OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While news of a pregnancy can be one of the most exciting parts of a woman’s life, for some it brings fear and uncertainty.
Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, unexpected pregnancies have left some scrambling for options.
But in Oklahoma City, for more than a century there has been one resource used by countless families to facilitate adoption.
It’s one many have turned to, particularly recently.
Countless lives have been changed by the services provided at Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption, including some of those who help others seeking resources.
“We adopted our daughter in July of 2012,” said David Quirk, who adopted his daughter Hannah through Deaconess. “This place created our family and that’s what I’m grateful for.”
In fact, Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption is so close to Quirk’s heart he now works there, helping families just like they helped his own.
“The way Deaconess approaches adoption is a lifelong process for all the parties,” Quirk said.
That process, Deaconess says, can start as early as six weeks into the pregnancy – or as late as in the hospital after the baby’s born.
“Helping women understand what their choices are because I think they deserve to understand what options they have,” said DPA Executive Director Heather Hails.
Hails says calls to the agency about those options have increased since the overturning of Roe. vs. Wade.
“In the spring of this year, we saw a large increase in calls,” Hails told News 4. “We’ve continued to see calls from earlier on in pregnancy, which I think may be connected to those changes.”
The free service allows expectant women to choose the adoptive family & the child’s name.
They’re directed to prenatal care services.
Adoptive families cover the cost of birth, and up until they go to court to finalize the adoption, expectant mothers can decide to parent.
No matter the choice, counseling is still available for all parties after birth.
“Our agency is a framework of lifelong care,” said Hails. “We don’t view adoption as this one time experience or a transaction. It is really a journey that families and women go on.”
We should emphasize, while calls from expectant women are up, Deaconess is not claiming that adoptions are up.
In fact, only about one in six women who seek their services decide on adoption and their wait list of families hoping to adopt is long.
Hails says their services for adoptive families, including legal and medical costs, range from $20,000 to $24,000.
That’s about half of the national average price, split up over time and there can be grant options to help.
Deaconess is holding a gala on November 2 to help raise funds for their services.
You can find more on that here.