Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH) offers two new services, Expectant Parent Pre-Placement and Birth Parent Post-Placement. Through AFTH’s commitment to serving the adoption triad, the agency realized an even greater need for additional services dedicated to women. Although some of these services are active, AFTH realized there is a need to enhance and add to them.
A key component of the new services will be Needs Assessments. They are designed to take a more holistic approach to ensure the well-being of expectant and birth mothers. During intake, social workers gather information about the mother’s essential and medical needs, mental health, transportation, and plans for school or employment. To assist with essential needs, AFTH maintains an Expecting and Birth Parent Fund. Birth Parents can request a donation to help buy groceries, clothing, or pay utilities. The agency can assist with apartment hunting and connect mothers with community resources. Medical support will range from help applying for Medical assistance and finding prenatal care providers to transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Parents in need of mental health resources can connect with therapists to process the adoption and participate in free therapeutic workshops held by licensed social workers.
AFTH plans to offer two workshops throughout the year: Resume Writing and Job Interviewing. In order to further birth parents’ educational and career goals. AFTH also encourages Birth Parents to apply for the Birth Parent Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is awarded twice a year and may be used toward GED, trade school, college, or university. Legal services include connecting parents with adoption attorneys for legal advice. AFTH can draft Postadoption Contact Agreements (PACAs). A PACA is an agreement that outlines the contact that may be had between a child’s birth family and adoptive family after an adoption is finalized.
Post-Placement Services offer four resources: the first being outreach and advocacy. We want to hear Birth parents voices, so they will take an active role in the adoption community. AFTH will continue to offer Birth Parent Support Groups. Amanda Aliberti holds these groups monthly (currently virtual due to COVID-19). During meetings, birth mothers have a safe space to express the emotions with women who have walked in their shoes.
Besides, birth mothers will have the opportunity to join a mentorship program, where birth parents are paired together to help others in need. AFTH is proud to offer the second season of the Heart-to-Heart podcast along with AFTHtv. The first podcast season featured honest conversations between AFTH birth mothers and adoption influencers such as Courtney Tierra and Hope O. Baker. Heart-to-Heart’s second season will premiere next week. With an episode featuring Amanda Aliberti and Kristin Kachmar, discussing their new roles overseeing both services.
Amanda has been with AFTH for eight years, working as an Adoption Counselor. She earned a degree in Women’s Gender Studies and Sociology from American University. Amanda will serve as the Birth Parent Post-Placement Services Manager. Kristin has been with the agency for three years as a social worker. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from Marywood University. Kristin will take on the role of Expectant Parent Pre-Placement Services Manager.
The need for new services arose from conversations among social workers. They realized birth parents received support before, during, and after placing their child for adoption. The agency needed roles dedicated to empowering and helping women in the long term and getting them out of the situations that might have led to them placing their child.
For more information about the services we prove, visit our website.
To learn more about how these services are already helping Birth Mothers check out out AFTHtv Episode