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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Family Adoption Services co-owner Susan Wyatt hopes the state’s law banning abortions means more families can adopt. She worries though that an uptick in pregnant women seeking services could be financially hard to support.
Wyatt and her husband own and run the agency. She says she’s unsure if they’re prepared for an influx of women in the coming months.
“We place children for adoption, but not in the numbers that Rick and I feel like are going to be generated because of the women’s inability to make the choice,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt says some years they help find homes for up to 25 children.
Her agency helps throughout the pregnancy for women, many of whom might not have a car, job or place to stay. They assist with housing costs, help with getting to appointments and provide other emotional support.
Under the current way the agency operates, Wyatt worries that level of care won’t be financially feasible if there is a significant uptick in women seeking services.
“That cost is going to be astronomical if we’re flooded with women who are coming to us,” Wyatt said.
Those with Agape of Central Alabama say they’re prepared for an uptick. The organization helps women decide between parenting or adoption, and help connect them with services. Even before the Dobbs decision, Director Steve Duer says they’ve managed to deal with increases.
“We’re seeing more moms already because of the economic situation, so there always have been factors that lead to an increase in the moms that we serve, and we always try to find a way to meet those moms’ needs. We’ve never turned a mom away for any reason,” Duer said.
Alabama’s Department of Human Resources won’t speculate as to the impacts of the state’s abortion law, but say there are currently about 5,800 children in foster care and more than 200 ready to adopt.
“Those children– bios, pictures, a clip about themselves can be found on the heart gallery website as well as adopt U.S. kids website,” Children and Family Services Deputy Commissioner Karen Smith said.
According to the Department of Human Resources, Alabama had a record number of adoptions in 2020 at 814. Last year’s 783 adoptions were the second most for the state.