“Free Lifelong Counseling”
This was splashed everywhere when I was pregnant and going through the adoption process. What that should’ve said was, “Free counseling until you are done placing then we don’t give a damn.” Or “That’s just something we say to sound good.”
8 years ago I placed. I have become friends with hundreds… maybe even thousands of birth parents in that time. Many of them placed through LDS Family Services. Many of them need counseling, and all but a handful are not receiving it.
What happened LDS Family Services?
Excuses that have been told to birth parents:
“You signed a paper saying you would only get 3 counseling sessions”
“You need to be referred by a bishop”
“Sure, we can get you in, How will you be paying."
I heard a few myself when I called in last year for help. I was drowning. Flailing even. I was struggling with so much in my life, and part of it had to do with my adoption. Yet, when I called in for my free lifelong counseling, I was turned away. I was told that I would need to pay for it.
For three days after I got off the phone with LDS Family Services I was devastated, I was angry, and I was confused. Finally, enough rage built up inside of me, I called again. This time…I was not nice.
I sat and yelled at the sweet old lady who works the front desk, I yelled until she heard me for real.
I told her that I know I was no longer an important uterus or baby maker to them, but I needed counseling. I told them that I had placed under the assumption that I was going to have the access to free lifetime counseling. I told them that I don’t care if I wasn’t currently active in the church, that I needed counseling.
I hung up. About 10 minutes later she meekly called me back and asked when I would like to set up an appointment. I started seeing the therapist I am seeing now, free of charge, and she is a life changer. I see her every other week and I finally feel okay.
I got what I needed, but I had to fight.
What about those who are struggling so incredibly bad they don’t have the emotional fortitude to fight for themselves? Why should we have to fight in the first place? And LDS Family Services isn’t the only one who is falling through on their counseling promises. I have heard similar complaints from those who have placed with Bethany, Catholic Charities, and Independent Adoption Center.
Why are agencies failing us? Why even bother promising something you aren’t willing to give?
It should be accessible. To ALL BIRTH PARENTS. Not just the LDS or active ones, because I don’t remember that being an issue WHEN we all placed.
Since my own personal experience, I have helped several other birth parents fight for their counseling. Just another reminder and testament that it is a good thing LDS Family Services is no longer completing adoptions.
If you know of anyone else needing their “FREE LIFELONG COUNSELING”, send me a message and I will help you out! Nobody should feel that hopeless and that discouraged on something that was clearly promised to them over and over again. We have a right to what we were promised.