BRIDGETON – It’s a constant retort from those that defend abortion: “Women facing an unplanned pregnancy often don’t have any other option. They don’t know how or can’t take care of an infant without any support. It’s better to just terminate the pregnancy.”
The Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH) stands at hand, ready to give that support.
In the second quarter of 2015, MBCH served 12 women in its pregnancy resedential program in St. Louis, and 78 women through in-home services in St. Louis and southeast Missouri. Women can come to the residential program at any age, and can come on their own or be signed in by a parent or by the state if they are already in the foster care system.
Though many still think of MBCH as an orphanage and adoption agency, the vast majority of their work in is in foster care, and the majority of women served by the MBCH crisis pregancy program choose to parent their child.
“Back in the day, a young lady would ‘go away to Aunt So-and-so’s house’ when she was really coming to a place like us,” said Von Hulin, community based service director for MBCH.
“She would make an adoption plan, have the baby, then return to her family. We offer both options – parenting and adoption – and make sure they are very aware of both options. We don’t want either choice to be by default. Either way, they’re aware they’re making a lifetime commitment.”
Regardless of the choice the woman makes, MBCH is poised to support her through the next steps.
“Since the majority of them choose to parent, we do a lot of work on parenting skills, life skills, relationship skills with family members and maybe the father of that child, and those kinds of things. We want to help prepare them for parenthood, and hopefully by looking at what it healthy, safe relationship is they can create a good environment for that child.”
They also offer job/resume training, life skills, and resources that reduce risks of abuse of the child. Finally, MBCH connects the mothers to local churches and more resources in the commmunity
The MBCH affiliate, The LIGHTHOUSE, located in Kansas City, offers similar services.