The Missing Piece; Control What We Think About Adoption

The Family Research Council, The National Council for Adoption and the Infant Adoption Training Initiative

Just a few blurbs from The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers:

“Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desires to keep their babies. One example is to reinforce the notion that it takes strong, mature woman to place a child for adoption. Honestly addressing the issue of financial survival to the compelling as well. Counselors must communicate that adoption can be an heroic, responsible choice and that the child benefits tremendously.”

“In the training sessions for counselors, long-term problems of parenting for those who are unprepared to parent must be presented in realistic terms, but not over exaggerated. For example, addressed the fact that women keep babies they do not really want are much more likely to neglect for injure them. While children may have been saved from abortion, by staying with unprepared mothers, they may very well live lives of pain and suffering.”

“In addition, training materials should explain that women, too, suffer when they keep children they are not prepared to raise. Besides having their own opportunities for education, career, and marriage diminished, these women face a much higher possibility of living in poverty. Because of their poverty, mothers may feel forced to enter into or stay in abusive relationships. When they do so, their children are further endangered.”

Yes, they are instructing pregnancy counselors as to how to convince women to relinquish their children to adoption. How the hell did we get here?

Abortion, Adoption and Crisis Pregnancy

First we start with abortion and crisis pregnancy centers. In 1997, the Family Research Council published a 28-page report titled ‘Turning Hearts Toward Life: Market Research for Crisis Pregnancy Centers.’ The report, aimed and promoted to pregnancy centers, had two sections. The first section on center effectiveness, illustrated that the centers’ target market was younger women of childbearing age, familiar with the Crisis Pregnancy centers and had a positive impression of their character and work even though it is a known fact that Crisis Pregnancy Centers are not really unbiased.

The second section of the report focused entirely on adjustments to the centers’ marketing strategies that could further enhance their appeal to the public, to prospective clients, and especially to abortion-minded women who could be offered assistance to rebuild their lives and bring their babies to term. Basically, following the principals of the Family Research Council namely “champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society” with a purpose top ” formulates public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family” they want the public to see that only “good” married folks should have children, and that for all abortion is bad. Using specific recommendations, the report covered such issues as the physical location of the centers in the community, advertising imagery and language, and center awareness of local demographics.

While the nation’s pregnancy care centers were already engaged in exploration of name changes and other new marketing approaches in the late 1990s, the FRC report was provided the centers with specific, evidence-based marketing advice and strategies. Hundreds of centers across the country changed their marketing practices and service emphasis as a result of this FRC study.  Much to some quite righteous displeasure form the pro choice community, this was considered a success.

Move on to Adoption Research and Birthmother Studies

Then in 1999, the Family Research Council took it one step farther and conducted  research to understand the factors involved in considering adoption and how best to present adoption as a viable option for women.  In conjunction with the National Council for Adoption, the Family Research Council asked Kenny & Associates, Inc. to conduct a study focused on pregnancy resource centers and their low and decreasing rate of adoption placements. The research was designed to identify the underlying factors that either inhibit or motivate the consideration of adoption in both single, pregnant women and in the pregnancy counselors who were advising them. The research focused on discovering the most basic impressions that women and counselors have about adoption and on the psychological dynamics of decision-making concerning adoption.

The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centersby Curtis J. Young is the result of that study.

Congress Approves the Infant Adoption Awareness Act for Training

Now that study was published in 2000, and in 2001 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the release of $8.6 million in federal grants to start a new program to raise awareness about adoption as an option for pregnant women. Think any of this just might be connected?

Congress authorized the new training program as part of the Infant Adoption Awareness Act included in the Children’s Health Act of 2000. The law requires HHS to develop and implement programs to train staff at federally funded health centers and clinics to provide adoption information and referral to pregnant women on an equal basis with other alternatives presented to the women ( aka abortion). In other words, the pro-life contingency is still battling Title X funding and since 1993 when President Clinton removed the gag order, they have been freaking out since Crisis Pregnancy Centers can talk about abortion services.

For more back history on these issues please see Out of Compliance? Implementing the Infant Adoption Awareness Act and Family Planning and Adoption Promotion: New Proposals, Long-Standing Issues.

Oddly enough, the National Council for Adoption received $6.1 million to implement a national training program. They keep on getting money and grants to “educate” people about the glories of adoption in the Infant Adoption Training Initiative.Growing out of legislation by the U.S. Congress in 2000, the primary purpose of the program was to train pregnancy and health counselors in federally funded clinics to present adoption as an option to women with unintended pregnancies. In 2007, the NCFA was designated as the Infant Adoption Training Initiative (IATI) Grantee for Health Region 3. Since 2002, the NCFA’s IATI has trained more than 17,665 individuals about their version of Adoption Mythology.

About The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers

The original printed study is still available at the Family Research Council website for $3.00, however, it will be a printed booklet.

To my knowledge there is not a digital online version of this report to be found online…until now. To create a digital version of this file, I literally sat there and read the whole 35 page report out loud to my DragonSpeak headset and then edited the final copy for typos, missed words and formatting. I am sure there are mistakes that I missed.

As I think it is very important that this kind of research is both available and public, I am posting the entire study here. Please feel free to copy and paste sections as needed for blog posts, commentary, reference etc. Please do NOT post the whole thing in its entirety.

There is a PDF version of the whole booklet at the end of the digital post. You may copy that and save it to your computer for your own files. Again, please do not re post in its entirety. While I am not trying to control who does see it, I think there might be folks who we don’t want to know we have full access to it.

To Access The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers

To access The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers in its entirety click here.

Thank you for your cooperation and I hope you get what you were looking for out of The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers. I would say “enjoy” but I do not think that is possible.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

1 Comment on "The Missing Piece; Control What We Think About Adoption"

  1. autumn01113 | January 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

    I just read birthmother/goodmother and I was struck by how no one ever mentioned the pain the child will go through being given up by her mother and being raised by strangers. It’s as if the child will never grow up and suffer.

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