WHAT IS A FRIEND?
Q. What is a “Friend” — and what does she do?
A. A Birthmothers Friend is a caring, trained volunteer who is matched one-on-one with you, your partner or family member. A Friend listens and provides confidential, nonjudgmental practical assistance, emotional support and spiritual encouragement as long as you need or choose. For example, she may help you find prenatal care, housing, or legal advice about custody.
But most importantly, the Friend provides personal encouragement and compassion, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. Many of our Friends have experienced an unplanned pregnancy themselves. They know that this is a time when you need more than just a "fair weather" friend — you need someone who’ll stick with you. That’s why our motto is, “A Friend loves at all times.”
Q. Is Birthmothers a pregnancy care center (PCC) or an adoption agency?
A. No. Birthmothers complements, rather than replaces, the services of PCCs and adoption agencies. We match you with a caring Friend who will stick by you for as long as you need or choose. Your Friend will connect you to services you need.
Q. How do I get matched with a Friend?
A. When you call our helpline (toll-free at 1-877-77BIRTH) you’ll speak with a trained Birthmothers call counselor who will invite you to be matched with a Friend.
Q. How are matches made?
A. Specially-trained Birthmothers staff members match Friends with birth moms (or partners or family members) based on geographic proximity, personal experiences, and compatibility.
Q. How much do Birthmothers services cost?
A. Our services are free.
Q. Can I trust a Friend to keep my story confidential?
A. Yes — 100%. The Friend /birth mom relationship is based on trust. Your Friend is committed to keep anything you tell her confidential. She will not call your parents, your boyfriend, your employer, or anyone else. She may discuss some aspects of your situation in general terms with other staff or volunteers at Birthmothers who also are committed to confidentiality — but only as necessary to get you the help you need.
Q. What if I want an abortion, or have already had one?
A. Birthmothers does not support abortion for ethical and religious reasons. We will not help you find or pay for abortion services. But we will help you heal from an abortion.
That’s because we view every human life as unique and valuable. We will not desert a woman just because she has made a choice we do not support. Rather, we believe that each of us stands equally in need of God’s love and forgiveness, and that we are called to demonstrate compassion and acceptance to women.
Q. What about adoption?
A. We present adoption as an option that you may want to consider. A large number of women are not aware of the many adoption alternatives that are available, and we offer those options to you so that you are well-informed. We are committed to giving you nonjudgmental support, information, and resources to help you to make the best choices possible for you and your child.
Q. Will I be pressured to think or believe a certain way?
A. No. Although Birthmothers is a Christian organization, we serve women and families from any faith tradition or no faith tradition.
As Christians, Birthmother Friends believe in the value of each person and in the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. We seek to reflect Christ’s mercy and grace in a way that honors the individual, rather than insisting you to believe or think exactly as we do.
MORE ABOUT FRIENDS
Q. What kinds of people become Birthmothers Friends?
A. Friends come from all walks of life. They undergo special training in order to work with you. Many of our Friends have faced an unplanned pregnancy themselves or are single parents, birth moms, adoptive parents, or adoptees. Some have experienced abortion. Friends listen and help.
Q. How are Friends trained?
A. The Birthmothers Friends training program was specially developed by a qualified, licensed psychologist, a professional training consultant, and our staff. Trained counselors and Birthmothers staff train Friends to:
• listen without judgment as you sort out your feelings and options
• connect you with practical help and resources you need to reach well-informed decisions
• provide you with emotional support and spiritual encouragement during your pregnancy and for as long as you need afterwards
Once the initial certification process is completed, Friends commit themselves to a program of ongoing in-service training to keep updated with our expanding network of resources.
Q. How can I get more information?
A. Call our helpline: (703) 261-6370 in metro DC, (970) 481-4787 in CO, or toll-free 1(877) 77BIRTH from anywhere
• You can call anytime — day or night — and a trained call counselor will listen to your story.
• You can share as much or as little as you like.
• You can choose to be matched with a Friend right away, or you can wait.
But don’t go through this alone. There’s a Friend waiting for you — a Friend who will listen with compassion and without judgment.
Make that call today: (703) 261-6370