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Safe adoption options for parents in crisis in the DMV

“They usually call us saying, I want more for my child than I can provide right now,” Featherston said.

WASHINGTON — In the last two weeks, we’ve unfortunately reported stories about babies being thrown away. 

On Monday, police said a baby was found in a garbage can in Northwest D.C., and earlier this month, the mother of 2-month-old Kyon Jones said she put him in the trash. He still hasn’t been found. 

Becoming a parent can be challenging for some, but what can you do if you find you’re not equipped? 

All states and the District have Safe Haven laws. That’s when you can drop off a newborn at a fire or police station without questions being asked. But, sometimes mothers and parents may realize months or even years down the road they’re not going to be able to provide a stable environment for their child, that’s where Lifetime Adoption steps in.

“We start by providing free counseling, free help, to kind of make sure that they're in a stable place to make this decision,” said Heather Featherston with Lifetime Adoption.

The decision to give a child up for adoption is not one to be made lightly. Featherson said she’s worked with mothers who are sometimes in distress.

“They usually call us saying, I want more for my child than I can provide right now,” Featherston added.

Lifetime Adoption works with newborns to children who are about 7-years-old, finding them families who want children.

“The other thing is, all of the families we work with are open to ongoing contact. So, adoption is definitely not goodbye forever. She can get updates. Most of our families, too, are open to getting together for a visit," Featherston said. "The family getting together for a visit once or twice a year."

Featherston said in her 18 years with the agency, she’s seen thousands of adoptions. They like to make the transition for a new mom seamless.

“The adoptions we do, they can happen very quickly. They can happen in just a few days, or if a mom needs respite care because she is in that crisis, we can get her connected maybe to someone who can provide care for the child for a few days while she gets to that stable place.” Featherston said. 

Featherston also said postpartum depression or even postpartum psychosis may be difficult for a woman to recognize the extent of the hormonal changes in their bodies and if they feel like they’re going through an unusually tough time, to get medical attention.

Help is just a text away if need be. They have a 24-hour crisis hotline people can call at 1-800-923-6784 and an Adoptive Parent Answer Line at 1-727-493-0933.

RELATED: Police: Mother of missing 2-month-old arrested, charged with felony murder

RELATED: Child found dead in Northwest DC trash can inside a restroom, police say

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