LSSWis - Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Lutheran Social Services of
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

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Pregnancy Support

If you’re pregnant and need help without judgment or unwanted advice, we are here for you.

We have many years of experience working with parents who have unplanned pregnancies, who want to find out what it takes to raise a child, or who want to make their child available for adoption.

Each year, our trained counselors and social workers provide help and support to more than 350 birth parents. We provide the pregnancy counseling, practical information, emotional support, and caring guidance you will need as you consider your options and make important decisions.  Learn more about our options.

It doesn’t matter if yours is an unplanned pregnancy or an unwanted pregnancy; it doesn’t matter if your choice is to parent your child or to make an adoption plan. We’ll be here to help you through your pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

Watch the open adoption story of birthmom Heather; adoptive parents JJ and Jessica Heesch; and how baby Jackson became the 13th child in his extended family to be adopted with help from our staff.

Pregnancy Counseling

If you have an unplanned pregnancy or an unwanted pregnancy, decisions about what to do may seem too big or scary to make on your own. We’re here to help. The information and support our pregnancy counselors provide will help you make the best decisions for you and your child.

The biggest question may be, "Can I parent this child, or is adoption the best choice for my baby?" This is your decision to make; no one else can make it for you. But, getting more information and talking it through with one of our trained counselors will help.

Talking with us is free and confidential. We can meet you wherever you will be most comfortable. We understand the special issues often accompanying an unplanned pregnancy, as well as the financial, emotional and lifestyle implications of pregnancy.

Our staff is here to listen to your thoughts, feelings and concerns and to provide information, education and support. We’re experienced and qualified to counsel you on your pregnancy options.

We serve every county in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Contact us, and we’ll respond within 48 hours.

Get Help Now

You probably have many mixed emotions about your pregnancy – fear, elation, worry, confusion or just a desire to know more about your pregnancy options. We are here to help. Our pregnancy support services are free and confidential.

The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you and answer your questions. It’s important to your health and well-being and that of your baby. Contact us by calling the office nearest you. We’ll respond to you within 48 hours. 

Contact Us

Pregnancy FAQs

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 What if I'm unsure I want to have the baby?

“Abortion is fast and painless. A clean break. An easy way out. No one will ever have to know of my pregnancy.”

Some women facing an unplanned pregnancy believe the statement above to be true. But the reality is abortion isn’t easy, and is far from painless. While adoption and abortion are both difficult choices, some women think abortion will be the easiest and quickest solution to their unplanned pregnancy. One reason they don’t ever consider adoption is simply because they don’t understand the facts about adoption.

Today’s adoptions are very different from those in the past and from how they are sometimes portrayed in the media. If you choose adoption, you are in control of the adoption process and can choose the adoptive family who will raise your child. You will receive yearly pictures and letters of your child and may even maintain a relationship with the family and your child. 

For more information about your decision please contact one of our pregnancy counselors for a free and confidential meeting on your options.  

 What pregnancy expenses can I expect an adoptive family to pay?

Wisconsin law regulates the payment of adoption expenses. Reasonable costs relating to a healthy pregnancy, up to $5000, can be paid by the adoptive parents. Any other payments are not allowed and all payments must be reported to the courts and approved.  Each case has very unique circumstances, so please contact one of our pregnancy services workers for further information. 

Michigan adoption statutes also regulate the payment of adoption expenses by adoptive families. Reasonable expenses relating to a healthy pregnancy can be paid by the adoptive parents, including living expenses, travel expenses, information gathering, counseling services, attorney fees and medical expenses. Any other payments are not allowed, and all payments must be reported to the courts and approved. Each case has very unique circumstances. One of our pregnancy services workers can talk with you about the specifics of your situation. 

 Can I make a plan for the delivery of my baby?

Yes, this is sometimes called the birth plan. Our staff know that you probably have many questions and emotions, and we will be with you to create a plan that feels right to you.

 Can I select the adoptive family?

Yes, if adoption is the right option for you, we have many families who are already screened and are anxious to welcome a child into their home. To see a few of our waiting families click here. We have many more families available - just contact us for more information.

 Can I have contact with the baby or the adoptive family after the adoption is finalized?

The amount and type of contact you want to have with your child is your choice. You are in control, and your counselor will work with the adoptive family to finalize the details of the plan. Because everyone is different, each arrangement between birth parents and the adoptive family is different, too. We can help you determine what type of contact you desire with your child after adoption.

 What can I expect when I contact LSS?

We are here to help you. That's our mission. We have experienced social workers and counselors on staff who can tell you about the adoption process and help you decide if adoption is the best choice for you and your unborn baby.  
 
Every situation is different, and you are the only one who knows what is best for you, but we will walk alongside you to assist you with all the things going on in your life. We can also connect you with local resources available to you.
 
We know there are many things to think about as you consider decisions about your pregnancy: financial concerns, whether you are ready to be a parent, education goals, career plans, uncertainty about your relationship with the other birth parent, and more. Contact us to find out about the resources we offer and find out more about adoption options.
 

 What rights does a birth father have?

The birth father has the same rights as a birth mother. If the birth father chooses, he can also receive birth parent counseling through our agency. The birth mother is required by the court to provide as much information as possible about the identity of the birth father so legal notice can be given to him prior to the Termination of Parental Rights hearing. The birth father does not have to be present at any point. However, he will need to be legally notified. If he does not appear at the court hearing, and he has not declared paternal interest before the hearing, his rights may be terminated by default.

 Does the birth father have to be notified about the baby, baby’s birth and the mother’s adoption plan?

Yes, birth fathers should be aware of the impending birth and any adoption plan the birth mother may be considering.

 Can the birth father choose the adoptive parents?

Yes, we want both the birth mother and birth father to be involved in this process. The birth father will have a chance to meet with the adoptive family, if he chooses. Deciding upon a family has to be mutually agreed upon by both birth parents.

 What happens if I am unsure that I am the biological father?

Paternity testing is available to determine paternity of a child. Paternity testing cannot be performed until the child is born.

 How can I, the birth father, give notice that I intend on parenting the child?

You can file a Declaration of Paternal Interest with the Department of Children and Families. This will guarantee you are notified of any court proceedings regarding the child.      

 What if I, the birth father, am unsure of my decision in regard to parenting before the TPR hearing?

We have many adoption counselors available to discuss your conflicted thoughts and feelings at any time.

 Can I, as the birth father, still have contact with my child after he/she has been adopted?

You can be involved in the decision making process of selecting the family that would be open to your desired level of communication. Click here to learn more about open adoptions.

Considering Adoption? 

Considering adoption can be a tough decision. Our counselors and staff members understand some of the challenges you're facing, but specalize in building forever families. Our adoptions are also open, so you'll stay in contact with your child, and their adoptive family, throughout their lives. 

If you're thinking about adoption, meet our waiting families for more information. 

Meet Our Waiting Families

Pregnancy Resources

In the News
  • Video: Exploring Open Adoption: One birth mother's courageous choice to explore open adoption results in joy for WEAU, Channel 13's anchor Bob Gallaher and his wife.
  • Video: Open Adoption Q&A: Learn more about open adoption through this news segment on WEAU, Channel 13 in which news anchor Bob Gallaher and his wife, Colleen, talk about adopting a baby through LSS

     

Pregnancy Support

If you're pregnant but don't know where to turn, fill out the form below. One of our counselors will be in touch within 48 hours. 

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647 W. Virginia Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-281-4400

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© 2016 Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
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