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November 28, 2011

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Spend Some Time at a Local Maternity Home

There are women across the country living in maternity homes. They may be feeling stressed, nervous, or overwhelmed. Spend some time with them and help them see that they are loved.

Consider Volunteering

About 5 miles away is a program that is a maternity home. Maternity homes are pretty rare these days but still fill a very important role in a community. When most people think of "maternity home" they have a 1940s or 1950s image of the home; they imagine a place where "unwed mothers" go to hide from society, give birth and then place their baby for adoption.

Today's maternity homes bear little resemblance to that outdated image. The maternity home near me states, "We serve the needs of teens and homeless women experiencing crisis pregnancies. The need for safe housing in a loving, nurturing environment is crucial to someone who is struggling with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy." They go on to state that 60% of pregnant teens will face homelessness at least once during their pregnancy. After delivery, mother and child can stay at the home until safe, reliable housing is procured or up to two years after giving birth. The director told me that while they would never kick out a mom with a two year old but they find most of their clients are able to move from the home long before that time.

What about adoption? Throughout their pregnancy and time at the home, the clients are presented with the options for their child, including adoption. Today, most will choose to parent. The home provides parenting education as well as vocational training and high school classes. Their vision says it all: "To provide women and teens in crisis pregnancy, and their children, with housing, education, opportunities, and health services to empower them in their journey towards independence."

Since today's National Adoption Month calendar suggests getting to know the clients at a local maternity home, I have decided to do some volunteering for mine. I have a coaching license so I am going to offer to teach life skills classes. I am certain I have something to offer that can do some good!

Dreena T

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