I have worked with women all over the country including helping them place a baby for adoption in Reno. One of my favorite cases was an expectant mom from Reno, Nevada.
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Place A Baby For Adoption Reno Nevada
I’m an attorney and a birth mother and my services are absolutely free to women looking for a family to adopt their baby. Whether they move forward with an adoption or not. If you’re in Reno, Nevada, I can help. Here’s a story about one of my Reno, Nevada cases, a case I am most proud of.
The first time I knowingly met a convicted felon
Years ago, I worked with a birth mother from Reno, Nevada. Billie is a convicted felon recently released from prison. I’d never met a felon before, or at least not that I was aware of. So, I decided to drive four hours to Reno to meet her. The plan was to spend the day together, have some lunch and talk about adoption. Billie was a quick study, and what a missed opportunity she was. She was so smart, articulate and quick to laugh. Billie was resourceful and creative and scrappy. She talked a lot about her two-year-old daughter Rosie. It was easy to see she was a devoted mother with a difficult past. She had a lot of questions about how to place a baby for adoption in Reno, but first she told me her story.
Raised in chaos, she basically raised herself
Her own mother (deceased) was a drug addict, and Billie was raised in chaos. They moved between Reno and Atlanta with no stable place to live. Chasing after mom’s boyfriends and the next fix. They ended up in Reno because that’s where Granny lived. I met Granny too, in her faded pink sweatsuit in her single wide trailer right next to the county airport. Billie didn’t have a stable living situation. She bounced from couch to couch, living on the street or with a new boyfriend. She’s a petite and strikingly pretty woman with a tough edge and foul mouth (which I appreciate).
Guns and drugs and courthouse metal detectors
I was super curious about the felony but wanted to be respectful. Ultimately, I didn’t have to ask. Billie just offered it up because she thinks it’s a funny story. Especially in retrospect. The short story is that she showed up at the County Courthouse to file papers for a friend. When she went through the metal detector, she forgot she had a gun in her purse and drugs in her bra.
This is when she starts laughing. Neither the gun nor the drugs were legal, though everyone in her circle carried a gun in their purse, a matter of survival. She had never used it, only pulled it out when she was physically threatened. As the alarm sounded from the metal detector, Billie’s instinct was to run, so she did. Speeding down the sidewalk, she tossed the gun and the drugs. As luck, or bad luck, would have it, she got away, dyed her hair and then lived on the lam for a few months. She made arrangements for a friend to take care of Rosie before she gave herself up. This sent her to prison for two years.
Drive to Reno, Nevada to talk about adoption
When I met her, Billie had been out for about five months, had gotten pregnant, and because she couldn’t find a job, started using drugs again. Over and over she told me all she wanted to do was get a job and take care of Rosie. But no one would hire her because of her felony record. She was totally stuck, and the best she could do was clean houses from time to time. This was difficult, too, because she didn’t have a car. She started thinking about adoption. Hard as it was to admit, she knew she was going to have a boy, and she just really wanted to do an adoption to get him out of Reno. The only thing there for him, she told me, was gangs and drugs and prison.
Adoptive parents will love her baby unconditionally, despite her history and drug use
Billie was worried that adoptive parents would judge her because of her background and her drug use. She was afraid that the “best” parents wouldn’t want her baby. I understand this fear. Women express this to me all the time. The good news is that she came to the right place. I explained to her that the families I work with are all people I know well, people who don’t judge and who will love her baby as much as she does.
I reassured her that I only work with adoptive parents that I’d feel comfortable placing my own child with. Also, they are all educated on adoption. They understand open vs. closed adoption, and drug and alcohol use during pregnancy. My families understand the importance and value of staying in contact, if a birth mother wants to. All of them are the best possible parents. Turns out, choosing the family was easy for Billie. She knew which was the right family pretty immediately, and she chose well. They love her little guy unconditionally, and they love Billie like she’s their kid too. I know Billie is proud that her adopted son is so much like her: smart, curious, and quick to laugh.
Lying about her criminal history to get a job
Not long after the adoption was finalized, Billie called to say she was applying for a job at the mall. She had gotten clean and wanted to work at a mall photography studio where they take graduation and baby pictures. This made sense. I had easily 50 photo-shopped photos on my phone that she had proudly worked on, getting them perfect. The reason Billie called me was she wanted help with the application. First, she wanted me to be a reference (of course I would!).
Second, she didn’t know what to do about one of the questions. The problem was that the application asked if she had a criminal record. She thought that maybe she would include a letter with the application, explaining her story and why she wanted the job. She hoped this letter would inspire them to give her a chance despite her history. The thought of Billie painstakingly writing her story, a story that I loved and was so proud of, making herself vulnerable and then likely getting rejected made me really angry. I told her no. Don’t write the letter, just don’t tell them about your history.
When I think it’s okay to be a little dishonest
I am definitely not one to encourage dishonesty. But this was different. Billie wasn’t a violent felon, hadn’t destroyed property or put anyone in harm’s way. How is a single mother supposed to feed her kid if she can’t get a job? How can anyone expect her to take care of herself and her kid? It just wasn’t right. Here was an eager, smart, resourceful woman ready to work her tail off. They’d be lucky to have her. And I told her so. I said the worst that would happen is she wouldn’t get the job (or get fired later). I was convinced that once they saw what she was made of, and even if they found out about her record later, they’d keep her.
Challenging my preconceived ideas
Billie got the job and shot off like a rocket. They loved her at the store. She soon became a manager and worked there for three years. That job allowed her to get her own place, buy a car, and send Rosie to a great preschool. When Billie got a lead on an administrative position at a rehab facility, she nailed the interview, and they gave her the job on the spot. She’s been there ever since.
Admittedly, I believe I had preconceived ideas about ex-cons who did drugs, who lived on and off the street. Billie challenged these notions and showed me another side. A side that is tough and courageous and wanting nothing more than to be productive and independent. She showed me that someone who is raised in chaos and without guidance or support really can get their act together given the right opportunity.
I walk into each new case and each new birth mother with no preconceived ideas. Everyone is equal, everyone deserves a chance. In the context of adoption, I want every woman I work with to have the best support possible as she decides if adoption is right for her. It’s an honor to work with them, really. I feel so lucky that Billie found me.
I’m here to help if you’re thinking about placing a baby for adoption. I am an attorney and birth mother, and I’m here for you even if you just need someone to listen.