I was saddened to realize that there are more than 477 loving families that would have welcomed and cherished these children who died forever. The shame is not solely with the abusive parents or the failings of DCF.
The shame is shared by relatives, well-meaning acquaintances and agencies that encourage pregnant girls and women who are not willing or able to parent a child to do just that.
Let’s work toward taking the shame out of making an adoption plan for an unborn child and support women making that decision by ensuring that they get counseling, pre-natal care, proper nutrition and a safe place to live.
The best gift they could possibly give their child is a good start in life by taking care of themselves and their baby in utero.
How much better for children to know their heritage and that the choice was made not just out of necessity but with love as well. DCF is mandated by law to offer the choice of private adoption to parents whose parental rights are being terminated. Is that being done? What is the cost of the trauma inflicted on children who are in limbo awaiting completion of reunification plans?
As adoptive parents will tell you, one does not need to experience pregnancy to parent a child. The reverse is also true: Pregnancy doesn’t prepare you to parent a child. Funds need to be allocated for education and services to promote and implement adoption.
June L. Lewis, licensed clinical social worker, Miami