Twenty-three years ago, I became a mother for the first time! I was excited, nervous and full of hope. Adoption ARC was born. Okay, it was certainly a physically painless delivery but everything else was just as earth shattering.
As a young attorney, I began my career doing child abuse and neglect cases and seeing children languish in foster care. I knew that there had to be a better way. Birth Families needed to be treated with respect and dignity and they needed to be given options in regard to an unplanned pregnancy. They needed unbiased and solid counseling services before, during and after placement. They needed the ability to grieve and to be heard and supported by a trained counselor. They needed us!
After an amazing amount of support from local professionals and family and friends, we incorporated Adoption Resource Center on March 7, 1994. The amazing Board of Directors, Adoption ARC Advocates, volunteers and partner agencies such as A New Way, Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency and Choices have helped to guide and shape who we are and assisted us in providing best policy and practice.
To this moment, we do not operate alone. The staff is amazing from the top down. Our Executive Director, Merle Gutterman, was around for ARC’s beginnings, worked as a birth parent counselor and now is an involved administrator. Laura Hoffman, MSW, LCSW, is the Social Work Supervisor with over 25 years of child welfare and adoption experience. She oversees the dedicated staff who work hard to provide options counseling to birth parents as well as medical coverage, prenatal care support, referrals for food and maternity clothing and much more.
We meet our clients in their homes, our office or a neutral location where they feel comfortable. We support clients through labor and delivery and help them cope with grief and loss associated with creating an adoption plan. These services are free of charge to our birth families and continue indefinitely. Our toll free number of 1-800-884-4004 is staffed 24/7 and we are always here to help.
Our work with our birth families is forever and nothing makes us happier than to share in their success stories. After placement, many birth parents continue their education, get new jobs, and also stay in contact with their children through the agency. There are certainly difficult time when they may need more support such as holidays, Mother’s Day or their child’s birthday, and we are here for those times.
We are fortunate to have been able to assist in the creation of 1200 plus families. Each time we receive an updated photo of one of “our” children, we can’t help smiling. As they are growing up taking their first steps, going to their first middle school dance, graduating high school and college and reconnecting with their roots, we feel lucky to be along for this fantastic adventure and hope to be blessed for another 23 glorious years. (or more).