Recognizing that the needs of birthmothers have shifted, volunteer leaders of Adoption Network Cleveland's Birthmother Support Group announced that they will conclude group meetings.
Alison Bedford-Wilson, one of the group leaders, said that the group felt that "today's birthmothers' needs are different than ours."
"Initially the Birthmothers' Support Group was helpful to us all," she said. "It gave us a much-needed foundation. It gave us healing. We appreciate the 'rawness' of the discussion that is just among us. However, we find that our needs are dissipating and the General Discussion Meetings provide the support we need at this time. Moreover, we come to give back what we have received."
The Birthmothers Discussion Group had met every other month and lasted throughout most of the organization's 30-year history. Bedford-Wilson said that the group was willing to provide "soft-shoulder" one-on-one support for birthmothers who reach out to Adoption Network Cleveland, including attending monthly General Discussion Meetings with them.
Jennifer Zisk-Vitron, director of programs for Adoption Network Cleveland, said the organization will "determine where to take the program, and could reshape how it may look after evaluating the current needs of birthmothers. And we are particularly grateful for the leadership from the birthmothers that have led this group for so long."