Wednesday, 10 November 2004

Out of Compliance? Implementing the Infant Adoption Awareness Act

In January 2004, Charles Marquardt, the program coordinator and lead trainer for the Title X training program at the California Family Health Council (the largest Title X grantee in the nation), highlighted his concerns about the training experience in a seven-page letter to his federal regional health administrators. He wrote: "The trainer promoted tactics and techniques for attempting to persuade the client to choose adoption by (1) discouraging abortion as a viable option, (2) overly promoting adoption, (3) highlighting the difficulties [the] child will encounter if [a woman] should choose to raise it herself, and (4) encouraging counselor opinions in scenarios by having the counselor choose for the client the best option." ...

Marsha Gelt, from the Center for Health Training in Oakland, California, a regional training center for the Title X family planning program, said that those conducting the training she attended represented either Christian or Mormon adoption agencies (NCFA's key constituency). She was upset by the religious nature of the training, in part because government funding was being used to sponsor the training. Similarly, Marquardt noted that "no effort was made to provide balance to the overtly Christian tenor of the discussion" or "to correct the comments of participants who discussed the importance of placing children in 'good Christian homes.'" Related to this was the fact that many trainers and trainees were from crisis pregnancy centers or antichoice organizations, "creating an environment that seemed to barely tolerate those in the room who were pro-choice."
via bastard nation byline

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