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Agape to offer sessions for birth parents

Published 1:32pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

Agape of North Alabama is hosting “Heart to Heart,” support meetings for birth parents of children who have been placed for adoption.

“Placing a child for adoption involves so many emotions — fear, hope for a better life for your child, selflessness, guilt, grief. Only those who have experienced this can relate to those feelings,” Leah Norton said. She works as director of social services at Agape.

The Heart to Heart sessions meet on the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Agape offices, 103 Mountain Brook Blvd. in Madison. The sessions are free and open to anyone who has placed a child for adoption at any point and with any agency. Childcare is provided.

“We offer a safe environment for birth parents to process through their emotions with others who share similar experiences,” Norton said. “We hope to create a support system for these birth parents to find encouragement, friendship and camaraderie.”

Individuals who face an unplanned or crisis pregnancy can meet great distress, especially those with no support system and stability. “Birth parents find themselves in an extremely difficult situation when they lack the stability to provide the best environment for a child they love and desire to parent, but they know adoption is the best option for that child,” Norton said.

Agape offers pregnancy counseling and assists birth parents with weighing their options. “We offer individual counseling, as well as connection to community resources, such as housing assistance, prenatal care and employment assistance,” Norton said. If birth parents choose adoption, Agape helps them tailor a birth plan suited to their needs and wishes.

Since 1969, Agape has helped thousands of children by providing short- or long-term foster care and, with the right opportunities, adoption for babies and children. Working with birth parents, prospective adoptive parents and foster parents, Agape strives to make the connections that create families.

For more information, call Norton at 256-859-4481, email to leah@agapecares.org or visit agapecares.org or Facebook/agape of north alabama.

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