Facing Prison, Mom Chooses Adoption

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Facing Prison, Mom Chooses Adoption © Pat Smith | Dreamstime

Beth became pregnant with her third child and immediately started thinking about what she wanted for the son she was carrying. Like most parents, she wanted him to have every opportunity in life. She dreamed about the kind of life her son would have, and the kind of man he would become.

Those dreams seemed impossible because Beth was in jail and would soon go to prison. Beth already had two children. She worried what would happen in the next five to seven years. Would her children remember her? Would they hate her?

She couldn’t undo the choices she made, but she could make a different choice for her baby.

Mom Wants Stability through Adoption

Beth asked to speak with someone at Catholic Charities about adoption. Teresa Doud, pregnancy specialist, met with Beth in jail. Doud provided her with information regarding adoption, and Beth was able to ask questions and share her concerns. She knew exactly what she wanted the adoptive family to be like.

“Beth wanted her son to be raised in a two-parent home with a mother and a father,” said Doud. “She had family members who were willing to raise her baby, but didn’t feel they would be able to provide the type of environment or stability she wanted for him.”

An open adoption was also very important to Beth. She wanted to be able to know her son as he grew and desperately wanted to find a family willing to bring him to the prison to visit her.

Adoptive Family is Meant to Be

Many families are willing to accept an open adoption, but the type of access that Beth was asking for was out of the ordinary.

The “Gilbert” family first attended a meeting to learn more about adoption through Catholic and started the required adoption education classes soon after. Both parents were successful professionals; they had one child but wanted to grow their family.

"All adoptive parents in our program must espouse a faith and have an infertility diagnosis or medical reason that keeps them from getting pregnant or carrying a biological child to term," said Doud.

Now, two years after the Gilbert’s began their adoption journey, they were matched with Beth. A video conference was arranged for everyone to meet since Beth was in jail. The Gilbert’s had zero hesitation about moving forward, they were all in. By all accounts, this adoption was, “meant to be,” said Doud.

The Gilbert’s developed a relationship with Beth before the baby was born. Beth had complete confidence in her choice; the adoptive family would provide her son with a future beyond what she dreamed.

Staying true to Beth’s wishes, “the adoptive family went through the arduous process of setting up future visits with her in prison,” said Doud.
Beth stays in touch with Doud through occasional letters. She is grateful for the opportunity to watch her son grow and thrive and it is through this opportunity that she knows she made the best choice for herself and her child. 

Free Pregnancy Counseling Available 24/7

Catholic Charities pregnancy specialists are available 24 hours a day via phone or text to provide compassionate care and a listening ear to women and couples experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Each pregnancy counselor is dedicated to helping women understand the facts about pregnancy, parenting and adoption. These services are provided free of charge. Pregnancy counselors can be reached at 1-888-818-4445. 

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