Helping Expectant Parents Cope With Unplanned Pregnancy
The Children’s Home & Aid Pregnancy, Early Parent, and Adoption Counseling (PEPAC) program provides options counseling to pregnant women, and counseling and education services to expectant parents and their families. The primary goals of the program are prevention of future unplanned pregnancies and the deterrence of child abuse and neglect.
The Pregnancy, Early Parent, and Adoption Counseling program provides counseling, transportation services, financial management skills building, and other services needed to promote optimal social, psychological and physical development. Pregnant women may request adoption services, parenting education or counseling. Counseling services offer ways to reduce stress, techniques to develop assertive skills, resources to build a support system, strategies to find a job, ways to enhance communication skills, and positive parenting strategies. Adoption services offer open adoptions, transportation assistance to medical appointments, payment of medical expenses, and individual and family counseling.
PEPAC is available to any individual who is an expectant parent, regardless of marital status. Services are also provided to individuals who have a child 0-5 years old and whom desires counseling, parent education, adoption services, grief counseling, and/or crisis intervention.
Services are provided to all birth parents free of charge. Parenting classes are also open to other individuals in the community for a small fee.
Children’s Home & Aid considers all personal information provided during counseling sessions highly confidential. This confidential information is never shared with anyone without written consent.
Considering The Option Of Adoption
Adoption may be the best option for an expectant parent. Children’s Home & Aid carefully screens and evaluates families that want to adopt. Counselors provide expectant parents with the profiles of families that contain pictures and letters about why they want to adopt. Expectant parents can review these profiles and then meet with the families before making a decision.
Contact After Adoption
When making the decision about an adoptive family, expectant parents can choose a family that will provide the level of openness they would prefer. Children’s Home & Aid strongly encourages all adoptive families to maintain some amount of contact with birth parents. Some families have very open relationships with birth parents. Other families and birth parents find they are more comfortable maintaining a distant relationship through pictures and letters sent through Children’s Home & Aid.
Do Birth Fathers Have Rights?
Birth fathers have legal rights and need to be informed of plans regarding the child. Counselors encourage birth parents to work together to decide what is best for their child and can assist in this process.
Children’s Home & Aid provides ongoing support to birth parents to assist in coping with the normal feelings of grief and loss. Birth parents may receive counseling for as long as it is needed.
Early Parent Counseling
Parents with young children under three years of age may receive free counseling, parent education and referrals to support services.
The PEPAC program also provides:
- Transportation to prenatal and post-natal appointments
- Parenting education
- Strategies on finding a job
- Counseling on reducing stress and post-partum depression
- Assistance in developing communication skills
The Pregnancy, Early Parent, and Adoption Counseling program is offered in the Northern Region.