Thursday, July 26, 2012

Screenings, Screenings, and More Screenings!

Brian wrote a bit last week about getting our first screening call, and some of the thought that went into it. Well, since then we've got two more screenings; for those keeping count, that's 3 screenings in just the first 2 weeks of being in the waiting pool!

That's a lot more screening than I expected, to be honest! To put it in perspective, we only are contacted with a screening call or e-mail in cases where the placement is "difficult" for some reason. In the one Brian wrote about last week, for example, the birthmother and the baby both tested positive for narcotics. For all other situations where there aren't any factors needing special attention, our profile will get shown to the birth family without our explicit knowledge.

If I'm remembering the statistics correctly, less than half of birthmothers at OA&FS use drugs or alcohol during their pregnancy. And "moderate" or "mild" usage generally doesn't trigger a screening call; most of the time only "severe" usage does. Which means I expected only a small percentage of the birth family situations would warrant a screening call to us before our profile is shown to the birthfamily.

But 3 screenings in just 2 weeks? Either there are a *ton* of expectant mothers out there contacting our agency, or it's just been a really busy couple weeks! I guess time will tell...

Update 1, 4:32pm: And a fourth one just rolled in!

Update 2, 4:41pm: It also occurs to me that only roughly 1 out of 5 expectant mothers who work with OA&FS end up going through with an adoption plan. I'm guessing that ratio gets higher if you only look at women who go as far as getting profiles of waiting families, but it's definitely worth considering that some of these cases we're being screened for will end up with the birth family deciding to parent a child themselves.

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