Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry, and me Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself. Because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the Executive Director, President, and co-founder of Building Arizona Family’s Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and creator of the You Before Me Campaign. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies and Human Development, and a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in School Counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother. Raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions, and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Ron, we have to welcome our listeners to the first episode of Season 2.

Ron Reigns:

Dun, dun, dun.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We made it all the way through Season 1. We did our first hundred episodes, which is incredible, just even saying that.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And we have ventured on into Season 2. And so we want to thank, obviously everybody who stayed with us, welcome the new listeners that have joined us along the way, and I want to appreciate each and every one of them.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I mean, I never thought that we would have this much interest. And I don’t look at it as much as interest in us, but interest in the adoption process and learning about all of the nuances of adoption.

Ron Reigns:

And specifics. Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. The more we can educate and learn the better we can do, the better we are. I mean, if you’re going to go and have heart surgery, you don’t want to talk to somebody who has, to have surgery done by that just read the book.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You want somebody who’s tried and true and has practice, even though they call it practicing medicine. But, and I think that’s really important to understand. So I’m so excited that people are showing an interest in adoption. I do take it personally since I was adopted. And I feel that maybe my life would’ve been even better had adoption been talked about like it is today. And if people have the correct knowledge, then we can just keep on sailing from here. In looking back at the last hundred episodes, and just saying that makes me giggle a little bit, the last hundred episodes. Well, the first hundred, I noticed that there were definitely topics that people really seemed to like and really wanted information on. So I thought that we would take this next season and really just do head dive into deeper levels of those topics.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And those include: abortion, adoption disruptions from both perspectives, both the birth mothers and the adoptive parents. Starting in the beginning and how to even prepare for an adoption journey and where you even go once you get the inclination or the idea or the suggestion, Hey, you should adopt. What does that really mean? Rather than, when somebody says, oh, you should consider adopting. Somebody may take a step back and think, what are you laying on me?

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What are you saying, when you are being picked by a birth mother? We’re going to talk about, we’re going to do a whole podcast on making your adoption profile book. We’re going to have Robin come back and talk to us about what she talks to adoptive families when they’re starting them. I can jump in because I’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of birth mothers choose an adoptive family. And I can tell you what they like, what they don’t like, we’re going to go really into depth. Also, we need to stay on top of what’s happening in the adoption world and in the abortion world, because with the pending election, issues and topics and new laws are being proposed and it’s on fire. It’s like a wildfire.

Ron Reigns:

It truly is, yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And then topics that we touched on, we’re going to also dive into these. We’re going to talk more about ICWA, the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’re going to hear from a specialist. We’re going to hear more from birth mothers and more from adopted families. And I think it’s important to really dive into what ICPC is, Interstate Compact Placement Agreement. What is that? And what does it mean for families who are traveling between states when they’re choosing an out-of-state adoption agency? We’re going to talk to legal experts and find out more about when a case is presented in front of them, how they handle it? What it means legally, what the ramifications are. And so much more. I’m really excited about the next hundred episodes.

Ron Reigns:

I am very excited, also. I think we did a great job on the first one-hundred episodes, and I think that’s only going to progress and get better with the new season, and with any seasons after that. So I’m proud of what we do. And I think this is a great direction for us. I’m looking forward to each and every episode.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So in this episode, I thought what we would do is kind of look at where we are now.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In order to look forward, you have to be able to stand in one place. And so we’re going to stand in one place today and we’re just going to look around at what has happened around us.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

According to azfamily.com, there was a girl that was featured in an adoption slideshow that found her forever home. And I guess this was a story about a girl who was the first in the first adoption slideshow to find her forever home. And I will let you jump into that.

Ron Reigns:

Definitely. Alice and Jim [inaudible 00:06:45] had eight adopted children and five children between them, but their kids were grown up and out of the house and they wanted to adopt again. Originally, their plan had been to adopted child over thirteen, but when they saw nine-year-old Gloria in the slideshow they knew that they found their daughter. The couple began fostering her in late 2019 and her adoption was completed in June. Shortly after coming home, Gloria asked to change her name to Lindy Noelle. Lindy is already thriving. When she first moved in she could barely read children’s board books, now she’s reading chapter books and scriptures. Alice said that Lindy’s team from the Department of Child Safety has been exceptional. Not only have they provided all the needed services throughout her time in the foster care system and since the adoption, but they continue to inquire about her.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

This is Arizona’s first adoption slideshow, like I said, and they have their first child that benefited from this opportunity. And I’m just so grateful that we, as a state, are moving in the right direction for children.

Ron Reigns:

With this slide show, this is the first of hopefully many waves of children that will be adopted through this process. I think that’s cool.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think finding forever homes for older children is just amazing. And I think any avenue that we can help provide to facilitate that process is something that needs to be poured into. All right, according to the Christian Post, over a hundred pro-life Democrat leaders urge Biden, Democratic party to soften stance an abortion. I found this fascinating because typically you associate pro-choice with the left side.

Ron Reigns:

Right, with the Democratic Party, and the people on the left, a little more liberal.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so I was very happy to hear this. They stated that a group of more than a hundred Democratic politicians, including a Governor and members of Congress, have signed a letter urging the Democratic Party to soften its stance on abortion. I feel that we’re headed as a nation in the right direction.

Ron Reigns:

I think so too. And this gives us a lot of hope that we are proceeding in the right direction, and that in a hundred years, people will look back on this time and see it as something that as a nation, we should not celebrate and that maybe we should even be ashamed of.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Agree.

Ron Reigns:

And I hope that’s where we’re heading over the next many years.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And if it’s not where we’re heading, it’s where we need to be headed.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because it goes on to state in this article that many Democratic leaders support abortion at any time for any reason. And this position is opposed by 79% of Americans. The 2016 Democratic platform endorses taxpayer funding of abortion, opposed by a super majority of the population. [crosstalk 00:09:34] The same platform endorses taxpayer funding of abortion in developing countries, opposed by three fourth of voters. And then the letter went on to say that in 389 out of 435 congressional districts, a majority of voters support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. And we’ve talked about this ad nauseam. I mean.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We really need to understand what that means. And at 20 weeks, what a baby looks like at 20 weeks.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And we’re talking about a baby.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah, I think this is a positive direction and it is something that I’m very happy to hear. That they are softening, some of them anyway, on their stance. So this is fantastic.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. And then again, the article goes on to say accordingly, we urge the Democratic Party to embrace policies that protect both women and children. Legal protection for the preborn children and improved prenatal care for women in need, especially women of color. Alternatives to abortion and a comprehensive culture of life free from violence, poverty, and racism. Amen. So I think that is exceedingly important. One thing that I think that we together, Ron, really need to keep an eye on is, unfortunately in 2020 we have to acknowledge that we do have a pending election and keeping politics completely out of the podcast is unrealistic.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s just unrealistic. The topics hit very close to home when you’re talking about abortion, and adoption, and women’s rights. It just all comes together. And so I felt like before we could close this episode, we really needed to acknowledge: Joe Biden announced that Senator Kamala Harris was going to be his Vice Presidential running mate. The campaign was described by Susan B. Anthony’s List President, Marjorie Dannenfelser, as the most pro-abortion presidential ticket in American history.

Ron Reigns:

And see while we’re coming off this story that is such good news, we’re now facing this story, which could be potentially such horrible news for the abortion issue.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. For all the babies.

Ron Reigns:

For all the babies.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I think that this is something that we will have to keep an eye on. We will have to provide updates as to the stance that is taken. I did look into it a little bit and was disappointed because I feel like as a Nation we’ve come so far. We’re looking at whether or not as a Nation, we really made the right choice back in 1973. And you and I have stances that we did not, as a Nation, make the right choice.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And making abortion legal led to death, after death, after death.

Ron Reigns:

Millions.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Of all these babies. And it feels like two steps forward. How many steps back?

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because this isn’t a one step back, if this was to happen, so.

Ron Reigns:

No, this is a huge thing. And I would never want to influence somebody’s vote. I feel like.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No, that’s not my point.

Ron Reigns:

Whether it’s religion or this or whatever, I’m not here to tell you how to vote or live or whatever. However, if abortion, and also adoption, are big issues for you, then you need to take that into consideration before putting out your vote, I think. Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption.

Ron Reigns:

If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available twenty-four seven by phone or text at (623) 695-4112 that’s 6-2-3-6-9-5-4-1- 1-2. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhelp.com. Thanks also go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song, I Don’t Know, as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on ‘Birth Mother Matters in Adoption’ with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 3:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid. And that’s not fair.

Speaker 4:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 5:

Don’t have an abortion. Give this child a chance.

Speaker 6:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Family’s adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Ron Reigns:

This is our 100th episode and final episode of season one. So in honor of making it this far with ‘Birth Mother Matters in Adoption’, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at some of our past episodes. The one topic that’s come up the most in these podcasts, other than of course the general topic of adoption is abortion. And that subject was first broached on episode three of the show.

Ron Reigns:

Here we go. It might be controversial. But we’re going to broach the subject.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’re going to go there.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. We’re doing it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’re going to go there.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I will tell you upfront, I have never lost an abortion debate ever.

Ron Reigns:

Ever?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Ever.

Ron Reigns:

Not with anybody?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Nobody.

Ron Reigns:

And you’ve been on TV about this.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I have been on TV.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I have been on TV and you can actually go to our campaign’s website, which we’ll give you at the end of this podcast. And you can see it.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

As I was stating, I have never lost an abortion debate. And part of that is because I was born seven days prior to Roe v. Wade, becoming legal.

Ron Reigns:

And it’s made such a difference in your life-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I’m here.

Ron Reigns:

Obviously. Not being aborted for instance-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right.

Ron Reigns:

but also being adopted and knowing what that means to a human life.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I do. Absolutely. I don’t know whether or not my mother would’ve chosen abortion as a route to go again. She didn’t know that she was pregnant with me until three weeks before. But I think maybe that may have been a little bit of denial. And not sure, I mean, she was 15 when she became pregnant.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And had just turned 16 when she had me. And that’s a little bit of a funny story actually that I will share in another podcast.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. I can’t wait.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes. All right. So the ‘You Before Me’ campaign was developed because Busy Phillips had come up with a campaign called ‘You Know Me’, this campaign was to let women know that one out of four women, by the time they turned 45, have had an abortion. I couldn’t believe the numbers.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

One in four women. And so what she was doing, the goal of that campaign was to let women know, “Hey, you’re not alone. You know me, I’ve had one.” And I thought, wait a minute. I haven’t had one. I’ve known people that have had one, but it’s not something that people normally celebrate or it’s not something that they look at and they say, “Hey, I had a cheeseburger today. You know me.”

Ron Reigns:

Right, right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so I thought we’re desensitizing people to what abortion really is. And we’re not sensitizing people to what adoption is. And who’s the real hero here? It’s the birth mothers, who are making that choice, who are making that sacrifice, who are living what other people are choosing not to. They’re taking the nine months and they’re going through all of the weight gain and the hormone changes. And they’re feeling the baby kick inside. And they’re going through labor and delivery. And they’re making this unbelievable choice where we’ve got another person out there who’s rallying people to say, “Hey, you know me, this is what I did. I did the quick and easy fix.”

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And it’s not quick and it’s not easy. And many people who have had an abortion will say, there are long term life consequences of it.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely. Lasting impacts that just don’t go away when the baby goes away.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. You know, in the future, I want to have some guests on here that I know personally, that have had an abortion. There’s a woman who I spoke with and she had one about almost 30 years ago. And she said, it’s still something she thinks about every day. She said, it’s, she looks at her two sons and she thinks, is one missing? Should I have done something differently? Would they still be here, if I hadn’t had an abortion? And so there’s so many questions that are left unanswered.

Ron Reigns:

As I mentioned, abortion is a recurring theme on this podcast. And probably the hardest episode so far, for me to record was episode 16. When I talked about my own experience with abortion.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

How long after the abortion did you start to feel the effects?

Ron Reigns:

It certainly wasn’t immediate. I think, maybe a couple of years. And then I really started looking back on it and thinking, what have I done?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Was it before or after the birth of your son?

Ron Reigns:

It’s been so long ago. I’m going to say, honestly, it might have been when she was pregnant with my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That makes sense. That would be a huge trigger.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. And as I had said, she had gone through two abortions. So I guess at the time, I was so young and very naive. Didn’t realize the consequences, not just emotionally on me, that’s beside the point, but on what I; on what I had;I can’t even do this here. Hold on.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Just take your time.

Ron Reigns:

The consequences on the life that was never allowed to be.

Ron Reigns:

Because of the choice I had made.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You are so brave to talk about this because I believe that what you’re saying is saving lives.

Ron Reigns:

I hope so. I hope somebody will hear this and go wait, am I choosing the wrong thing here? Or how will this affect me when I’m 50?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You don’t have the ability unfortunately, to go back and change the past.

Ron Reigns:

No.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But you have the ability to talk to other birth fathers because men, in a lot of instances, would prefer to hear it from another man. And that’s what I’ve been told when I speak with birth fathers. And you have the platform and the opportunity to share because there may be birth fathers out there and they’re with their pregnant girlfriend, one nightstand, somebody, and they may think, “Well, abortion is a really quick fix to get out of this.”

Ron Reigns:

Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s really something that we can just put behind us and move on.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And because you’re being courageous and you’re able to share your story, I really do believe that if there’s a heaven, your baby’s looking down, giving you the thumbs up.

Ron Reigns:

That one’s still hard for me to listen to. We also talked with a set of birth parents on episode 39. And their story was terrifying, breathtaking and powerful. All at the same time.

Speaker 8:

All I seeing scene was money. I didn’t care about nothing and nobody until that moment, [inaudible 00:08:19] me realizing that it was me, that I was the problem with the neighborhood. And that I was the problem with everybody’s family. And while all these kids are getting neglected, while all these kids were finally, the women are pregnant and they’re coming out and the babies are in like drug. They’re pretty much high. And I was the source of it. And I just couldn’t do it no more. I knew that if I didn’t break the cycle somewhere along the line, that I would be the source of making society so much worse. And it’s like, who am I to make the choices with everybody’s life? I’m nobody. And it’s just; in my mind, it’s just wrong in so many ways. Before I didn’t care, it didn’t mean nothing to me. If this girl was high, getting high while she was pregnant, doing heroin or smoking meth, I didn’t care as long as I got money, it meant nothing to me.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And you made a lot of money?

Speaker 8:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 9:

Yeah. He used to make a lot-

Speaker 8:

Yeah.

Speaker 9:

of money.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So what’s a lot of money. Like what? Like if you had to say.

Speaker 8:

$200,000 within a week.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So how did you actually; you can’t just stop or turn that off. Like you can’t. How did you do it? Did you go to rehab? Did you…?

Speaker 8:

I just stopped and turned it off all along. And I didn’t go nowhere.

Speaker 9:

It was pretty much my daughter being taken and stuff-

Speaker 8:

I didn’t go anywhere.

Speaker 9:

that changed a lot of his outlook on a lot of things. Because for months he tried to get me to go to UMom and everything like that. And I was just stuck in the streets, pretty much. And even though I was taking care of my daughter and she had everything she needed. She had all her clothes, she had food, every night, everything like that. She had a place to sleep. It was just, I was just consumed with the streets too at the same time.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In what way?

Speaker 8:

In every way. She like literally, if she seen somebody that was selling drugs and the affection felt like that was the person, that was that shining the most in the neighborhood, that’s who she liked to attract to.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The reason I’m asking you guys these questions is because I’m on the other side. So I’ve got to learn because I’m trying to help other people. And so if you don’t teach me, you’re not going to learn this in a book.

Speaker 8:

No you can’t. It’s impossibility.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I know.

Speaker 8:

I call it the art of manipulation through heroin, especially when girls are on heroin. And people think that these girls are like hoing for me, but really they’re not. What I’m doing is I’m literally fronting them drugs here, because I know they need it and I’ll give them heroin upfront and I’ll just keep giving it to them and keep giving it to them. And when they run up a bill, I make them go get it by any means necessary. That means that they got to go and post their ad on the internet and have to sell the crack of their [beep 00:10:53] for this. That’s what they got to go do. And they go get my money for me. And because I’m really pimping them, it’s because they owe me money and I’m a drug dealer and they want more drugs from me.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So they’ll do anything?

Speaker 8:

So they go and they’ll go do anything whatever’s necessary to give me my money. Like I lived a really-really rough life. And the last thing I ever want for any of my kids is to live the life that I live. And I know that this is probably like, I can’t just go and just give my child to anybody and think that they’re going to live a good life. I can go somewhere like this and know for a fact that I could pick a family that, this is going to do the right thing. And I know for a fact that my child’s going to live a good life. I know they’re going to be loved. I know they’re going to be cared for. I know they’re going to be clothed. I know they’re going to be health. I know they’re going to get educated. I know they’re probably going to go to college.

Speaker 9:

My two kids that I gave up for adoption right now, one of them is in pageants and the other one, they want to put in pageants. My, the one I just had, they want to have her put in pageants too. Mmmmm, so.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You guys are amazing.

Speaker 8:

Thank you. I think you guys are amazing. You sit there and you work your whole life and make sure that these children have somewhere good to go and then make sure that the family that’s putting the child up is taken good care of. That’s a beautiful thing to me. I respect you guys in so many ways.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Thank you.

Ron Reigns:

If you haven’t listened to that episode, I encourage you to go back and listen to this interview in its entirety. Its episode 39. Adoption in the news has been another reappearing theme throughout the first season of ‘Birth Mother Matters in Adoption’. And one of the biggest adoption news stories in Arizona, was the case of Paul Peterson. And we first talked about it in episode 15, way back in October, 2019. The Maricopa County Assessor and adoption attorney who was arrested this past Tuesday, October 8th and indicted on 32 counts in Arizona, including conspiracy, fraudulent schemes and practices, theft and forgery. He’s facing at least 62 federal and state charges, including charges in Utah and Arkansas.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What I find really interesting about this case is this has gone on for what appears to be a few years. And this is now just coming to light. Where I’m really excited to talk to you, Ron, about this is not only to dig into the material that has been released by different media sources, different areas such as court paperwork, other professionals’ opinions is really the present and future impact on adoptions. Where we as adoption professionals can support the adoption community and any potential backlash or myths or misunderstandings that may occur as a result of what Mr. Peterson is being alleged of.

Ron Reigns:

Right. And now you take a very optimistic view. You don’t think that adoptions are going to decrease or at least not by enlarge. And I’m kind of, of the same mind. And in a way I think this may shine a light on the adoption industry to where people go. Adoption. I forgot about adoption.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What we know so far from the information that we’ve gathered is investigators in Arizona found 28 women from the Marshall island gave birth in Phoenix area, hospitals between November 30th, 2015 and May 30th, 2019, according to the court documents. The women as they waited as long as six months to deliver their children, lived in a MESA home owned by Peterson. Eight pregnant women were also found at the residence in MESA. So that’s the starting point. During this three year period, they were brought here from the Marshall Islands to have their babies to then have them adopted to families in the United States.

Ron Reigns:

Correct.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We have also learned, from the department of public safety, that Mr. Peterson had been involved in adoptions of Marshallese babies since at least 2005.

Ron Reigns:

At least. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s one thing with building Arizona families that I’ve always stated to all of our workers, as well as the families that adopt through us and our birth mothers is transparency is vital in adoption.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah, hopefully this will chase out some of the outliers and the bad elements. You know, the bad actors in this. Do you think that there are adoption attorneys and adoption agencies that due to the light being shown on Peterson’s case might start getting very nervous about their own practices?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

If they’re not on the up and up.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think adoptive families or families that are considering adoption, don’t need to be scared. I think they need to look at it as a wake up call in the sense that do your education, do your research, check and see if the agency is licensed. See how long they’ve held their license, check and see if their license has ever been suspended. Check and see if they hold any other accreditations. Check and see if they’re registered with a better business bureau. Check and see who their affiliates are. This is where, when you are buying a home or you are even buying a car, you do a lot of research.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That’s incomparable to adding a family member.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Exactly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s not at the same level;

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

[crosstalk 00:16:26] because you’re not just talking about a monetary expense. You’re talking about an emotional expense, a physical expense.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah,

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Because of the toll it’s going to take on you. I mean, adopting a child is going to affect every aspect of your life.

Ron Reigns:

Throughout season one of this podcast, we’ve tried to educate birth parents, adoptive families and adoptive children on the good, the bad and the ugly of adoption. We’ve tried to clear up some of the myths about adoption. We’ve also tried to highlight news events concerning adoption and abortion and keep the listeners informed. And hopefully we’ve even entertained somebody along the way. Thank you to all of the listeners for coming along on this ride through season one and we hope to get even better in season two.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on ‘Birth Mother Matters in Adoption’. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption building Arizona families as a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24*7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112; that’s 623 695-4112. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about building Arizona families on their website@azpregnancyhelp.com. Thanks also go out to grapes for allowing us to use their song ‘I don’t know’ as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website @birthmothermatterspodcast.com, tune in next time on ‘Birth Mother Matters in Adoption’ for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

“Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid. And that’s not fair.”

Speaker 3:

“And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.”

Speaker 4:

“Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.”

Speaker 5:

“All I could think about was needing to save my son.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I am the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona families adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies in Human Development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Today’s podcast, we are going to revisit Becky, our adoptive family, case manager. She is the supervisor over all of the adoptive family case managers. She is also the hospital supervisor over all the case managers, both birth mother case managers and adoptive family case managers. So with no further ado, let’s bring Becky on. One thing that, that I have found that I would really like our listeners to understand and, and learn from is after the family gets the initial shock and they go through the stages of grief and they hit the anger stage. And then they start wanting to, you know, they have lots of questions and they, they want to, you know, play the blame game sometimes. And they want to really focus on, you know, what happened and then comes the financial issue. And every family has a story as to, you know, they need to deviate from the contract, which we can’t do, but they have a special story and, and they, they need to be heard. What do you think drives that?

Becky:

I think, I mean, you’re not only losing emotionally, but yes, you are losing, losing financially. And I do think it, it is definitely just part of that grieving process, that loss. So when you’re emotionally at your lowest with that grieving of that loss, then, then there’s that blow of the financial loss. And, and unfortunately we, as an agency were not able to do anything differently, but just trying to say, okay, what can we do to help offer support for you? Can we offer here’s financial resources? And we are willing, you know, if we can help with filling out information for a grant, what can we help advise you on for grants and offering that to families through the process so that they can say, okay, I have lost financially, but they’re offering to help me with financial resources. So being able to say, here’s a list of grants, or, you know, I’ve had families who have had great success at receiving grants from this company or this company, or have you reached out to your church? Have you reached out to your company, maybe thinking outside of the box to replenish their adoption funds,

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Looking at alternative measures? I think that’s a perfect response. Is there for a family that is, is headed towards what we believe is going to be a disruption. How do you prepare them?

Becky:

That is, that is very difficult. I try to pride myself in being as open and honest with adoptive parents, as I possibly can. In fact, usually the first phone call, all that I will make with them and I’m telling them and talking to them about their match that they’ve just entered into with a birth mom is I tell them I’m going to be open and honest. If I have concerns through the process or there’s red flags, I’m going to let you know. I hope that I don’t ever have those, but I want to be transparent and let you know if I have a red flag or if there are concerns that I would rather a family be aware of the red flags that we have instead of being blindsided in the end and try to assure the families that listen, this is a red flag, but that does not mean that we’re headed towards a disruption.

Becky:

This is just a typical red flag. So let’s do what we can. Let’s build a relationship with birth mom, if that, if we feel that that might be the one thing that will help, we will up the case management involvement with the birth mother. If, if we think that may help. What can we do to, to alleviate some of the issues that are coming around these concerns, but being open and honest with them, I think is my, I know that’s my approach. And that’s what I push with our adoptive parent team is just being open and honest with them so that they can start expressing their feelings and we can start working through that in case those red flags or those concerns end up in a disruption.

Ron Reigns:

We’ve talked about red flags a lot in the past, and we’ve gone over them, but it never hurts to kind of re-identify these for people who are looking to adopt so that they know what some of them are. Can you list some of the red flags that you’ve seen in the past that have led to disruptions?

Becky:

I, I think when a birth mother, our biggest one I would say is if the birth mother does not want to remain in contact with her case management or the agency through it, I think that would be one of our biggest red flags, or she does not want to disclose information to us along the way. Those are, those are things that I would call a family and just say, you know, if we’re doing an update, you know, she’s not communicating, she’s not staying in communication with her case manager or, you know, she’s not communicating with us about prenatal care. Those would be red flags that I would call and when was giving an update to a family, I would say, listen, this is a red flag. And it makes me have concerns.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So to to kind of wrap this this up, I have said from day one of, you know, helping start the agency that even going through a disruption, it is still part of an adoptive family’s journey. It is obviously a low rather than a high, but at the end of their adoption journey, I believe they will have a child that they are meant to have. Have you ever had somebody come back and say anything different?

Becky:

No. Nope. I’ve had many families and I have felt this myself. I have had families who have had a disruption and they were back in it and they matched and without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, I, everything in me I’m like, this was definitely, this was what was meant to be this right here is their child. And, and having that feeling and even the families just saying, you know what, the other one, it just didn’t feel right. This just, this, this is what felt perfect. This was it. And having that positive outcome, it’s an amazing celebration that we get to have with them. And, and knowing that they were matched with the situation and they brought home the baby, that was meant to be theirs from the very beginning.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes, that is, I know the greatest feeling for an adoptive family case manager, when a family has had a disruption and they receive a placement and the papers are signed. I know that is the greatest exhale.

Becky:

Yes. And we all celebrate. I mean, we’ve, we’ve had it to where, you know, where a birth mom, case manager worked with a family and they had a disruption, even though she was working with the birth mother, but then when the family came back around and they, and this has happened more than once where there’s two or three of us that show up with the family of the team, just because we, you know, just celebrating that and the excitement of them having that placement, we get very personally involved with our cases. So sometimes it’s a whole, whole party of us all showing up.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I was going to say, you need closure as much as they do. I get that.

Ron Reigns:

That’s a great way to kind, going to wrap it up because it gives it a positive note. It’s a tough subject and it is like we said, going through that grief process. So that’s, you know, when you see the other side and there is a match, that’s a great way to finish this off.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. Thank you, Becky, do you have anything that you’d like to say to the listeners?

Becky:

I think just, you know, just remembering you, if you end up in a situation where there’s a disruption, allow yourself to go through the steps of grief, make some time for you and your spouse, just to have some time together, to work through that, keep busy. Don’t just sit and dwell on that. Seek counsel, seek advice from friends, some counselors and stay hopeful. Don’t give up, keep your journey going because your baby is out there.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well said, thank you so much for joining us, Becky. And I know you’ve got a busy rest of your day, so we won’t keep you.

Becky:

Thank you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think that was a great conversation we had with Becky. I think it was so refreshing to hear the positives about disruptions. And I’m sure that that families listening that have experienced a disruption or maybe headed towards experiencing a disruption, or just know somebody that has may find some, some peace and some hope after listening to what she has to say, because she is in the front lines and has made those calls. And I can tell you Ron, after making those calls myself for years and years in the past and, and every now and then I, I jump in and help as well. There is nothing worse in the adoption world than making, making that phone call.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is the feeling of absolutely destroying someone’s dream. And you very much feel like that surgeon that has to walk out after surgery and take off your mask and deliver the bad news. That’s the feeling that I can imagine that they would have just that it didn’t go well and it didn’t work. And this didn’t have the outcome that we so wanted it to have. And I think that when adoptive families go through those stages of grief and, and they start pointing blame, and yes, Becky has incredibly broad shoulders. It still does hurt to some degree when the finger is pointed at you. Because as an agency, we do everything we can to facilitate the adoption process with the hope and the intention and every ounce of energy into making this successful. But as you can understand, not every adoption is meant to go through and that’s out of our control.

Ron Reigns:

And I think that this podcast in general, and this one in particular is very good for anybody who’s considering adoption or anybody who’s gone through a disruption because it lets, you know, Hey, this isn’t exclusive to me, this isn’t a burden that I have to carry alone. First of all, the agency is there for you. And second of all, there have been so many before you who have gone through this hurt and this grief and it, I think helps to let them know they are not alone. And, and there are others who’ve been through this exact situation.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You know, and to point out, you know, we have spent a lot of time in the last month really talking about this topic. And one of the reasons I think it’s so important to make sure that we kind of delve into this is when Adam and I have traveled all over the United States and we host classes about families that are considering coming into our adoption program. We will go through what the program looks like, explain everything and then hands shoot up. And usually the most questions are regarding what happens if the birth mom changes her mind? What happens? What happens to us? What happens to the finances? What happens to us being able to try to pursue another adoption? Everything is [inaudible 00:13:49] . You know, those are, I would say 60 to 70% of the questions that we are asked is what happens if this goes, goes south?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And I think that the fact that we are going to those places that, you know, agencies don’t like talking about, because it’s like going, it’s like talking with a doctor and saying, okay, if I have this surgery, what is the worst outcome? And focusing on the worst outcome whereas the majority of the adoptions that we do, the vast majority are positive and have a great outcome. You know, our agency has this year, we’ve had right around an 80% success rate.

Ron Reigns:

That’s amazing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

adoptions, which is amazing. Yeah. Especially considering the national average is 50. And so knowing that, that doesn’t take away the pain from that 20% of families that have, have had to experience this, but I really hope that it sheds hope and that it, it maybe allows for some grace as well.

Ron Reigns:

And I think it’s important to go into something like this with your eyes open, knowing that, okay, obviously we know the outcome we want, but if it doesn’t, it’s better to be prepared and know what you could be facing. Anytime you go in for surgery, they say this is a minor surgery, but there’s always a chance that it doesn’t go the way we want it to. And I would rather be prepared for something like that then just go in knowing the positive side. And so I think it is important to talk about all this

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

One thing I have found in, in talking with the adoptive families that are considering adoption is numbers. They, they really look at numbers, you know, how many place, how many don’t place, you know, they, they, it’s a numbers game. And the way that I try to explain it is prior to living in Arizona, when you see on the forecast, you know, there is a 20% chance of rain, most people won’t grab an umbrella before they walk out the door and Arizona, for some reason, our forecasting system, isn’t always the most accurate, I don’t know why no offense to any forecaster or weather people out there, but, you know, we don’t seem to have gotten on that page yet, but it, it, I mean, would you carry an umbrella for 20%?

Ron Reigns:

Oh, good. No.

Ron Reigns:

Of course not.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And, and so rather than focusing on the fact that there’s a 20% chance and, and granted comparing rain to an adoption, I get it. It’s not the same at all, but when you really want to crunch numbers, put the numbers in perspective. And rather than, you know, we have families that, that also want to scrutinize the numbers about the disruptions and this and that. And we’re happy to go through that, but I would recommend to families when you are signing an adoption contract and you are choosing an adoption agency on the forefront, go over the numbers then because the numbers don’t change. If the adoption doesn’t have a positive outcome. What I have found is that families will either be so excited to commit into the program and sign the contract. And even though you have to initial at the bottom of every page saying that you’ve read the page and we go over it with you, they’re here in baby family, baby family.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And you know, they’re ready to go. If it’s going to be a point of contention, if this does not have a happy ending, I think that’s something that you need to understand on the forefront. Do I think that needs to be a primary focus? No. Like I said, depending on which agency you go with and, and the success of their placements obviously will determine how much effort you want to put in, in the, just in case plan, this plan B you know, the backup plan.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But I think that it is important to understand that, you know, we get families that have come from other agencies that have had a disruption, and we don’t want them to cast a shadow over the experience they’re having now, because they have had a disruption. You know, we don’t want them to have any less of a, of a positive of experience, even though they’ve ridden the roller coaster before. We want them to, to let that go and be present, be mindful for themselves and for the, the birth mom, because if they’d had, you know, an experience that was jaded in the past, that was in the past, and this is a new experience, so a new rollercoaster.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so they need to go onto it with new hopes and new dreams.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112 that’s 6236954112. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about the Building Arizona Families on their website @AZpregnancyhelp.com. Thanks also go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song I Don’t Know as our theme song Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website birthmothermatterspodcast.com tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry I’m Ron Reigns.

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the Executive Director, President, and Co-Founder of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans foundation, and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

So today’s podcast, we are going to revisit the incredibly important, and I would say one of the biggest hesitation to adoptive families, choosing adoption as their method to becoming a family. And that is the possibility of a disruption or a disruptive match. So that being said, we have Becky is our adoptive family case manager. She is the supervisor over all of the adoptive family case managers. She is also the hospital supervisor over all the case managers, both birth mother case managers and adoptive family case managers. So she is on the front and center. She has seen a ton during the span of her working with Building Arizona Families, which she’s been with us for years and years and years. She is an adoptive mom of two boys. And she really comes at this from a very professional perspective, but yet has the added asset of being able to interject a personal experience as well.

She can relate to many, many of the adoptive families coming into the program because she has walked in their shoes prior to adopting her boys. She is somebody that I get call after call, on telling me what a joy she was to work with during their experience that they really feel that she is one of the main reasons that they now have the child that they have, and they often send her pictures, and she is really a light in the agency. So we are so blessed to have her. And I’m so excited that she’s going to join us today. So with no further ado, let’s bring Becky on.

First of all, Becky, thank you for coming and joining us on our podcast. And we are following up on a series that we started last week while we were talking about disruptions and the effect that it has on adoptive families and the role that we as an agency play, as well as the role that you, as an adoptive parent case manager and supervisor play. So what does it look like for you when a match disrupts or an actual placement disrupts?

As a case manager, we do everything that we can to be the support to adopting families. Sometimes being that support is actually giving the adoptive parent’s permission to grieve. I know that sounds a little odd to say giving permission to grieve, but sometimes just stating that it’s okay, it’s not a business transaction. This is an emotional road traveling, going through domestic adoption. And grief is part of that road when you have a disruption, when a family goes through that. So walking through those steps of grief, there is anger, frustration, just disappointment, and that feeling of loss, the loss of that child. And being able to just go through that step-by-step and walking potential adoptive parents through that, those steps of grief and offering that support through that and resources to help through that.

As a supervisor I know in working with you for a long time, it is something that you absolutely, as we all do, probably the worst part of the job, is having to make that phone call or in-person go and talk with the adoptive family. When you’re working with the other adoptive family case managers, and you’re coaching them through this, what are some things that you tell them to kind of take the sting away as you’re saying this to the adoptive families?

We want to be real with the family. Being there emotionally with them, trying to give them every bit of support that we can. I tell my case managers that work with me, be there emotionally. And if that means… We’re feeling the sting of it too, as you said, that phone call of making that call or being there with the family. It is the worst phone call to have to make. What’s emotional for us as well, it’s a loss for us. Just being real and there’s times that we just have to sit and cry with a family. Then try to turn it around to help reevaluate and turn things more positive because we want to give hope, because this is a horrible place that they are right now, but there is hope for their baby and their baby is out there. Just turning that to let’s get busy and let’s go through the process of grief, but then not sit back. And while in this pain right here, but move forward.

I know that you are an adoptive mom and another one of your adoptive parent case managers is an adoptive mom as well.

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.

How do you think that your adoption experience plays into your ability to connect with these adoptive families, especially during the hard times?

I think it’s an unfortunate advantage, but it is an advantage to be able to say, I know what you’re going through, I know what that feeling is of all of my hope is in someone else making the hardest choice of their life and my greatest joy coming from someone else’s greatest heartache. Being able to give the examples of what my husband and I went through to become adoptive parents is giving a different perspective because they can feel that I have been there. I know, I know those ups and downs, and I feel that, that helps me to relate to the families because I know that pain. I know that excitement. I know the anticipation, the sorrow, because I have been there. And being able to relate to someone, when you have been in their shoes, you’re able to connect on a different level. And I feel that that helps me to be able to relate to my families. I call them my families. The clients, our clients, at a different level than some other case managers are able to.

Now, when you’re dealing with a family who is going through a disruption, do you have any… I mean, not like it’s just a standard thing, but do you have any stories that you tell them to help them understand and get through this horrible situation?

I think every situation is very unique because everyone’s coming at it with different emotions and where they are in that grief. The initial shock. I think that the first thing that I always do is reminding them, let’s take a moment to grieve and let’s work through these steps of grief, understanding that right now, we’re in a shock. Let’s talk about that shock. Let’s talk about the fact that there’s going to be anger. There’s going to be sadness. There’s going to be a feeling of, I can’t even go forward. It’s not that I have any specific story, but just telling them, yes, we are going to get through this. It’s going to take a little bit of time and it’s going to be a process, but let’s work through the process of grief together.

Do you watch the families as they go through the stages of grief and do you explain to them step over step, what you see happening. And when they get to the anger stage, how do you deal with that?

The anger stage is one thing I tell them, you know what, first of all, I guess this goes back to the other question. I tell them, get away, get away from everybody. Take a weekend. If you possibly can, to take a weekend, because when that anger hits, you’re going to need to just be together and rely on each other to get through that stage. Whatever you need to do to work through that anger. Don’t take it out on each other, but find a way to express that anger without going at each other, because sometimes couples will turn and they will be so angry that they just start bickering at each other, but that doesn’t help us to come to a positive outcome.

So I could tell them if you need to call and you need to scream at me, then you call and you scream at me. If you need it, just yelling, that’s fine. Even if you don’t even know what you need to say. If you need to just call and sob on the phone, then you absolutely call and I will listen and offering some resources for counseling to go through that as well.

It sounds like a great approach. I know that we’ve had many families that have unfortunately experienced a disruption in their match or worse within the adoption situations. And I think that when the families get really angry, they’re looking to blame somebody. It’s somebody’s fault. And getting them to understand that it is part of the process is really difficult. Is that aspect of a disruption, hard to train your co-workers on?

It is, but we also, just reminding each other continually that, just to be the support. Whatever way that we can be the support to them, whether it’s offering articles to read or offering counseling for the family. It’s something that’s not easily taught. There is many times that we, as the adoptive parent case manager team, we have to just get on the phone and work through it together, ourselves. And we support each other through that because sometimes we don’t have the answer and we have to say, you know what, let me call you back. And we will call each other and say, “Hey, this is what’s going on. Can you help me?” And we are a support to each other through that so that we are able to be the best support to the adoptive parents through it.

You said that you offer counseling and we’ve talked many times before on this podcast about how a disrupted adoption is very much like a death. What does that counseling look like for a family or for a couple?

We do have a counselor that we work with and she will meet with the family or do a phone counseling with them. What she goes over with them is more of a grief counseling, and then working with them to get back on track to not give up, and to turn their grief into hope and focusing on the future, instead of dwelling right there and their grief, and just working through the stages of the grief. If a family is not wanting to utilize the counseling sessions, counseling session with the counselor that we refer, there is many times that we will reach out with the family to very local agency that they may be working with, if they’re out of town or out of state, and they’re not working with us, face-to-face. We’ll reach out and get some support for them through their local agency or consultant.

One aspect that we had discussed in a previous podcast was, in my opinion, when you have maybe a string of disruptions or you have more than one, it is the number one factor, in my opinion, for social worker burnout. That becomes the tipping point where social workers just can’t continue because there’s, it’s so emotionally taxing. What do you do for self care to when you’ve had one or two disruptions in a row? And I mean, it’s really hard to be the bearer of bad tidings and to look back and say, okay, you know everybody always looks back and says, okay, what could we as a team done differently? Where did this go wrong? Where is there some…is there a red flag? Is there just collectively trying to make sure that whatever went wrong, and we don’t have a crystal ball, but whatever went wrong, we can try to prevent in the future. So for self care, what do you do to pick yourself back up?

Often I will call and ask for help because it is difficult to go through that. And especially when you have one or two in a row, it is very emotionally taxing because we do go through that. All of those questions. I will many times just take some time to myself, just to ground myself, refocus. I will reach out to counseling. It’s nice. I have reached out to you Kelly many, many times, just to help me refocus on the positive because we do have a lot of placements every year, but it doesn’t take away the pain and the grief from that family, but it helps me to get my hope back and to focus back on the positives. And it helps me to be able to help the families to start focusing on the positives and hope for the future.

Make sure to listen to the next episode of Birth Mother Matters in adoption. We’ll be continuing our conversation with Becky and getting her insights on the financial aspects of disruption, as well as what’s meant to be, and trying to find peace and hope through a disruption.

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24/7 by phone or text at (623)-695-4112, that’s (623)-695-4112. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona families on their website at, AZpregnancyhelp.com.

Thanks also go out to Grapes, for allowing us to use their song, I Don’t Know as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at, birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 4:

I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 5:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 6:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president, and co-founder of Building Arizona Family’s Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother. Raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife who’s an adoption attorney and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

All right, so today we are going to discuss updates in the adoption world and in the abortion world. We’re going to look at some of the latest news. I would like to start by prefacing upfront that some of the news on abortion comes in so quickly that as we are gathering information for our podcast, we may not have the most updated or most current news, especially due to COVID because we are having to prerecord at times. That being said, we are giving you the news as we are locating it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’ll start off with the adoption news. US Weekly on MSN reported that Jessa Dugger and Ben Seewald are considering adoption for baby number four. Ben Seewald stated that we could wait until all of our kids are grown and gone and then adopt, but I also think it’s kind of cool to have an adopted child growing up with other kids. They stated this while they’re promoting season 11 of Counting On. Stating they’re just in a stage of meeting with people who have adopted and getting advice and hearing their stories and seeing what it might look like for us. I think that it is always a positive thing when celebrities who are looked up to or revered or people that are relatable are adopting because it gives the general public a sense of connection and a sense of normalcy. Are those your thoughts as well?

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely. Now, okay, so I’m not initiated into the whole Dugger thing. Now they’re the 18 and Counting people, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They are, yes. They’re part of a large family. Personally I’ve watched the show since they started. There has been some controversy within the show. That being said, I think that there’s a lot of really fun stuff to watch as they go through and live their lives.

Ron Reigns:

Okay, so I’m assuming that this Jessa Dugger and Ben Seewald, her husband are some of the 19 kids? They’re obviously not the parents of the 18 and Counting, whatever how many ever they have, correct?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

18 Kids and Counting, yes.

Ron Reigns:

Okay, so they’re children of the group. Got it, okay. They already have three children. They have Spurgeon who’s four, Henry three, and Ivy who is 13 months. Their next could be an adopted child and that would be great. Again, bringing more light to adoption. I think that’s a great thing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Another positive in the adoption world is according to the Seattle Times, Trump signs an order to strengthen the US child welfare system which is always very, very exciting for me because he signed an executive order aimed at strengthening the child welfare programs nationwide. It comes as child protection agencies across the United States struggle with effects related to the coronavirus pandemic. What they’re finding I think is that the numbers of people who are looking to foster are dropping and that being said, there was an executive vice president of the Children’s Aid, which is a private agency that provide foster care services in New York City, said that inquiries from perspective foster parents have dropped to around 10 a month during the pandemic compared to the normal average of 40 to 50. They really feel that the coronavirus is what is tampering and weighing into this.

Ron Reigns:

Hindering it, right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

There are so many children in the foster care system that I think that we as a society are needing to not turn a blind eye to these kids that are aging out of the system. What I have seen personally in the adoption world is we have birth mothers that have aged out of the system and within a year they’re knocking on our door because they’re pregnant and unable to support themselves and unable to parent a child. That is just the cycle repeating itself and it’s tragic. It’s absolutely tragic.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I had one birth mother that came and she just broke my heart. She was almost 19 and she said that when she turned 18, her state case worker took her to a local homeless shelter, handed her $50, and told her good luck. Again, in terms of the validity of the story, obviously that’s not fact checked yet. That’s just reported by the birth mother to me. Regardless, that was her interpretation of what happened.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That obviously gives a greater sense of abandonment and just being lost in this world and so she gravitated to somebody much, much older and wound up getting pregnant and then found herself alone again and on the street. It was just, it’s tragic. I think that those families that have an interest and a heart to be a foster parent, we need you. We need you as a society, we need you in the adoption world, these kids need you and hats off to president Trump for making this order and really looking at this in the time of this pandemic. Is that your thought as well?

Ron Reigns:

Well, in looking at the executive order it has three basic areas of reform, which are creating robust partnerships between state agencies and public private faith based and community organizations. The goals would include the development of community based abuse prevention and family support services in holding states accountable for recruiting an adequate number of foster and adoptive families.

Ron Reigns:

The second being improving resources provided to caregivers and those in care. The order says HHS will increase the availability of trauma informed training. Support guardianship through funding and grants and enhanced support for kinship care and for the roughly 20,000 young people who age out of the foster care each year.

Ron Reigns:

The third being improving federal oversight over key statutory child welfare requirements. Among other steps this proposal directs HHS to advise states in the possible use of federal funds to support high quality legal representation for parents and children and saying that all, I think the only, I don’t know if you would call it even criticism, just wondering where’s the specificity? What exactly does of this entail? It sounds great, but as one person pointed out it’s kind of all fluff and we have to wait and see on this. What it’s going to mean for the system. Again, that’s kind of my takeaway. What do you think of that?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I agree with you. I think anytime you implement a policy from the higher ups, you do have to wait and see. There’s always the wait and see approach of what it’s really going to look like. What it’s going to look like for the agencies and the perspective foster families and the children. I mean, ultimately this is about the children. Until you wait and see and it filters down and it becomes with some regularity and people are putting it in practice and so forth, you really don’t know what it’s going to look like. I think that was, in my opinion, one of the issues with the whole COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic was we didn’t know what it was going to look like. So orders are coming in from governors and the president and we’re trying to all follow them, but in practice until you’re in it, you don’t really know what your life is really going to look like.

Ron Reigns:

Right. Yeah, that’s a great comparison

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Moving on to abortion. There’s always lots and lots of news and happenings and law changes with abortion. Again, prefacing some of these news bits that we have looked into that they may very well have changed again, even since we who pulled them recently. Iowa sued over law requiring mother to wait 24 hours before abortion. The law also requires mothers to view an ultrasound of their baby and receive adoption information. This is reported from lifesitenews.com.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think actually that law is phenomenal. I think preventing a pregnant woman from making a snap judgment, to proceed with an abortion and having her wait 24 hours and having her look at her baby on the ultrasound and giving her the option of adoption. What’s wrong with that? I don’t see any fault, why anybody would have a problem with that. We’ve always said on both sides, pro-life and pro-choice, we want women to understand what the options are. We don’t want her just to have one sole option. Even on the pro-life side. Obviously we are looking at two rather than three of those options as viable choices, meaning parenting or placing your baby for adoption. If you are pro-choice, then you are looking at it as having three options rather than two. I’m not sure why this was upsetting to anybody.

Ron Reigns:

Well, of course Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Unions, have filed a lawsuit. We always hear from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. They’re claiming of course an undue burden on patients. They’re saying that politicians are creating arbitrary barriers to safe legal abortions. They continue to say that all the time, every time. I agree with you a hundred percent. More information is always better. More light on a subject, on both sides or on all sides, is always better. Give people the information they need to make an informed decision and one that they won’t regret later on I hope.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a law similar to the new one. The law had required mothers to wait a full three days before getting an abortion. As in 2020, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood had brought a lawsuit claiming the law was both unconstitutional and medically unnecessary. Again, it appears, and I’m not pointing the finger, but it really appears like Planned Parenthood is really trying to make abortion access very readily available. That it’s a front and center choice and in doing that, are we really promoting life at all? Are we saying, okay, we’re going to fight to make sure that you don’t have to wait 72 hours. We’re going to fight even harder to make sure you don’t have to wait 24 hours to terminate or kill your baby. I mean, that’s really where we are. I think that that’s just insanity.

Ron Reigns:

I think it’s ironic that it’s also coming from the same side that wants to require waiting periods for guns. Which I agree with, there should be a waiting period and a vetting process to purchasing a gun, but there also should be to killing a child.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right, absolutely. They said it is more likely for the courts to uphold the current Iowa law requiring mothers to wait 24 hours before any abortion. I hope and pray that they do uphold the law as it stands and disregard the lawsuit.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Tennessee’s governor, hats off to him, is going to do whatever it takes in the abortion fight. He is going to do whatever it takes in court. According to SFgate.com to defend one of the strictest abortion bands in the country currently blocked from being implemented. He’s stating that it is very important that we defend and protect the lives of every Tennessee and one portion of the most vulnerable being the unborn. That is why we want to make that decision to defend it. I think that if we as a society, a country, as a world took this approach, I mean we’re so protective of defending those that need protection, but yet the ones that don’t have a voice seem to get lost in the crossfire. It becomes more about rights and whose uterus it is and what business is going to be affected if they don’t have the right to continue abortions rather than fighting for the little ones that can’t yet speak for themselves.

Ron Reigns:

I couldn’t agree more. This is the first of several stories that we’ll be talking about that involves the heartbeat legislations, where after six weeks approximately when a heartbeat is detect, they are no longer allowed to have abortions in some of these states. I don’t see anything wrong with that whatsoever.

Speaker 4:

Right, absolutely. I think that one other thing to note is just after that fetal heartbeat law had gone through Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit challenge in the legality of that measure. Again, we’re seeing continuity of Planned Parenthood just coming after anybody that is trying to delay, diminish, eradicate the ability to have an abortion. I really appreciate that the governor has taken that stand and in Tennessee and hats off to him as well.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Speaker 4:

Kron.com in Georgia. A federal judge voids the heartbeat abortion restrictions finding that it violates the US constitution. We talk about so many topics as a society on the news. I think a lot of the whole political attraction is standing on your platform and stating your case and it’s like going back to high school debating and college debating teams. I think sometimes we lose sight of what we’re really debating over and we just want to win. It becomes cutthroat. In a case like this, by making this declaration that these babies are not…

Ron Reigns:

Humans, people.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That they’re not worthy. That they’re not recognized. That they’re not human beings. You’re right. That they’re not people. Georgia’s measure sought to ban abortions once a detectable heartbeat was present with some limited exceptions. I cannot imagine why somebody would want to fight against that. I can’t fathom that whatsoever. I think that as we get closer to the election time, I think that abortion is going to be the source of a lot of these political debates again where obviously the left and the right side both really want to combat and fight for their cause, but are they really fighting for their cause? Are they fighting for themselves or their position or their stance?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I mean, if we’re really going to talk about abortion and we’re going to talk about babies, why not have in between the two podiums posters. Posters of babies and abortions. That’s what we’re talking about. Let’s make it real. Let’s bring it front and center. If we’re going to go there, let’s go there. Let’s really talk about it but they’re not going to want to do that because it’s too hard to look at. It’s too hard to see. The pictures aren’t pretty. It’s something that in my mind, in my beliefs, you can’t sweep under the rug. You need to look at the ultrasound and see your baby and you need when you’re up there arguing that women have that right to choose, you should be looking at what you’re really saying. I think we need to bring back to the debate the visual because I would really like to see somebody stand there and argue that it’s okay to perform an abortion on a baby looking at that baby.

Ron Reigns:

Did you, I’m sure you probably did, have you seen the clip of the doctor talking before Congress?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes.

Ron Reigns:

About the actual abortion process? I think we need to link that to our page.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Okay.

Ron Reigns:

Share that with the listeners out there because it is so powerful what this procedure involves and it’s heartbreaking. It’s not an actual image per se because it’s mostly him talking, but it is powerful. I agree, you need…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Created quite a visual with his words. He does. I did make my older teenagers all sit down and watch it as well because I really want them to understand what this is and why this is something that I am going to fight till the day I die. To make sure that we can prevent as many abortions from happening as possible. Due to my own history and the fact that I may have very well been aborted had it been legal, I really feel like it is something that I’m like a pit bull with a piece of meat. I’m not going to let it go. I’m not. Even if it’s just one baby that is saved by listening to this podcast or somebody reconsiders going or just takes time and actually instead of just looking at that ultrasound, maybe she watches for a little bit and feels some kind of connection with her child.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Regardless of whether or not she decides to parent that child, I think that if we took funding away from abortions and we put it into helping mothers that want a parent and can’t due to strictly financial reasons, that would say a lot more about our society. This is coming from somebody who has been in the adoption world her whole life and in the professional adoption world for 16 years.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Time.com reported the federal judge has approved that women can get abortion pill without in person doctor visit during pandemic. In silver Springs, Maryland a federal judge agreed Monday to suspend a rule that requires women during the COVID-19 pandemic to visit a hospital clinic or medical office to obtain an abortion pill.

Ron Reigns:

Now just to clarify, when we talk about an abortion pill this is not what has been known as the morning after pill. This is a different pill entirely. This is literally an abortion pill.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That is correct. Actually in many cases it’s not just one pill, it’s two. It is taken at a designated period of time. This ruling will allow healthcare providers to arrange for this drug Mifepristone . I’m going to try to guess of how to say that to be mailed or delivered to patients during the public health emergency declared by the secretary of the US department of health and human services. The US food and drug administration approved this drug to be used in combination with a second drug misoprostol to end early pregnancy or manage a miscarriage. This obviously will negate a woman having to see an ultrasound to know whether she’s even carrying one baby or two. It will not allow her to receive the counseling.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Again, I think that this is definitely not positive for women or obviously for their babies. It’s unfortunate that this was passed. I guess the only thing is we can hope this will be overturned as so many of the abortion rulings go back and forth.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What we can all take away from this podcast is that you can only control so much and you can educate others by your words and your actions. As much as you want to be the one that’s going to change the world, maybe just focus on changing just one person or trying to show them what really matters in life and that human beings, no matter how small they are, matter just as much as anybody else. Their lives are no less important than anybody else. Adoption is a beautiful option. It’s not for everybody. That’s why in the adoption world we say that there are two choices, there’s parenting and there’s adoption.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available twenty four seven by phone text at (623) 695-4112. That’s 6-2-3-6-9-5-4-1-1-2. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or just get you more information.

Ron Reigns:

You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhelp.com. Thanks also go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song I Don’t Know as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters and Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 1:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid, and that’s not fair.

Speaker 2:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 3:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 4:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the Executive Director, President and Co-founder of Building Arizona Families adoption agency, The Donna K. Evans Foundation, and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns, I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Today, we’re going to discuss adoption agency frontline workers. We’ve talked about some of the roles and job descriptions of people working for an adoption agency. And we’ve kind of gotten some feedback on the interest of really what people do. When birth mothers come into our adoption agency program, they want to know what everybody does, what their roles are, who’s going to be doing what, and a very essential role is a Birth Mother Case Manager Assistant. We’ve talked about Birth Mother Case Managers. We’ve talked about a Match Coordinator. We’ve talked about other roles, but today we’re going to focus on what a birth mother Case Management Assistant is, what she does, how integral her role is to the domestic team. And we’re going to understand more of why agencies that have this position within their team have it, what it does and how it benefits everybody. One of the reasons that adoptive families like to have knowledge of the workings of an adoption agency in a domestic team, is they really want to understand where their money’s going?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Financially, what is the breakdown, why do we have this person, why do you have to pay this, why are the fees so [inaudible 00:02:45] expensive, if you will. And I really want to make sure that I drive this point home, every role, whether it is an adoption agency director, or an adoption agency receptionist, is just as integral and important as the next there is in society and infrastructure. And it’s like that in an adoption agency as well. You have to have a strong firm base in order to have a stable working program. And a Birth Mother Case Manager Assistant is somebody that we depend on and need to keep our program running smoothly. So there’s no way our team can be successful without all of our team members. So a Birth Mother Case Manager Assistant, very long title, by the way, we call them BMCM Assistance, is really a support role for Birth Mother Case Manager.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So they do everything from birth mother intakes, assisting with the birth mother housing during her pregnancy, assisting with distribution of her weekly finances, arranging and providing transportation for medical appointments, they help with the food pantry, everything from ordering to stocking, to building, to dispersing the food boxes. They also help the Birth Mother Case Managers when they have conflicts, they have two doctors’ appointments at the same time, the Birth Mother Case Managers Assistant will go with the birth mother. So they do form relationships with the birth mothers as well. They also assist in our aftercare program. A Birth Mother Case Manager Assistant is kind of a precursor if you will, to being a Case Manager. So the adoption field, it’s relatively small, it’s a specialized field. A lot of people who come into the adoption network and want to pursue a career, have very little experience because it’s such a specialized field. I know that you guys, in your law firm, Ron had had this experience as well. I mean, you had to train people from the ground up.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s on-the-job training for them to work towards a Case Manager position, if that’s what they’re looking for. Right, exactly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. It’s getting your feet wet before you learn how to swim. The other thing is, as a Case Manager Assistant, you don’t have to have the same experience and credentials that you do to be a Birth Mother Case Manager. So this is a really good starting point for people who are coming into the adoption field. There’s advantages to being an assistant, there’s disadvantages, and then I’m going to go over these, and then we’re actually going to talk to one of our Birth Mother Case Manager Assistants, and really get a feel for what it’s like to be in the field, on the front line, and also how COVID has affected all of this. Being a Birth Mother Case Manager Assistant, the advantages that I see as a director are you have a set schedule. So you work 9:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or if you’re part-time, you still have a set schedule.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You don’t have to work after hours. You’re not on call. You have relationships with a lot of birth mothers, and they’re not deep relationships because those are preserved for the Case Managers, but you still get to know a lot of them, and a lot of their personalities. You don’t have to have a ton of experience in the adoption world. Some of them have relatively none in the adoption sector and you get to learn adoption from the ground up. It’s really almost adoption ground work. And I hate to say that because that sounds like demeaning, and it’s not at all. It’s, you’re in the trenches.

Ron Reigns:

Right. But I think, like you said earlier, it is getting your feet wet and making sure that this is the direction you want to go with your career, for instance, and you get to see the actual Case Managers who give up 24 hours of their day for these calls that three o’clock in the morning, that they don’t have to deal with, but they can go, “Okay. Yeah, I can do that.” And it gets their feet wet. That’s all.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, yeah, and they learn so much. It’s one of those positions that you will never forget, even if you don’t continue on in the adoption field, you will never forget the experiences that you have. Now, disadvantages of being a Birth Mother Case Manager Assistant are you don’t get to be present at labor and delivery. That’s reserved for the Case Manager. You don’t really get to form deep relationships with the birth mothers.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Again, that is primarily for the Birth Mother Case Managers. And you don’t always get to follow the case all the way through, which is kind of hard. I mean, you can go back and review the notes and talk with the Birth Mother Case Manager and check in on her and see how she’s doing, but you don’t get the glory of being there at those moments, when the baby’s born, when the adoptive family meets the baby, when the birth mother meets the adoptive family for the first time. Like those are the fireworks in adoption and a Birth Mother Case Manager Assistant also doesn’t execute adoption consents.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So she is present during the intake and in and out of the journey as she is needed for that birth mother. It’s one of those situations where you look at her position and realize it’s important, and she does play a role. And it’s a role that is very much needed. Right now, we have three Birth Mother Case Manager Assistants on our domestic team alone. And our domestic team right now consists of about 20 to 21 people. And that’s just our team. That’s not the whole agency, that’s just the team. So, that kind of gives your perspective of where they fall into in terms of numbers. So let’s go ahead and, speak with Amber and see what she has to say. Amber, how long have you been with us?

Amber:

I have been with Building Arizona Families for, it’ll be two years in October.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Time flies, time flies.

Amber:

Yeah, it does. It feels like forever, but yeah, it doesn’t.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Fair enough. So why don’t you start off and tell us a little bit about what you do and then Ron and I have some questions to kind of explain to our listeners a little bit more about your role, what you do and what you think of working in the adoption world?

Amber:

Sure. So I am a Case Aid or Case Manager, Birth Mom Case Manager Assistant. Well lately, I’ve primarily been doing intakes. So I do the birth mother intakes with them when they first come in. And then I explain it as I’m just an Assistant to the Case Manager. So I back them up, if they need help with something, they can come to me and ask me and I’ll help them with anything that they may need back up with. I also take care of stuff at the office, like our food pantry and aftercare bags, inventory of stuff, basically, that we need for our birth mothers.

Ron Reigns:

When you got into this, was there anything that kind of shocked you or surprised you about the industry or…

Amber:

I think adoption shocks a lot of people because until you are in it, even our birth mothers come in sometimes for their intakes and we’ll be talking and they’ll be asking you questions and they’re like, “My gosh, I didn’t know that. Wow. I didn’t know that.” And I’m like, it’s not what it is on TV. What you see on TV is not really the way that it works. So I think that that’s kind of like, I guess I just, I really didn’t know a lot about adoption when I came in, and so I think it was kind of that same initial reaction that a lot of people have, “Wow, this is not at all what I have thought it is,” through watching TV or hearing about it in general. It’s just, it’s not, it’s a lot different.

Ron Reigns:

So what was like your first big shock that you realized at where you were like, oh my God, this is, I mean, was there one moment that you can pinpoint that it kind of changed your view?

Amber:

I don’t really think that there was like a specific moment. I would just say, especially I think with birth moms, like it’s probably a better example, they’ll ask about like communication and how it works at the hospital and stuff. And I think they just have a view of, it’s not as much in their control. It’s more, they get more control than they think they do before they come in, if that makes sense. They do get to choose whether they want communication, and I kind of feel like sometimes TV portrays it as it’s not that, they don’t get those choices. And I think that that’s shocking to them. Like, I think it’s a good shock that they’re like, “Wow, I really didn’t know that, this is not really what I’ve seen on TV.”

Ron Reigns:

Right, right, when you first got into this, was this just like a job or were you pursuing this and thinking I would like to get into the adoption field?

Amber:

You know what it’s funny, so, I went to school to be a counselor. I got my bachelor’s. I had not gotten my master’s yet, but my initial goal when I started college was to be a counselor. I wanted to work with children. And as I went through school and then after having children of my own, I knew that that wasn’t really, I didn’t, that wasn’t the path that I wanted to go down anymore. And when I heard about Building Arizona Families, and that there was an opportunity available for me, I was super excited because again, you don’t really hear about adoption. So it feels very, it was exciting for me to know that there was a chance for me to work in a field that I would’ve never thought that I was able to work in. So, I mean, initially that wasn’t my, I wanted to work with kids and now I’m just like, this is is my heart, for sure.

Ron Reigns:

So you see yourself progressing in this field and making this a career and well, it actually becomes a lifestyle.

Amber:

Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely shown me that working with women who have, whether it’s domestic violence or substance use, it’s definitely shown me that that is where my passion is, for sure.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You know, Amber, I know that you and I have talked at length about, you’ve been with us for, like you said, almost two years, and I’ve been begging you to continue to… You’re laughing because you know where I’m going with this, to work more and more. Are you ever going to consider becoming a Case Manager?

Amber:

I toss it back and forth, I don’t want to say yes that’s for sure my end goal, but I don’t want to say no either. I’m super happy with the position that I’m in. I feel that I fit really well in the position that I’m in. And I like the balance that it gives me between work and family too.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes, and that is a huge advantage of being a Case Manager Assistant. I mean, that’s a huge advantage. I will say that.

Amber:

It is, yeah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What do you think, without saying any names or identifying information, what is the best memory? It can be the funniest, it can be… What is the best memory you have so far within your job that you’ve done?

Amber:

I feel like I’ve had a lot of really cool experiences, even just in conversations that I’ve had with our birth moms. I would have to say if I had to pick one memory because I don’t get to spend a lot of time at the hospital with our birth moms or our adoptive parents, I think one of my best memories would be when I got to see an adoptive parents see their child for the first time. That was cool because I’m on the birth mother side of it. And so I don’t get to see the other side very often if ever. And so that was really cool for me to see them meeting their baby for the first time.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And what was that like?

Amber:

It was really, I was emotional. They were crying. I’m trying not to cry because I’m like, okay, this is my job. I have to be… But it was really cool. It was really, it was emotional. And I don’t think that that moment, I don’t think that moment could ever get old for anybody.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Totally agree. Now, did that moment surprise you? I mean, was it what you thought it would be, did it go exactly how you anticipated or was it different?

Amber:

I would say, I guess it was probably what I thought it would be, just their emotions and just joy, but I don’t know that I had ever really pictured what I thought it would look like. I guess I would have to say that like I had imagined that there would be a lot of emotion and joy and that’s what I saw.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What do you think is the hardest thing you’ve had to see in the adoption role? Cause there’s happy, happy moments and there’s the dark moments.

Amber:

Yeah, there is, for me in my experience, I would just have to say, I can give an example. I did an ICWA hearing and this is a while back, and so, it’s a two-hour drive and a two-hour drive home and you’re with the birth mother the whole time.

Amber:

And I think that some of those moments after they’ve had the baby, is probably, it’s the hardest for them, but for us as well, it’s hard because they are very emotional and for me, I’ve never had a child and placed a child for adoption. So I feel for them, but it’s hard for me in those moments because I don’t know what to say to them because I haven’t gone through it. So what could I possibly say to make them feel better? I feel like that’s a hard aspect and watching them go through all the emotions and beating themselves up. I mean, there was one ICWA hearing that I did where she cried the whole way home.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, that’s hard.

Amber:

And I had to talk, we talked the whole way home about all kinds of different stuff. Not even just her adoption just in is that she had been through in her life, and that was a hard day for me because it was just, it was sad for me to watch her go through all of that and watch her emotionally put herself through what she was putting herself through with other past experiences in her life, just in general. Those are probably some of harder moments in my job.

Ron Reigns:

In a way though, is that somewhat rewarding? Because I mean, you’re listening to the heartbreaking and tragic stories from the birth mothers or whoever you’re talking to, but you’re also giving them support at the same time. You’re kind of helping them by letting them get that out. Do you try and look at it as a positive still?

Amber:

Totally, it’s almost like, I’m listening to them and supporting them through. So yes, definitely, it is very rewarding, and I definitely see the positives in that part of it, for sure.

Ron Reigns:

Now, as far as continuing your career and potentially becoming a Case Manager, you said you kind of waffle on this issue, what are some of the reasons probably what is the biggest reason that you would decide this is too much for me? Is it the time, is it the emotional connection you’ve got to make? What is the one thing that’s kind of standing in your way of going just feet first into the whole thing?

Amber:

To be completely honest, I have young children. So, that’s my biggest … where I kind of say, I don’t really know. I think I would love it and I would love being able to work with them a little bit closer than I do now, and being able to be at the hospital with them and walk them through that process. I just, I do have young ones, and so it’s hard when you have a birth mom in labor and you have to, you’re her support person and you’ve got to be there with her and you’ve got young kids. That’s hard to juggle that. So I think that that’s probably my biggest-

Ron Reigns:

And it doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas or the night of your daughter’s first recital or whatever it is, the job kind of has to come first. So I totally understand that.

Amber:

Yeah, yep, I would say that’s my biggest hold, hold up with it is I want to always make sure that I give a hundred percent in every place that I’m at. And I feel like right now I’m able to do that.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Good for you, I respect your limitations. That’s amazing. And so if somebody was interested in becoming a Case Manager Assistant, what would you tell them?

Amber:

I would tell them that I think that if someone’s able to have an opportunity, like this being a Birth Mom Case Manager Assistant, that they should take it. If they want to do social work, it’s a really good starting point, and it also does show you like, is this something that you can do? It’s not for everybody. And do you want to be a Birth Mom Case Manager, and you can actually see it beforehand and you can learn too. So you are confident in what you’re doing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, I would say you’re right. As a Case Manager Assistant, one of the advantages you have, if you are early on in a social work career is, you do deal with a myriad of issues from domestic violence to homelessness, to mental illness, to drug use to, I mean, it just goes on and on and on. And so you do learn lots of different aspects of social work all underneath the umbrella of adoption. So, I do think that’s very powerful.

Amber:

I think it’s a really good starting point for anyone and honestly, I mean, I would say you should start as a Case Manager Assistant before you’re Case Manager, depending on your experience, obviously. But I just think it’s a really good place to start with the work that we do.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

All right. Well, I really appreciate you speaking with us.

Amber:

Thanks for having me.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

All right, thank you, and have a great rest of your day.

Amber:

You too.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Ron, I have to say in working alongside Amber and I can’t believe it’s almost been in two years, I mean, time flies, she has brought so much light and joy to not only our birth mothers, but our domestic team as well. Everything from her disposition to her insight, to her levels of empathy are just unparalleled. We are so lucky to have her and I’m speaking on behalf of our team and our birth mothers.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

One last thing before we close is I wanted to clarify for listeners that have just joined us recently and haven’t listened to the previous podcast when she’s referring to an ICWA hearing, what that is, it is that is an Indian Child Welfare Act hearing that is held up in Flagstaff, Arizona, that women who are native American or have a native American child attend after the birth of their child.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I just wanted to clarify what that was so that people aren’t thinking, what on earth is she referring to. When we are doing these podcasts, where we’re kind of zoning in on one of the roles in adoption, I think it’s important to remember that every role is significant and going in and really examining what each person does hopefully will help put things in perspective when we’re explaining adoption as a whole and how an agency functions.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about a adoption, Building Arizona Families as a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24×7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112 that’s 6-2-3-6-9-5-4-1-1-2. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at AZ Pregnancy help.com. Thanks also go out to grapes for allowing us to use their song I Don’t Know, as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please, rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at Birth Mother Matters podcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 3:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself because, if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Families adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now, I work for my wife who is an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’re going to be talking about failed adoption matches and adoption disruptions. So, regarding the financial aspect, because that is where a lot of families feel like they can regain some control over the loss, the financial aspect. They can’t change the birth mom’s mind. They can’t make her follow through on her adoption plan, but financially they can keep themselves from taking such a loss. And so that’s where they try to regain some control to maybe make them feel like they’re not at a total loss of control.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We don’t deviate from our contract. The law firm that we use has repeatedly instructed us to make sure that we stay in sync with it. Because if you do something for one family, then you open yourself up to doing that for other families, and then that negates the purpose of a contractual debrief.

Ron Reigns:

Right. It is in essence opening that Pandora’s box for all kinds of problems.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And explaining to the family, as I said it before, what goes into the financial aspects of an adoption, even when a birth mother changes her mind. It still is hard for them to grasp and process. So, oftentimes they will talk with their adoptive parents’ manager. And, when they don’t receive the resolution that they’re trying to, they will reach out to me or Adam Scarry, who’s the Director of Operations. Let’s hear from him.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Okay. Adam, thank you for joining us.

Adam Scarry:

Thanks for having me.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I was talking right before you joined us about how when adoptive families have a failed match or they have an adoption disruption that they first speak with their adoptive parent case manager. They talk about how upset they are, and about how financially is the one thing that they feel is in the realm of control, that they actually have some type of control over.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They can’t control the mom, not placing the baby. They can’t control her changing her mind. But, in trying to gather some control back in their mindset, they will often target the financial aspects. When they don’t get the answer they want from the adoptive parent case manager, it escalates to you or I. Oftentimes you will take the lead on, on speaking with those families.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

What does that look like and how do you help them find peace in a very unpeaceful situation?

Adam Scarry:

I think just to go back for a minute. I think it’s important to note that if adoption is anything it’s a sacred trust from the time we meet with her at the time of intake, to the dozen or so legal documents that she signed at the time of intake, to her signing a letter of intent stating that she’s completely committed to the process and stating as much in an affidavit of accuracy, affirming that she is giving us 100% accurate truthful information.

Adam Scarry:

In addition to the dozen documents that she signs that day and subsequently that outline the legal ramifications of providing false or misleading information. Adoption is a sacred trust. We trust the client is going to be honest that she came to us with good intentions. We trust the family’s going to honor their end of the legal agreement. And they are trusting us to do everything we can to move the process forward with a positive outcome. I think with that being said, the process of adoption or bringing adoption, just the possibility of an adoption you’re dealing with the two most emotionally charged topics. And that’s people’s children are potential children and their resources, their hard-earned money. And so unfortunately when you’re talking to a families at a disruption, you’re talking about two emotionally charged subjects that you’re bringing together simultaneously in a negative context, unfortunately. And I think there’s some things that adopting families forget, not intentionally, just they forget just as a result of the process.

Adam Scarry:

And one of them is it’s going to be a bitter pill to swallow, no matter how you slice it when you try to accept a zero return on your investment. It was Daniel Kahneman who coined the phrase loss aversion. And so the whole idea of loss aversion is that according to his findings losses loom larger than gains. If I find a $100, it produces a certain level of excitement. If I lose an actual $100 of my money, it produces twice the negative impact, twice the emotional turmoil. And I just think these families don’t realize that when you don’t go into the process saying, this is a, this is they’re setting the stage for the possibility, but not the probability. We are creating a forum by which an adoption can take place, but there is no likelihood there’s no hedging your bets or rolling the dice or asking what are your success ratings?

Adam Scarry:

Ultimately, it comes down to one of two things. Either the client is going to do it, or she’s not going to do it. Either she was being truthful and honest, or she was being deceptive. And I think there’s other factors that weigh in when you’re talking with a family. I think one of them is they forget that this is a shared risk. The agency is very much emotionally invested, financially invested, physically invested, mentally invested in the process. And it is a tremendous toll on our case managers, our case aids, the staff at large, when a disruption occurs.

Adam Scarry:

I’ve been on the phone with an employee and had them completely and totally break down sobbing the most genuine grievous tears that were wrought by the situation at large, just the trauma of the circumstances. It’s very hard to talk to an adopting family who is dealing with loss aversion and trying to get them to process the seismic loss, whether it’s emotional, financial, spiritual, or all of the above. But they have to, at some point, understand the agency is also a business and that’s very hard for them to grasp.

Adam Scarry:

Sometimes they will make the statement to me. Well, you have my money. Well, in all actuality, our overhead has your money, the landlord has your money, the utility company has your money, the vehicle payments that we pay to transport clients has your money. I am not sitting on some cash cow of your resources over here with a casual laissez-faire, nonchalance about the disruption. We have an overhead and we pay we’re non-profit, but we still have our expenses that are definitely mitigating factors along with the idea of unilateral consideration. Oftentimes family will… I get this email often. I understand that we signed a contract and we get that however, or, but, or with that being said, and what they’re asking for me to do is show partiality toward their circumstance. And oftentimes some people have a situation where they used money from an inheritance to fund an adoption.

Adam Scarry:

Some of them, it was beans and rice for a decade. Either way, I am not in a position favor one person’s disruption over another and say, well, because you make a good case or you are more emotional or you seem more attached to the process, we can give you 10,000 back or five, just some indiscriminate amount. Really what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to minimize their loss on their investment. And that is by far, the hardest thing. I hate when a family will call me so close to the disruption and want to talk money, because money is not really the issue. The issue is their mental wellness. The issue is how they’re going to process grief and keep their marriage together. How they’re going to process a grief that comes in tidal waves, a first wave of feeling like a tsunami, smashing the shoreline. Just grief that they have no real coping skills for calculating the monetary loss. In real dollars and cents.

Adam Scarry:

And sometimes I have to mentally withdraw myself from that process and say, if you do IVF, which the average on a national level between 12 and 20,000 a cycle for in vitro fertilization, and you go through a couple of cycles and it doesn’t take, or you miscarry, you do not get the Liberty to walk back into the doctor’s office and begin to grill his staff or tell him it didn’t take. So because the outcome wasn’t desirous, I want my money back. And that’s the hardest part of the process is you are funding an agency investment in an individual who you only know what that individual disclosed and we will address red flags as they come up, but we do not hunt for them. You run a tremendous risk when you insinuate that an honest person who’s being dishonest, or pry and you meddle, and then you are responsible for everything that you could have found had you continued to hunt internet.

Adam Scarry:

We don’t do that. We’ve had too many successful placements to do that. But it’s a complicated process. There’s no two ways about it. Oftentimes they will go from grief to full-blown anger based on my inability to manipulate the terms of their contract. And they’re very upset and unfortunately, that’s why we do have contracts prior to really jumping into the process and matching them with the mom. We have to have a contractual agreement that at no juncture states, that we are going to guarantee an outcome. It’s impossible. You’re dealing with human’s freewill. There’s just no way to override a human’s freewill. I can’t make somebody place. I can’t coerce them. We have too much integrity as an agency to do that. We can’t try to manipulate them or their will, because really what you’re doing is just jeopardizing the outcome of the adoption down the road when you do that, when you leverage the short term versus the long term.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And it’s not legal.

Adam Scarry:

Integrity is the threshold, not really what’s legal, illegal. We had an county assessor who spent a decade drawing girls in from the Marshall Islands under what he believed was legal technicalities. His real crime was a lack of integrity because you don’t need the bar to be set here when really integrity will take you above the bar. We do things differently. We will speak with moms from the time Kelly talks to them on the phone and sets their intake. We will speak with them from the first week or two. Kelly will call and introduce herself, or they will face to face prior to COVID and she’ll do the best she can to vet the situation without making the mom feel those grueling process.

Adam Scarry:

And then we manage them intensively, but we don’t parent them. There are people who would like us to, but there’s an issue of adaptability when you start to make them think that if they give you the answers you want, then you satiate your curiosity, the specific answers that you’ll go away. Oftentimes just as you let them work through the process, red flags come out and we address them and we’ve had to drop girls from the program prior to match. And at that point we’ve suffered a hundred percent risk. Our original investment is also zero.

Ron Reigns:

Well-spoken Adam. I love having you on the show because you just always put these things together and they make sense. So thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Adam Scarry:

If I could just close with an interesting testimony that I’ve shared numerous times with adopting families and it’s true the 40th time I repeated it as it is the first time. When I was at the NCFA conference two years ago in Washington, D.C., I met a woman there who worked for an agency, and oftentimes you have times as chit chat. And so she was telling me about, she’d asked me about our disruption rates and I thought she was an adoptive parent at the time, wanting to inquire about adopting again. And she said, yeah, I know all too well. She said we had four disruptions in a row back-to-back back-to-back thankfully they were not with our agency. But, and I asked her, how did you process that you put all that energy and all those resources into adoption and had very little to show for it?

Adam Scarry:

And she said, well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. She said, the way I looked at it was somewhat different. She said, I did not look at it as I had very little to show for it. She said, if you could imagine in a generation where abortion is legal in almost every state up to the third trimester, she said, I look at it as I was probably the one who saved those children from abortion. I spared them. They’re alive. I gave them the right to life because I funded that mom who was homeless. I gave her a place. That baby lived in a hotel room and not under the elements of a park bench because of me. That baby had better food because of me, that baby got to go see a doctor because of me. I actually gave that child the right to life.

Adam Scarry:

In heaven I’m sure, she said, they’ll be some of the first kids I meet are those because I made a difference. She said, I may not be able to raise them, but I saved them in a way. And I thought, what a masterful, brilliant take on a disruption? What an incredibly humbling experience it was for me to meet somebody who had already sorted out. I can go through another disruption because ultimately to me, all it means is I may not get to raise that child long-term, but I got to intercept that child at its most vulnerable stage. And I thought, man, if people could look at it like that, there is something profound. And I remember the first time I shared that story. I shared that story with an adopting family who had already had their second disruption. They were broken, they were devastated.

Adam Scarry:

And they handled it like absolute troopers. They were a brilliant couple. And then I remember it was a couple of weeks before Christmas. They called me back and said, I remember she shouted in the phone to me. We are parents. And I said, what, is this so-and-so? And she said, yes. She said, we forgot that we put our profile in with another agency in Florida who had a safe haven baby. And they got a little boy named Henry who is absolutely custom tailor and fit for their family. He’s an absolutely priceless addition. And I look back through the photos. It’s been nine months now of the photos of a little Henry. And I thought there is a divine Providence that makes sure that you end up with the child that you were supposed to have. There really is.

Adam Scarry:

And this woman actually adopted first. She adopted twins on her fifth attempt. This woman at the NCFA said, my fifth attempt was a set of twins. And one was a biochemist and one was a geologist, brilliant minds. And one of them worked for NASA. And I thought, how do you script this? You’re taking the rawest of emotion combined with the most sensitive subjects and you throw it into a tumbler and you hope that there’s enough friction to rub the rough edges off as opposed to causing those elements to slam together and crack. And it’s a journey, man. I never, in my wildest dream stop that I would be at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in the same one hour span with one telephone call in between. To go from the depths of despondency, to the absolute echelon of emotional satiation and excitement with one phone call.

Adam Scarry:

I got that phone call. I do a step aside. I was a mess in the bathroom. It’s a powerful process, man. This is real life and real resources and it’s really raw. And it’s a lot harder than people think it is. They say, as a social worker, you have to have three elements that I believe are true. And I believe it’s true when you’re dealing with any aspect of humanity, you have to have the heart of a child, the mind of a scholar and the height of a rhino. And it’s true.

Ron Reigns:

Man, what a story. It’s funny because you talked about how their careers, obviously they’re smart people, but beyond that, they have a certain wisdom that doesn’t come from book smarts and from college and learning, it’s a knowledge of self that just is incredible. So, wow. Thank you for sharing that.

Adam Scarry:

Thanks for having me. Glad to be on.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona Families as a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112, that’s 6-2-3-6-9-5-4-1-1-2. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhelp.com. Thanks also go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song, I Dunno, as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid, and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid. And that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion. Give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I am the executive director, president, and co-founder of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and Human Development and a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption, and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast. A failed adoption match is when a birth mother has established herself with a prospective adoptive family and decides not to proceed with an adoption plan or with that prospective adoptive family. An adoption disruption is the interruption of an adoption prior to finalization. It’s also called a failed adoption or a failed placement. And an adoption dissolution is the interruption or failure of an adoption after the finalization.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

During this podcast, we’re going to be talking about failed adoption matches and adoption disruptions because we are solely going to be focusing on newborn domestic adoptions. We’re not talking about older children adoptions during this podcast. We’re not talking about international adoptions. We are solely focusing on newborn adoptions. And when adoptions fail, we consider that the ugly side of adoption.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Nobody wants to hear about the dark side of adoption when they’re looking to plan their family and traditional methods are not an option. They want to know, do adoptions fail? How often? Why? Who’s to blame? What happens to the adoptive family financially? What happens to the birth mother? What role does the agency take? Who can be held accountable? Did somebody do something wrong along the way?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

There’s all these questions and concerns on behalf of the adoptive family. This is really hard. And I really want to take these two podcasts and try to break down, and explain, and establish an education amongst our listeners as to what happens, and why, and reactions that are elicited when these adoptions go dark.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When somebody is experiencing the death of a loved one or some horrific event in their life, and you are a loved one to that person who’s going through grief or a friend, family member. You always want to say I don’t have the right words, or words can’t erase the pain that you’re going through. And just like that, there are no words that are going to bring comfort to somebody experiencing when an adoption match fails or when an adoption disrupts.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

There’s nothing that can be said to a family that is going to make it better, that’s going to erase the pain, that’s going to take away the hurt, that’s going to put the money back into their bank. There’s nothing that’s going to be said that’s going to make it better. An analogy for a family that has vested their time, their emotions, their finances into an adoption plan or journey is very much comparable to a death because it is an indescribable loss.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The first thing that can be done is to acknowledge that, is to acknowledge that it is a loss, it’s a death of a dream. It’s something that you are going to go through the stages of grief. And, as an agency, we are all vested in the process of adoption. We want adoptions to be successful.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When a couple decides that fertility treatments are the route that they want to go to plan their family, because biologically they’re not able to create their family the way that they wanted to, and so they need additional assistance through infertility treatments. And if those infertility treatments don’t work, it is very disheartening, very difficult, very sad. Again, they’ve invested time, emotions, finances.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And I think that when you are looking at infertility treatments versus an adoption plan, in some ways an adoptive family, or prospective adoptive family, can look at it and say, okay, the infertility doctor did everything he could to help me become pregnant and my body didn’t take it. It didn’t work. He did his part and therefore there’s nothing more he could have done. It was my body that didn’t cooperate with the treatments.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And when they’re going through an adoption plan- because there’s a loss of control, in other words, they can’t see what’s happening behind the scenes. And it may very much feel like the Wizard of Oz behind the red curtain, that there becomes- the blame game, and the questioning, and what went wrong. And there was no- it wasn’t my body that kept me from becoming a mother. It is the birth mother and the agency that was working with a birth mother. And so there comes this anger and this frustration, and a lot of it is because of the lack of control that is felt over an adoption situation. Does that make sense?

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. And it also brings with it more of an ability to blame somebody else because that’s how you kind of find a reason like, oh, it was the agency’s fault. I know it was the agency’s fault. And so it makes it so much easier in this circumstance to place blame whether it’s warranted or not. And most likely it’s not.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. A good way of looking at it is when an adoptive family, when we have to call them and tell them that either the birth mother has changed her mind, or she has decided not to proceed with the adoption plan, or she has decided that this isn’t the right family for her baby. It is incredibly hard on the adoptive family side. It’s horrific.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is also very hard on the birth mother, I’m sorry, on the adoptive case manager side. I have one adoptive parent case manager that has said that she will have to pace around the room for a while before she can make the call because she knows how much that call’s going to hurt. And nobody wants to bring pain to somebody else. Social workers are in the helping field because we want to make things better. We want to help other people and we don’t want to deliver bad news.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And knowing that the adoptive family is going to be in so much emotional pain when you have to deliver this is really, really hard. I have some case workers that when they have to deliver the news, they have to take the rest of the day off because they just have to regather their thoughts, and kind of recompose themselves, and get back on the horse. They say when you fall off a horse the best thing you can do is to get right back on, and they can’t even get right back on. They’ve got to recenter themselves and find their grounding again, because it is so difficult.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And when the family goes through the stages of grief, and they’re in the anger stage, and they’re calling up, and they’re saying they want their finances returned, and they want to understand why they still have to pay for a failed match. In so many instances, it’s hard as an agency to hear that because if this was an infertility doctor, would you be banging on the door of the infertility practice and saying, “Hey the treatments didn’t work, I want a refund”? That’s not-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So we’re going to talk about all of this today in these podcasts, because I think it’s really important for adoptive families that have experienced an adoption disruption, or a failed adoption match, or maybe are entering into the idea of an adoption journey, to really understand what this looks like. Because adoptions don’t always work, this is not something that is 100% going to happen.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And, just like when you go to a infertility doctor, they tell you there are no guarantees. When you are pregnant, yourself with a baby, there’s no guarantee at the end of the nine months that you’re going to have a healthy baby. There’s no guarantees that the baby is going to make it through the nine months. And I think, as with life, there are no guarantees.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When we have families that are deciding between infertility treatments and adoption, and they have not gone either route prior, what I do suggest is really look at what is the best fit for you. Statistically speaking, depending on the type of infertility treatments, some infertility treatments have a success rate of about 23-24%. Again, it depends on what the circumstances are and medically where you are in the spectrum of what services you need. And so some would be higher. Some may be lower adoption. The national adoption rate, they say, is about 50%. Now our adoption agency, I would say we’ve been running between 78-83% success.

Ron Reigns:

That’s impressive.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, it’s a big difference. Now I will also say that, with adoption, you don’t have control over the situation. But with infertility treatments, there’s very little control as well. Obviously you can go on bedrest sometimes, and there are things you can do to improve your chances, but it’s the same with an adoption plan. You very much can do things to improve your chances.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You know, you can have contact with a birth mother. You can come out and meet her and develop a relationship. You can send her handwritten letters and there’s certain things you can do, again, to improve your chances. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a foolproof situation, like there’s nothing that can go wrong. So when a failed adoption match occurs or a disruption, as we just stated, the family goes through stages of grief.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We structure our adoption contract the way that it is and fees are paid on behalf of the agency to outside sources. There are such things as legal fees, and we have to pay processors, and we have to pay for motions to be filed with the court. We have to pay the case managers for their job and what they’re doing. We have to pay for things like birth mother expenses up until the time that she is no longer working with us. We have to pay for agency overhead. We have to pay for agency insurance. We have to pay for things like her transportation. There’s so many aspects in the financial realm that are paid out, which is why we don’t deviate from our contract.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Oftentimes, adoptive families, when they’re going through the stages of grief, really question the financial aspect. And they also question as to what happened to make the birth mother change her mind about an adoption plan. And this is what I call an adoptive family, engaging in the hunting and gathering mentality.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So the hunting and gathering is usually referred to as in the pioneer days, the men would go out and do the hunting and the gathering and the woman would stay home and they would nurture the children. An angry, upset, hurt adoptive family will often engage in this hunting and gathering mentality. And when they’re hunting, they’re wondering who’s at fault.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Did they not engage with the birth mother enough? Did they, they not come out and meet her when they should have? Did the adoptive, or the birth mother case manager, was she not diligent enough? Did she not follow through enough with the birth mother? Was there not a relationship there? Was the birth mother scamming? Was she not vetted enough at the intake? There’s so many questions that they have.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They want to know, ultimately, who’s at fault. Who can they blame? And then they start playing the blame game. The agency, the birth mother, the birth father, who was it? And they’re wanting to point the finger. And then they reach the gathering stage. And that’s where they’re wanting all the information. They want the birth mother’s medical records. They want record of interactions. They’re checking the social media sites and they’re looking to see, they become private investigators. And they’re now researching and they’re trying to find answers.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And that part I get because when something happens to you and it’s outside of your control, I can very much say I’m a person that really, really likes closure. I like answers. And then when I have answers, I can often find peace. When I can’t have closure, I can’t find peace in something.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So an example would be when I lost my own birth mother, when she was 59, and she had gone into the hospital with what we thought was a really bad cold, and never left. I couldn’t find peace in that. And so I, myself, had called and I got copies of her hospital records. And they were a foot thick. And going through that, I’m not a medical person, I don’t have medical training. I’ve learned a lot by reading them. That being said, I will tell you that it didn’t bring me closure and I didn’t find peace. That didn’t work.

Ron Reigns:

Well, what it kind of reminds me of, or makes me think of, is why people have conspiracy theories. Because they are trying to make sense of something, to them, that does not make makes sense. And of course you go to JFK and people are like, it was the CIA, and it’s a way of trying to get that control over something that- how could this one man kill the president, the most powerful person in the world? And just try and make sense of it. And that’s kind of what we all do to some degree when something bad happens. Like you say, we’ll go on the internet, we’ll try and figure out why it went wrong. And so I understand completely what you’re saying. And again, at the end of it, you really don’t have that much more understanding it doesn’t help. Unfortunately.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It doesn’t. And when we have a birth mother that changes her mind, and I have the opportunity to speak with her, I will often ask her for her reasoning so that I can share it with the adoptive family. Because when there is an answer, it is much easier on the adoptive family. Like in other words, if a mother says, “I didn’t want to parent, I didn’t plan on seeing the baby. The nurse brought me the baby and I held the baby and I realized I couldn’t let her go. That I was going to parent.” That’s difficult and that’s hard, but at least the family then knows why. And at least they can be upset, and they can be hurt, and they can be disappointed and they can even be angry. But they have a reason.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When you have a mom that just disappears into the sunset, and you have no answers, and she ghosts, those are amongst the hardest for families to understand because they’re waiting. It’s like they’re waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and they have no answers. And they don’t know when to stop waiting. And they don’t know why. And there’s so many questions left unanswered. And I think, again, those are the hardest.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It can be, when a family member loses a loved one, and it’s because they disappear, and they want those answers, and they want to put that to rest. They want to just find peace. Again there’s a parallel there, and I’m not saying it’s on the same level, but when you are able to have closure and you can have peace, that’s how you can heal and you can move on.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

An adoptive family’s response can sometimes be misguided by misgauging the agency’s reaction. We still have to be professional. And oftentimes a case manager will be crying behind the scenes when an adoption does not go through. But when a physician is operating on a loved one, and the loved one doesn’t make it, the physician isn’t on his knees, sobbing with the family when he comes to deliver the news.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And that’s not to say that I haven’t helped pick case workers up off the floor because they’re so upset. I have, I’ve had case workers that cried right along with the family. Again, very professional, but that doesn’t mean that every time they have to call a family, that they’re going to have that same reaction. You know, some families they may have developed a connection with, not everybody develops the same connection. So they may have a family they developed a really strong bond with, maybe they’ve already gone down this road before with a family.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And again, going back to the one case worker that has to pace the room for so long before she can make the phone call and kind of hype herself up to it, because nobody wants to make that phone call. I’ve made it more times than I have cared to. And it is amongst my least favorite things to do. It is absolutely indescribable. The memories of some of them will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You know, they say that there is almost a primal scream or cry that a mother will make at the loss and being that person that has to deliver that news to somebody that elicits that response, it’s haunting, it’s absolutely haunting. And not that I’m looking for adoptive families to empathize with a case worker. I understand that this is our profession. This is what we’ve chosen to do, but I just want families to understand that we do get it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It is really, really hard. And our response is we are trying to be as professional as we can. And at the same time, a lot of our case managers are adoptive moms so they can relate. They understand. And the majority of our adoption staff are mothers. And so, again, they can relate as a mother, what that might feel like.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Families will also say, “I really think that our situation is different and that we should really look at our situation to see if maybe we can get a refund because I want you to hear our story.” I get this frequently from adoptive families. “I want to tell you our story. I want to tell you about why we should.” And I have to say, I don’t think asking an agency to show favoritism over one family is fair. You know, every adoptive family has a story. Every story is hard to hear, but saying that your story is more important or more valuable than somebody else’s story to me is inequitable.

Ron Reigns:

Right. And the thing is, everybody feels that their own story is special because it is to them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In other words, if you have two 8 year old little boys, both of them break their arm, and they both go to the hospital, and there’s only one physician, and both mothers are crying, wanting their son to be seen first. And they’re both trying to tell their story. How is it fair for somebody to listen to say, “Okay, well, your story is definitely more significant. So we’ll take your son first.” Like that just doesn’t seem fair to me.

Ron Reigns:

Right, because what’s wrong with the other one? It’s a tough situation. I empathize with you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

That is, and some, I would say that any match or adoption disruption is really tough. The ones that families, in my opinion, have the hardest time finding peace with, are when the birth mothers do disappear. And we don’t hear from them. And either something pops up on a social media feed or something. And we hear later on that she had the baby and we don’t have answers. I think those are hard. Not having answers, I think is very difficult.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In talking with birth mothers who have changed their mind and who have really struggled with their adoption choice, I have found, and again this isn’t statistical data, this isn’t anything, every mother is going to need to walk her own adoption journey. What I’ve learned is, when a birth mother is planning on spending time with the baby in the hospital, what I have found to be the best and easiest in terms of attachment for the birth mother, if she really wants to spend time with the baby, is to do it in short increments, do it in more times, but shorter periods of time, because the longer she spends time with the baby, the more she’s bonding and the more baby’s bonding with her. And that makes the separation harder.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Now, some birth mothers, especially mothers that have had children before, will say I know exactly what you’re talking about. This is the way I want it. And that’s honored, but spending little bits of time, frequently, seems to be easier on birth mothers. And I have learned that from, like I said, from talking with mothers. And again, statistically, I’m not saying that there’s any research backing that, I’m just saying from experience. That’s what I see.

Ron Reigns:

This is just anecdotal evidence.

Speaker 4:

Right. When an adoptive mom has a very close relationship with a birth mom, and then we find out that the birth mother has been scamming her and the agency, that’s very difficult because it’s a violation. In other words, it’s not just her changing her mind, but it’s like when somebody, that feeling you get, like if somebody was to come in your house and steal things out of your house, that violation, because you’ve opened your heart and not just, emotionally, financially, et cetera, but you opened your heart to this person and you welcome them in, and you’ve developed that relationship. And when you find out that it was on false pretenses, that’s another added layer that just hurts. When a family matches and the match disrupts very quickly after it has happened, that also is very hard because a family can’t wrap their brain around, “I wasn’t given a chance. I wasn’t given an opportunity to develop a relationship with this mom.” I’ve seen that being very difficult.

Ron Reigns:

And this is where we’ll pick it up next time on part two of this two part series. We’ll also have a special guest. Adam Scarry, Kelly’s husband, is going to be talking to us on part two of the Ugly Side of Adoption: Failed Adoption Matches, Disruptions, and Disillusions.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112. That’s 6-2-3-6-9-5-4-1-1-2. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at AZpregnancyhelp.com.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks also goes out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song I Dunno as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us, we’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself, because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

I know that my daughter would be taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion. Give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Families adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother. Raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now I work for my wife. Who’s an adoption attorney, and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Speaker 5:

In adoption when you are talking with both adoptive parents and birth parents, it’s very important to separate expectations from reality. My husband uses the example of planet reality versus planet fantasy, and we definitely want everybody to be living and breathing and believing on planet reality versus planet fantasy. Oftentimes when people have an adoption experience and they’re not as happy with their experience and their journey, it’s because they have come into adoption more on planet fantasy rather than planet reality. I think that if you can outline the realistic expectations and bring reality to the forefront on the beginning, then their expectations will be different and therefore they’ll have a happier outcome because perception is key.

Speaker 5:

Everything happens, in your life is all your perception and how you interpret it. Somebody who gets one gift at Christmas and it’s a gift they’ve always wanted and it’s all they’d ever dreamed of can be happier than the next guy who gets a Ferrari and 25 other gifts, it’s perception, it’s your expectations and if they’re matched and if they’re not. One of the roles working with an adoption agency or an adoption attorney is to make sure that everybody is on planet reality and a way to ensure that this can happen is through education like these podcasts for example.

Ron Reigns:

Hopefully

Speaker 5:

Yes. I’m explaining the process in great detail, making sure that everybody understands information is often retained at a much higher level, if it is conveyed through different methods. So not just hearing it or not just reading it, or maybe not just watching a video on it, but if you’re combining those methods of communication. That will help ensure that it’s being transmitted and received.

Ron Reigns:

Maybe talking to somebody who’s been through the exact same thing that you’re going through now, too, that helps a lot. I’m sure.

Speaker 5:

Hearing it from different parties, different people. When it’s the same voice telling you the same thing over and over again, you’re going to start tuning out and thinking about what you’re going to make for dinner. Do you have to stop at the store on the way home? you go onto autopilot. When you are learning something that you need to almost hyper-focus on so that you understand something, when you’re signing, a mortgage statement and, you’re buying a house or you are, building your family and you’re looking at an adoption contract, it is so important to make sure that you understand what you’re reading.

Speaker 5:

You understand what the expectations are on behalf of the agency and on behalf of you, the adoptive family. What I have found in the last 16 years is going over the information multiple times during the adoption journey and providing reminders is very helpful in accomplishing that goal. Additionally, giving a reference guide is another layer to help ensure that they understand what to expect. Most people in general, don’t like surprises. I am one who cannot stand surprises. I don’t like being caught off guard of I’m too much of a control freak. I like to know where everything is. Do you like surprises?

Ron Reigns:

I guess if it’s a good surprise. Sure, but, the unexpected is always something that I have a fear of. Sure. I know what you’re saying.

Speaker 5:

You don’t want the Jack in the box to pop out, it’s not.

Ron Reigns:

If somebody said, hey, surprise you just won Publisher’s Clearing House. I wouldn’t mind that.

Speaker 5:

We also but, rather than showing up, with a camera in your face, at your door, it would be nice to get a heads up. Right? We are coming, you have won so that,

Ron Reigns:

You don’t show up in your underwear. Sure.

Speaker 5:

Exactly. That you look presentable in that video. This is so that you can avoid situations like, oh, I didn’t know that. Or I don’t remember being told. So this is the first I’m hearing about this. Why wasn’t this explained? It also will help combat selective listening. People who are just listening to hear what they want to hear. If you’re explaining something and they want you to substantiate what they want, they’re only going to hear that one piece and really going in on that one piece.

Speaker 5:

As an agency what I have found is providing a folder with handouts and sending emails throughout the adoption journey, as well as on the forefront, really diving into the contract and explaining the process. There’s a reason that most contracts that are legal and important have a little line at the bottom that you initial each page. It’s not just so that the page can’t be changed later on. It’s also because they want to make sure you’re actually reading every page and that you understand it. It may sound silly when somebody says, make sure you read a contract before you sign it, but it’s not silly, never, ever, ever, ever signed something that you haven’t read.

Ron Reigns:

How many times have all of us been on the internet and seen whatever it is, user agreement, this and that. It’s an avalanche of words that I don’t understand and just scroll all the way to the bottom except all the time. Wow, we really should be reading those things.

Speaker 5:

Don’t do it. It’s interesting when you are buying a car, I purchased one six months ago, they put the contract in front of you and they’re like, okay, just go ahead and sign here. And that’s not, I’m that person that they probably hate where I want to go line by line and just make sure I understand everything.

Ron Reigns:

What exactly does this mean? Can you explain this to me? It doesn’t make sense or whatever. Lisa does the same thing when we buy a car or when, how’s mortgage things, all that stuff, Lisa reads, but she’s a lawyer she understands,

Speaker 5:

But everybody doesn’t have to be a lawyer to go through a contract with a fine-toothed comb. What doesn’t make sense, ask questions. Don’t be afraid of taking somebody’s time, because it’s important that you understand. I can’t tell you how many times that we will have gone over a contract. Family has read a contract and something will come up in the adoption during their adoption journey and they’ll say, oh, I didn’t know that. We’ll say, well, it’s on page three. We talked about this on this day and, it’s not striking a chord. It’s really important to have that information. Also, on our website, we have lots and lots of information as well. There’s multiple areas that the same information can be obtained. I think having that information readily available and easily accessible for both birth mothers and adoptive families is very, very important.

Speaker 5:

Making sure you get copies of all of your paperwork and again, reiterating all the important information like you said, from different people, whether it’s handouts, the website, whether they’re speaking with a previous family that had adopted, it’s really important to have all that so that you know, what everybody’s roles are, what the responsibilities are of the agency versus the adoptive family. When there’s a crisis who you contact, what number do you call? What’s the next step? What’s the schedule of events when it’s time to go to the hospital? What does that look like? Before COVID-19 families that would come in prior to the baby being born, the adoptive parent case managers used to take the parents to the hospital and they would do a tour. So they could explain this is where you’re going to be sitting. This is the type of room that you’ll be in.

Speaker 5:

Just so that it was a walkthrough. You know how, when you’re buying a home, you do a walkthrough prior to signing paperwork. This is like a walkthrough of the hospital. So that there’s again, no surprises and you know how it’s going to work out. The schedule of events can be overwhelming in an adoption journey for an adoptive family. There’s, lots of terms that are not commonly used outside of the adoption world. Payment schedules are touchy subjects because everybody’s uncomfortable talking about them. When you’re talking about a TPR and a family may not know that means termination of parental rights, ICPC, what is an ICPC? They’re holding their new baby and you’re throwing terms at them and they’re looking at you like, oh my gosh, what is that? And it’s just the interstate compact placement agreements.

Speaker 5:

On the forefront, if they’ve received education and they understand all this, it’s just going to go so much smoother. But if they’re holding their new baby and they’re focusing on their baby and they’re half listening to what you’re saying, because their baby’s beautiful and they’re so excited, and this is the moment they’ve been waiting for, and you keep saying, well, now this needs to happen, we need to do this, you’re effectively taking away from that moment. It’s not going to have that same positive experience for them. This is to help ensure that.

Ron Reigns:

I think that for an agency, it’s great to be diligent about remembering that you need to reiterate these things for the adoptive family, for the birth mother, for everybody involved. Like you said, these are terms that we’re so used to that I get to a point where I’ll talk to somebody that’s not in the adoption world and say, I had to work on three ICPCs today. You forget, they don’t know what an ICPC is or, they don’t know, like you said, what a TPR is or a payment schedule, all these things that we kind of just get immune to. We’ve got to be diligent about remembering, not everybody deals with these every single day. Reiterate it to the people involved so they know. You’ve told me what an ICPC is. I forgot. Tell me again and be patient.

Speaker 5:

Absolutely. For birth parents, letting them know when they’re coming into the program and throughout the program and even after the baby’s born, what resources financial, every other type of resource is available to them, what aftercare services are available and what the Arizona adoption laws dictate as to us, as an agency, as to what we can and cannot provide. Also, having that clear line of communication between the adopted family and the agency and that clear line of communication between the birth mother and father and the agency is super important because the faster you can answer somebody’s question, the more readily you can most likely calm them down. If somebody has to wait to have a question answered, their anxiety builds and builds and builds and builds, and then you’re dealing with somebody who’s frustrated and upset and angry, and it has all these emotions going on rather than, oh, I get it.

Speaker 5:

You know what I mean? Keeping, somebody’s mind at ease is, really trying to answer their questions as quickly as you can. Lastly and most importantly, I think, with both parties, they need to understand what adoption really is. Placing your baby for adoption is not the same as having somebody fostering your baby until you can get your life together. What is normal? You’re not going to be overnighting at the adoptive family’s house for Christmas. Those things are not normal in the adoption world, and that’s not something that we recommend or, put into place and laying those expectations out and explaining why and the rationale behind it is again, going to hopefully help alter the adoption experience to be a positive one, especially if maybe it’s not going as smoothly as you want it to. Explaining what a red flag is to an adoptive family and how, some red flags or, smaller flags and other flags and maybe bigger flags and why certain flags are not as concerning as other ones.

Speaker 5:

There’s different levels. Just letting everybody know, this is why you’re with an adoption agency or an adoption attorney, because you’re with somebody who has experience. Who’s gone through this process many, many, many, many times. I’d love to say, I’ve seen everything, but every time I say that I see something new. When you’re working with an experienced entity, you can rest assure that in that you have a comfort zone, because they know how to navigate these waters. When you’re sailing in the ocean, you don’t really want to be out there with somebody who’s only gone on an expedition once or twice. You want to go with a seasoned captain who knows the waters. When the storms come, can continue through that storm as if there’s not a storm. I think it’s really important.

Speaker 5:

You want both the birth family and the adoptive family, in my opinion, to have not only a good, happy ending at the end of the pregnancy, but I want the journey to mean as much as the end result, because it’s important. This is part of your child’s story. This is part of their life story. What happens during the pregnancy and, during that time is going to set the tone for the adoptive family and the birth family and into how they interact in the future and what type of relationship they have. In what perceptions the adoptive family has of the birth family and vice versa. It’s a trust that has to be built up between them. Again, laying out expectations and living on planet reality is going to help booster those opinions. I think that’s really important, but I think you being in the adoption world would understand that sometimes, either side can come into the adoption experience with unrealistic expectations. I always say in adoption, anything goes, anything can happen.

Speaker 5:

It is going to be the best experience you’ve ever had, or it’s not going to be. We all want it to be the best experience. There’s not always a happy ending, but what you have to remember is that whether or not the adoption turns out the way that you want it to, it’s still your story and nothing’s going to take away from that.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption, Building Arizona families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112 that’s 6 2 3 6 9 5 4 1 1 2. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhelp.com. Thanks also go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song “I Don’t Know” as our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us. We’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns.

Ron Reigns:

Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me Ron Rains, where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion, give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of building Arizona family’s adoption agency, the Donna K. Evans foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies in human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days, born to a teen birth mother. Raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott Arizona. Now I work for my wife, who’s an adoption attorney and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So today we’re going to be examining the differences in the choices between birth parents versus adopted parents when they are entering into an adoptive match.

Ron Reigns:

According to adoption.com choices that expectant parents, or the birth parents in the adoption triad make, number of children currently in the family, families location, open, semi-open or closed adoption, racial background of the adopting couple, education of the adopting couple, adopting mothers and adopting fathers employment, family pets, and agency versus private adoption.

Ron Reigns:

Now we’ll compare those choices to the choices that hopeful adopting parents face. Also, according to adopt.com, number of children they’re willing to adopt. The type of adoption as in domestic or international, or a foster child adoption. They, also like the birth parents, will consider open, semi-open or closed adoptions, racial background of the child, education of the birth parents, agency or private adoption, age of the child, gender of the child, birth order, drug, alcohol, or cigarette exposure and exposure to abuse or neglect.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Going through the choices that adoption.com has identified as the variables that each entity really focuses on is really fascinating because they’re very different yet you will find some similarities. I also think it’s interesting that the number of variables that the birth mothers and birth fathers tend to have when they’re entering into an adoptive match are much less in terms of number or quantity than the adoptive parents. So to me, that was fascinating and having been with birth mothers, when they’re choosing an adoptive family, I will say this is spot on. This is one hundred percent spot on. These identified variables are what we see all day every day. Now they don’t always have all of these. I would say, from my experience, the number of children currently in the family, the family’s location, the open versus semi open adoption versus close adoption. The racial backgrounds are the most important to a birth mother.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I would say the top four are what I see their decisions based upon. In regards to the potential adoptive parents and their choice in terms of matching with a birth mother. The ones that I see in terms of being kind of their priorities are absolutely not the first one. I don’t see that very often the number of children waiting to adopt, going into an adoption, the domestic versus international versus foster. Yeah, that is a primary issue that adoptive families do focus on. The open versus closed, versus semi open is absolutely a priority I have seen as well. The racial background of a child, I would say in some cases, there are some families that come into adoption and the racial background of a child is irrelevant. Some of them are focused on that, but other ones are not.

Ron Reigns:

When they are focused on the racial background. Is it more often that they want the same race as themselves? Or is it more often that they’re like, I would like a mixed race or a particular race that’s not my own?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In my experience, it’s a very awkward and uncomfortable conversation that is had for the adoptive family because it is usually prefaced with, I’m not racist, I’m not prejudiced at all… However and then there will be a list of reasons. In the area I live in we do not have very many minorities. I wouldn’t want the child to stand out. Our family does not have any diversity at all, you know extended family. So they will start prefacing as to why they have this preference. I do think that in some situations adoptive families do want the child to look like them, for reasons such as they don’t necessarily want to stand out. They don’t maybe want the fact that the child is adopted to be front and center.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They don’t want somebody to think that they’re fostering or they’re babysitting. They want to be looked at as a unit and I think that the fear is that if they have a child of a different race that that’s going to be different, then if they were to have a child that was not. As we’re progressing into 2020, and we’re going forward, that is lessening. I will say it is one hundred percent lessening.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I will say too, that black birth moms very much would like to place their baby also with an African American family, a black family, if that’s possible. Unfortunately, we don’t see very many… Very few, I would say if at all black or African American families that are looking to adopt out of the domestic program. So in that situation for birth mothers who really want their child to be in a family with another person in that family that is of color, they will often choose a family that maybe has already adopted a black child and so there is some continuity and someone to relate to color wise. Another concern is one of the number one things I hear from moms that are black, that want their babies adopted by a black couple is they’re very worried about the skin and the hair. That is one of the number one things that they’re concerned about is they’re not going to know how to take care of their skin and take care of their hair.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We also have an international program where we adopt out of Haiti. So we explained to the birth parents that there are resources that we do give to adoptive families and I do travel all over the country and get to see a lot of the babies as they’re growing up and their hair and their skin looks great. So they’re doing an amazing job and I can tell you from my experience in looking at these children, as they growing up that, we’ll make sure that they have all the resources they need so that they’re… This child will have good skin and everything.

Ron Reigns:

I see that as a weird kind of deterrent because if you think about it before you have a baby, you don’t know how to breastfeed or change a diaper. I mean, maybe you do from life experiences on a diaper thing, but there’s a lot of things that once you have a baby, whether it’s adopted or whether it’s, you know…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Ron, we’re going to… Go back real quick. Breastfeeding is natural and has been done since the beginning of time.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You know, animals breastfeed. So it is a natural thing.

Ron Reigns:

So is learning how to take care of a child’s different needs, whether it’s their hair or their skin. It’s things that you will learn, it’s not things that all of a sudden you’ll just be completely taken aback by. You figure it out, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes, absolutely you figure it out and like I said, there’s so many resources out there.

Ron Reigns:

Mm-hmm.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We have staff members that have children of different colors. They can speak to some of the birth moms and some of the families and talk with them about what that’s like and how beautiful it is and then you’ve got celebrities that people say, well they’re celebrities, it doesn’t matter. Well, actually people do look up to them and it does make a difference and I think that when there is somebody that you look at as credible. Angelina Julie, for instance.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You know, you look at her and she’s adopted children of all different colors. I think that has actually helped people in the adoption world, whether it be birth moms or adoptive families, to see that blending families is beautiful and it is looked at very differently than it was 50 years ago.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Adoptive families, they have not, in my opinion, seemed to focus on the religion of the birth parents. Special needs is definitely a focus. Gender is a big one and it’s one that as an agency that we have struggled with in the past for a number of reasons and I find this interesting, and I really hope that this information kind of sinks into our listeners because it’s something that I have watched over 16 years now, evolve and change regarding gender. When you are having your own biological child, you don’t get to choose. You don’t get to have a boy or a girl and the combative argument when I’ve used this is, well, there are certain things you can do so that your chances are higher that you may have a boy or a girl.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Ultimately, you don’t really get to choose. With regards to adoption, the majority of people who are adopting want to, if given the preference, adopt a girl, 80% of adoptions used to be girls because of all the adoptions that were done through China, you could only adopt girls from China. So those numbers were skewed way up on the female side and now that China has changed drastically the types of adoptions they’re doing, they’re focusing more on special needs and there are some boys in the special needs category that you can adopt through China. Meeting and accommodating a family with regard to gender and then you hear every story from, well, I have four boys and I really want a girl, or I have three girls and my husband really wants a son and I understand that and I appreciate that. I often let families know then we’re not the agency for you because of enough… There’s a couple factors.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

One, we used to do gender preferences very early on in our agency and what happened is it just bottle necked our program. 50% of the women when they came into the agency did not know what they were having. So those 50% could not be shown to a particular family. The other 50% half were having boys and half were having girls. So we were only able to show one quarter of the potential birth moms as a match for this family, to this family. The other thing is that ultrasounds even today in 2020 are not always correct. You will be told, it’s a girl, it’s a girl, it’s a girl. Surprise, it’s a boy and so there’s no guarantees. People will say, well, have you had that happen?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes, yes. We’ve had families show up doused in what looks like Pepto-Bismol, waiting for a girl and out hops a little guy and that happens. I understand that going into the adoption choice plan, journey, you really want to control as many aspects as you can and that’s one aspect that as a potential adoptive family looking at you think, well, that’s one thing I can control is to whether or not I adopt a boy or a girl, not really. With any agency, you would wait longer. We do have families that kind of sneak in the back door because we don’t allow the gender preference and so when you send out profiles of ones that are looking to be shown, they will obviously opt for the ones that are known to be having a girl and again, there’s no guarantee. There’s no guarantee whatsoever.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

There was an agency years ago, in Arizona that was actually sued because the baby came out the wrong gender and I don’t think the lawsuit was… I think it was dropped and it wasn’t found substantiated, but it was… Again, there’s no guarantees. It’s not, there’s no crystal ball. There’s no fortune teller that can tell us this is for sure a girl, but gender is definitely a big issue. Another big issue for adoptive families is alcohol and drug use. Some families really used to be worried about whether or not a birth mother was smoking regular cigarette. I actually, haven’t heard a family be concerned about that in a very long time.

Ron Reigns:

So they’re just more realistic now? Or?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think because drugs are so much more prevalent now than we used to see in the past and there’s so much more information and education out there about drug exposure, that it would be like if you’re going to clean an entire house, whether or not the cup has a dirty spot in it. Is it going to be the focus when you’re looking at the bigger picture.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So don’t focus on something small when there is something potentially much larger. So for adoptive families, drug use absolutely paramount. There is concern about mental illness on behalf of the birth parents. Again, mental illnesses is very similar I would say in terms of finding out actually… Mental illness can be fluid in the sense that one doctor can diagnose somebody with this diagnosis and then another doctor can perceive the diagnosis as something different and give a different diagnosis and then, did somebody exhibit symptoms warranting this diagnosis 10 years ago, but those symptoms are no longer being exhibited today. So again, mental illness is very hard.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Some of it is to be considered genetic and possibly passed down and others they’re saying there’s less of a chance. So that’s a hard one too and then when you also have drug use and mental illness, it is very hard to distinguish is this true mental illness, or is this drug induced psychosis? So again, differentiating between the two, it is very hard. Adoptive families, again, really want to focus on open versus closed. There is still that fear of the birth mother who lovingly placed a baby with an adoptive family.

Ron Reigns:

Coming back.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Crawl through the back window to take her baby back and I’m very much hoping to dissipate because it’s very hurtful to the birth family that that thought would enter into an adoptive family’s mind when they themselves are choosing adoption.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And they want the baby to go with this family, not to crawl through a window a year later to take the baby back.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. To help dispel this, over the several years that you’ve been working in the field, how many times has that happened?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

In my experience, with Building Arizona Families, never.

Ron Reigns:

It’s never happened once?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Not within the confines of our agency. No.

Ron Reigns:

Okay and you’ve been through several thousand adoption processes and this is never happened once in the 16 years you’ve been doing this?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Several thousand. I would say hundreds and hundreds and hundreds.

Ron Reigns:

At least a thousand?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Okay. Yes and no.

Ron Reigns:

Not once.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No.

Ron Reigns:

So this is somewhat of an unfounded fear that they have?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Correct.

Ron Reigns:

Okay. See, like I said, just to help dispel the worry from potentially adoptive parents.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

You could look at it as I think a similarity and this may be a little extreme, would be for those of you listening that watched Friday the 13th and because of that movie, won’t go swim in a lake.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Ron Reigns:

Well, if it’s named crystal lake, I may avoid it myself, but That’s exactly it because you’re afraid of some undead zombie-like person coming and getting you, it’s not likely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s not likely.

Ron Reigns:

All right. Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think another important thing is when you’re looking at the differences between what is drawing a birth mother to choosing an adoptive family versus what is choosing an adoptive family to a birth mother? It’s fascinating to watch sometimes the magnetic connection between the two when you have that really solid good match. It is like harmonious and everybody feels it. It’s that chemistry that when you’re in high school and you know, you’ve got your first crush and it’s just this chemistry that everybody can feel in the room. You know what I mean? It’s that same, that same draw, that same magnetic appeal to each other.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

When a birth mom is looking at a profile of a family, she’s got the book’s in front of her and she looks at one and she puts it aside and then she picks up the cover and hands it to me and says, no, and won’t even open the book and then she’ll pick up one and she’ll go through it and she’ll go through it for maybe 45 minutes to an hour, and then she’ll put it down and then she’ll go through it again and there’s still maybe one or two books over here that she’s waiting to look through and she’s done. This is the family.

Ron Reigns:

She found the one.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s the aha moment. This is, yeah, she has found her match. It is amazing when they first connect and they find out more about each other because we had one where both sides were nervous. The adoptive family very much wanted the birth mother to like them and the birth mother was very afraid that the adoptive family would judge her, which is a common feeling among birth moms and they’re not being judged. We try to reassure them the best that we can, but until they hear it for themselves and she started finding out more about the adoptive mom and about how they had similar preferences and they liked the same things and these things weren’t even in the book. It was one of those aha moments where you’re like, this was supposed to be, this is what was supposed to happen. I think that that’s just beautiful and that is why people who are in the adoption world stay in the adoption world because those moments are priceless.

Ron Reigns:

Well, those moments make it more than just a job or a career. It makes it a lifestyle for anybody working in this field and it becomes such an essential part of what gives them reward and meaning. Yeah, I totally understand. I’ve seen those moments myself, so…

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, just absolutely euphoric. Just unbelievable. Yeah, like I said, you live for those moments. With birth mothers, they’re looking and yes I have had a birth mother choose a family because she liked the dog. I have had a birth mother kind of have a hard time deciding between two families and the birth father was not as involved in choosing, but looks over and realizes that one of the adopted parents was wearing a jersey from his team.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And that was, that was his dude.

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And that’s where his baby was going and there was no more discussion.

Ron Reigns:

Now have you ever heard of a potential, a birth mother and birth father looking at these and seeing a picture and going Patriots? Not them, anything like that?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yes actually, not that particular team mind you, but yes, absolutely. Yes, I have. [crosstalk 00:21:48] that’s funny that you say that.

Ron Reigns:

I’m not putting a baby in that house.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, no, I have had them look at something and they see something in one of the pictures that they were like, no, no, no. It can be everything from, oh, they have that type of dog, I got bit by that kind of a dog.

Ron Reigns:

Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Nope. Or it can be some moms are very nervous. I had one mom that was very nervous about water. She was very worried and none of the families had a pool, but she didn’t want any bodies of water. So she didn’t want the baby…

Ron Reigns:

Near a lake.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Near a lake or living by an ocean, so again, everybody has their own preferences and their own right to their preferences.

Ron Reigns:

Certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I mean it’s their biological child. They definitely get to choose. Some birth moms, we have to talk with and explain that if you’re living in the state of Arizona and you are looking at a family that is living in Nevada, or you’re looking at a family that is living in North Carolina, pretty much, they both require plane trips.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Obviously Nevada’s a little bit closer, but if you like the family better in North Carolina versus in Nevada, then that’s where… Because people move, just because you’re choosing a family in one state doesn’t mean they’re always going to live in that state and Southwest flies to both. So it’s not go with a family that is the right family, maybe not just focus on the location, that’s more realistic. Then for both sides, once they have their preferences and they have learned to be open-minded and understanding with birth mothers. If they have been using drugs throughout their pregnancy, they may not have as many adoptive families that are ready to jump in and be presented and for a birth mother, that’s very hard to understand, because this is still a baby and this is her baby and she loves her baby and she wants her baby to have the same choices and advantages that somebody who’s not using drugs would have. Again, it is education and explaining that you want to make sure that the family that adopts your baby is equipped to handle whatever comes their way.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So, in a lot of cases, the babies come out and they’re fine. Should the baby come out and the baby’s not fine, we want to make sure that we have an adopted family that is resolute and is going to stand by your side and your baby’s side, no matter what happens. That’s really important than the number of choices. I think with regards to understanding the differences between birth families and adoptive families in what they’re looking for in an adoptive match.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think the most important thing to remember is to keep an open mind, to keep as many doors open as you can, because the more doors you have, the less time that you’ll wait to become a family. To be realistic in what you’re looking for, and to understand that babies are placed for adoption, because a mother is choosing a life for her child, that she cannot provide herself and there’s so much bravery in that. There’s so much heroism that I think that we as a society should definitely look at the match situation and celebrate both sides of the adoptive family and the birth mother and I just think it’s a beautiful thing.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in adoption. If you’re listening and you’re dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available twenty-four seven by phone or text at (623) 695-4112 that’s 6-2-3-6-9-5-4-1-1-2. We can make an immediate appointment with you to get started on creating an Arizona adoption plan, or just get you more information. You can also find out more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at AZpregnancyhelp.com. Thanks also go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song “I don’t know” as our theme song for Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us, we’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at BirthMotherMatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m Ron Reigns.