Family Preservation Outreach (FPO) is a young organization. The following services are offered and will fully develop over time.
Dealing with family preservation affects family members without previous experience in preserving family. Regardless of which family members are affected they don’t have all the facts. Decisions often find direction from an emotional mindset. In addition, those who supply facts are typically religious organizations, attorneys and adoption agencies. Those entities represent perspectives of those whose attempts at conception have failed. In addition, an adoption agency depends upon completed adoptions for funding. Helping someone to parent does not benefit an adoption agency. Attorneys whose primary business comes from completing adoptions have no interest in providing parenting resources. Both adoption attorneys and adoption agencies benefit only from representing the interests of the adopting family. Income is generated only if an adoption is completed.
FPO believes the best interest of children is to keep the nuclear family together when possible. A child’s right to be raised in their biological family needs to be the first consideration. Once an adoption agency or attorney becomes involved, an adoption plan becomes the directed course. Changing that course is difficult. Research tells us that infants grieve when separated from the biological mother even when adopted at birth. The baby only knows the sounds, rhythms, and voice of the natural mother for nine months. Nancy Verrier’s Primal Wound gives insight into the trauma experienced by infant adoption.
Adoption can be a wonderful option if a child truly needs a home but if a nuclear family (including natural mother or natural father’s family) wants to raise the child in the family, the option needs to be explored. The option of allowing the child to be raised in the family can be exercised without the pressures to dissolve the family connection and the child to lose her heritage because of an amended birth certificate. Helping parents and families see past the temporary circumstances of financial or other hardships is a goal of Family Preservation Outreach.
The potential or actual split of the nuclear family is a traumatic event and can cause enormous stress, guilt and anguish. These issues have to be addressed for healing to take place. Counseling is the most common way of helping family members cope with the decisions that they need make and the outcomes of those decisions.
Adopting families can also benefit from counseling to prepare them for the life changes that occur when an adoption takes place. Many adoptive families find themselves scared and hopeless when a child begins to act out or display poor attachment behaviors.
A nuclear family should never be unduly pressured to split up their family or give up a child because of finances. FPO will explore options and resources to help. FPO will eventually offer housing to allow moms and children to be fully supported until they walk through the steps to live independently.
In the case of adoption, the adopting family may provide finances to the expecting mother through the attorney or adoption agency. Many times if the mother changes her mind about the adoption plan she will be required to repay any money paid in support. Family Preservation Outreach helps provide resources to those mothers or families who decide to explore the option of parenting. FPO will also work with a mom and family members to provide resources for placement as needed.
Family Preservation Outreach provides referrals for limited legal assistance. Longstanding laws usually protect the adopting family and very little legal remedy or recourse is available to child’s natural family. However, laws and legislation are changing. Family Preservation Outreach works with attorneys who are familiar with adoption law. In certain cases, FPO may provide financial assistance for legal consultation and representation.
Family Preservation Outreach also provides assessments for the adopting family to determine their readiness for adoption. This allows the adopting family to work on any issues that need to be addressed prior to adoption increasing the chances of success in adoption.
FPO is available to provide expert witness testimony. They will provide testimony for adoption related parties who may feel the family member’s best interest are being addressed through legal action.
FPO has been active in writing adoption legislation. They provide help in crafting legislation that improves family choices and adoption procedures.