Supporting and Caring For

You and Your Family

Beginnings offers a variety of counselling services related to pregnancy and adoption, infertility and embryo donation.

We offer support for the following:

  • Grief and loss
  • Stress & coping management
  • Treatment options & decision making
  • Third party reproduction assessments
  • Third party reproduction – issues for children born from ARTs
  • Group support, resources & referrals
  • Moving on – considering adoption or living childless

Contact us today and begin the process of understanding and healing.

Pregnancy Counselling

Post Adoption

Adoption Reunions

Professional Counselling Services

Service Fees

 Beginnings offers professional counselling services at a rate of $130 per hour.

Please contact us for more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced counsellors.

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Have Questions?

FAQs

Why does Beginnings offer counselling services?

Beginnings recognizes that individuals, couples, and families need help along life’s way. There are many decisions to make about family planning and relationships. Our highly qualified professional staff have expertise in specific areas of adoption, infertility, embryo donation and post abortion counselling.

What counselling services does Beginnings offer women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy?
  • Pregnancy testing, options counselling, and support services
  • Licensed private open adoption services
  • Short term foster care
  • Post- adoption counselling
  • Community resource referral
Is there any cost for birth parent counselling?

There are no costs.

What if birth parents can’t come to a Beginnings office to meet with a counsellor?

Counsellors will come to meet birth parents in their community. If they live beyond a reasonable driving distance, Beginnings will arrange for a counsellor in the client’s community. Skype is also a way to meet “over the phone” and face to face with a Beginnings staff person.

What counselling services does Beginnings offer birth fathers?

Yes. The same counselling options are available to men who are considered or named as birth fathers.

Is Beginnings a licensed adoption agency?

Yes. Beginnings is licensed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to provide adoption services in Ontario. Beyond Ontario, adoption services are presently on a case by case basis in provinces and territories that have provision for private adoption.

Why are foster homes needed?

Foster or Care homes are needed when a child is born without a plan of care. It may be that a birth mother is not sure about her decision to parent or make an adoption plan. Her child can stay with one of Beginnings approved foster parents for a short term stay (up to 30 days) until she makes her decision.

Can birth parents visit their child in foster care?

Yes. Arrangements are made with the foster parents to visit regularly. Extended family members can also visit.

Are Beginnings foster care parents trained and experienced?

Yes. One family has cared for over 80 newborns with Beginnings. The other has cared for over 50 babies. Education is offered to foster parents annually. Their approval is renewed annually by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services.

How often can birth mothers meet with their counsellors before the child is born?

This depends on the time available before the birth of the child. In some instances, counsellors will meet for several hours at a time to talk about options, decision-making, review supports, collect social and medical history, educate them about openness, and assess the client needs. If a birth mother comes early in the pregnancy, visits may be weekly, bi weekly or monthly.

Do Beginnings counsellors focus only on the adoption option?

No. Counsellors are neutral about presenting options to birth parents. It is up to the client to choose the best path after careful consideration and education. Beginnings provides a safe, caring place to talk about important life decisions.

What services are available if birth parents choose to parent their child?

Beginnings counsellors, or trained volunteers in the centre location offices, will link birth parents up with appropriate community resources. Beginnings also offers pre natal and post natal classes and parenting support in all locations and “care cupboard” baby supplies in most centers.

Does Beginnings offer counselling to children adopted through Beginnings?

Yes. Beginnings considers children placed through the agency as part of Beginnings family. There are several developmental ages and stages where a child’s understanding of adoption sparks questions or a need to know more. Beginnings counsellors will be there to help with these transitional times. Adolescents in particular may have added adoption related identity or separation issues that could benefit from meeting with a counsellor who understands adoption over the life time.

Does Beginnings offer counselling to birth parents who placed through Beginnings?

Yes. Birth parents will have the opportunity to continue meeting with their counsellor up to 6 months after placement of their child. Further follow up will be arranged as needed. Counsellors are also available to assist birth parents throughout the first year for with ongoing open contact arrangements.
Most Beginnings birth parents develop a relationship with their counsellor and keep in contact over the years via email, calls and occasional meeting.

Can Beginnings arrange for peer support for birth parents?

Yes. A counsellor can connect a new birth mom with a birth parent who has placed her child for adoption. Peer connections can take the form of one to one, or email contact group, or, small group concentrated in a region. Peer group support is primary counselling model of Beginnings locations in Woodstock, Northumberland and Guelph.

How can parents support their pregnant daughter or birth father son?

Parents need to be non judgemental and offer a verbal declaration of support for whatever their daughter or son decides, then seek out their own support network to talk about their own feelings of disappointment, loss or anger. By articulating clear boundaries of what they will or will not provide, grandparents will add to the information needed for their child’s important life decision. Often parents do not say anything until after the decision is made and it could have made a significant difference to the outcome.

What if parents do not agree with their daughter or son’s decision?

Parents must find a way to manage their disappointment and seek a counsellor to talk about how they will reconcile their lack of control. It is ultimately the birth parents’ decision to make for their child. It is never wise to pressure, coerce, impose or manipulate a decision that is not theirs to make. The consequences for this may not be evident at the time, but will surface in the future.

What if my son claims he is not the father, can we insist on a DNA test?

Yes. Ideally, the birth father pays for this service if he is requesting it. It is in the best interests of the child to have the paternity confirmed if there is any doubt. Beginnings can arrange for DNA testing. It is a simple swab taken from the mouth and sent to a lab. Results are usually back in 7 working days.

What is the role for grand parents once the adoption plan is made?

Parents role is to be there for their son or daughter.

What does open adoption involve?

Open adoption involves ongoing communication and contact between birth parent(s) and the adopting couple, including the child. This can take the form of letters, emails, phone calls, and/ or visits. The amount of contact is negotiated between the parties and varies from one situation to another. Beginnings believes openness is good for a child as it allows him or her to maintain relationships with important people in his or her life; as he or she grows older, openness allows access to information about his or her origins and background and to any other siblings he or she may have.

Will birth grandparents be included in the child’s life in the future?

In most cases yes, but it up to the birth parents how much they want to have their parents involved in the lives of their adopted child. The adoptive families are usually eager to have ongoing contact with all members of the birth parents families. The Covenant agreement can include extended family members in the contact arrangements.

What is a Covenant Agreement

It is an agreement outlining the specific contact arrangements between birth parents and the adoptive couple. The word Covenant means “promise” and implies a commitment on both sides to carry through with the arrangements they are making – for the sake of the child.  These agreements are not legally binding, but are considered by Beginnings to be a binding promise to stay in touch.

What is an Entrustment Ceremony?

This is a ceremony that happens at the time a child is placed in the care of an adoptive couple by the birth parent(s). It is an acknowledgment of moving a child from  one family to another and honours the role of birth parents in the lives of their children. Each ceremony is unique and reflects what is important to the people attending. Often there is chosen music, a poem or reading, and candle lighting to join the families in their Covenant agreement.  Beginnings’ Covenant and Entrustment Ceremony form a foundation for the new relationships created through adoption.

Will my son need independent legal advice?

Beginnings can provide information on the definition of a legal parent, and will speak to birth fathers about their options and rights. If they agree to sign consents for adoption, all forms and papers will be reviewed with him prior to signing. At the time of signing consents for adoption, an appointment will be made with a lawyer familiar with private adoption who will offer independent legal advice and be available for any questions your son may have.

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