hospital setting. Since adoptive parents are currently paying for the transition care, the birth mother may feel a sense of obligation to commit to the adoptive couple.
What is this new model of care?
The Stronger Beginnings approach is a new counseling model that focuses significant resources on eliminating the stress that expectant parents deal with during an unplanned pregnancy, and the stress that impacts the child both prior to birth and immediately following birth.
“Stronger Beginnings” supports pregnant women (and their families) considering adoption by providing more appropriate transition care that eases their stress.
In addition to changing the role of expectant parent advocates, Bethany has also developed a new plan for post birth care of the infant. Instead of having to make a decision within a few days of delivering the baby, Bethany is now encouraging the birth parents to either take their baby home or place the infant in gentle transition care while they take the time they need to make a final decision as to whether to parent or make an adoption plan .
What is gentle transition care?
Gentle transition care is a safe, loving and warm home environment where the baby can continue their important early development in a stress free environment. During the newborn’s stay in gentle transition care, the birth parents are encouraged to visit the child as they sort through their final parenting decision.
Stronger Beginnings includes:
A “parent advocate” who provides support to the birthmother (and her families) during the pregnancy and after birth.
Male counselors who work with expectant fathers.
Gentle Transition Care; a safe, nurturing environment for the baby following their hospital stay to reduce stress and make thoughtful decisions.
Why is this important?
We have all lived through stressful situations and have felt the impact of the stress in our lives. Not only is there an emotional component to living with stress, but there is physiological impact as well. The stress a birth mother feels during pregnancy has a direct impact on the unborn child. It is very real, and the results can lead to many challenges in life for the child.
Typical results of children whose birth mother’s pregnancy was highly stressful include premature birth, low birth weight, temperamental issues and attention issues, emotional reactivity and hyperactivity to name a few. All kids deserve better than this, which is the reason Bethany has decided to do something meaningful to help prevent this from occurring.
If the birthparents can reduce their stress, have access to the right care and counseling and have the appropriate time to make their adoption decision, it makes for a healthy experience for everyone; this includes the adoptive parents and the baby. Every baby deserves a stress-free, stronger, beginning.
Families who are interested in adopting a child through Bethany will no longer pay for expectant parent counseling. This helps reduce the stress of the expectant parents and the confusing sense of obligation they may feel towards adoption versus parenting.
What are we asking for?
Your donation – no matter the size – will directly fund the Stronger Beginnings program and the new model of care. Your contribution will help make this pilot program successful. You will not only change the lives of kids today but for generations to come.