Expectant Parent Call or Text: 800.340.9665
Adoptive Parent Call or Text: 800.340.9665
Serving Expectant Parents Statewide With an Office Located in:
Phoenix

This time is tough for many of us, but we can unite and focus on the positives rather than allowing the negatives to change our outlook. Our Arizona adoption agency is here for you when you need us and ready to walk with you on your adoption journey when experiencing a crisis pregnancy in Arizona. Saving a baby’s life through adoption is always a courageous decision and should be celebrated, even in the challenging times we are currently experiencing. 

AZ Pregnancy Help Walks Alongside Women Experiencing a Crisis Pregnancy in Arizona

If you are dealing with an unplanned crisis pregnancy in Arizona and want more information about adoption, we are a local, licensed Arizona adoption agency ready to serve you.  We are available 24/7 by phone or text at (623) 695-4112.  If you are experiencing a crisis pregnancy in Arizona, we can make an immediate appointment with you to get to know you, give you more information, and if you are ready, start creating an Arizona Adoption Plan. Call or text any time. If you would like, you can introduce yourself to us HERE. We look forward to meeting you and finding out how we can help you during this challenging time!  

Birth Mother Matters in Adoption Episode #48 – Adoption in the Media & News

Visit us HERE to listen to Episode #48 of our podcast Birth Mother Matters. Read the transcript to our Podcast Episode #48 below-

Ron Reigns:
Welcome and thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry and me, Ron Reigns where we delve into the issues of adoption from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:
Do what’s best for your kid and for yourself because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:
I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:
Don’t have an abortion. Give this child a chance. All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president and co-founder of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation and creator of the You Before Me campaign. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in school counseling. I was adopted at the age of three days born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:
I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now, I worked for my wife who’s an adoption attorney and I’m able to combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
This podcast, I think, it’s important that we really look at adoption and abortion in the news and the media. We’re starting off 2020 and it’ll be interesting to see from where we start to where we are at the end of the year.

Ron Reigns:
Okay. That’s a good idea.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
As we go through the year, I think we will get to see a lot happening. This is going to be an incredible year. We’ve got the election and we’ve got all of the upcoming abortion hearings and the laws that are being filed, that people are filing with the court regarding the changes they’re requesting. So, it’s going to be really interesting.

Ron Reigns:
There is a lot in the news.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
There’s a lot. Agreed. So locally, Paul Peterson has some news.

Ron Reigns:
On January 8th, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors officially accepted Paul Peterson’s resignation and began the process of filling the vacant County assessor position. Listeners may remember Peterson as the elected official in Arizona who was charged in three States with allegedly smuggling pregnant women from the Marshall Islands in order to give up their babies for adoption. He’s accused of arranging for 28 of the Marshalese women to fly into Arizona, live in a house he owned and have a doctor deliver the children. This was paid through the state’s healthcare system.

Ron Reigns:
He’s charged in Arizona with filing fraudulent claims to the tune of $800000. In Utah and Arkansas, he’s being charged with human smuggling. He’s been accused of participating in 70 illegal adoption cases. He’s alleged to have taken women’s passports. The exploited women received little or no prenatal upon their arrival in the United States. He’s pleaded not guilty in Arizona and Arkansas and has yet to enter a plea in Utah.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
What do you think of that?

Ron Reigns:
Personally, I’m glad he finally resigned because he was being very defiant of the whole thing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
I am too.

Ron Reigns:
I think it’s time for him to own up to what he has done.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Agreed. Agreed. Again, we, as a podcast, are not accusing him. Obviously, he has not been found guilty at this point. The accusations that have been made sound as if they’re being substantiated and-

Ron Reigns:
And by his associate. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
That’s really concerning. The fact that he resigned, I agree with you. He needs to move out of that position. I don’t know whether or not he’s been paid this whole time for being in that position or if he’s taken a leave of absence or what have you, but I don’t think that we need somebody who is currently incarcerated for this crime pending trial, holding-

Ron Reigns:
Representing us in our government no matter what the position is. Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Agreed. I think too, that the fact that he has not entered a plea yet in Utah and is entered to not guilty, why would he be withholding on the third is what I’d like to know?

Ron Reigns:
Yeah. I don’t know.Arizona Crisis Pregnancy

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Maybe they don’t have as much evidence or maybe they don’t have as… Maybe it’s a little bit of a different circumstance because it’s a different state law. I don’t know, but yet, some of what he’s done as federal. He’s broken some federal laws, not just state laws. The more I read about things that have been said supposedly by him, my heart just breaks for these women and my heart breaks for the adoption community because-

Ron Reigns:
It is a black eye.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
It is. Hands down, it is.

Ron Reigns:
Nobody I’ve ever dealt with in the adoption field, as far as I know, has done things this way the way he has and it hurts because you think of these people who were actually trying to do it for the right reasons and to help these birth mothers and to help the adoptive families and everybody in the triad and the children. To me, it seems that he was out for personal gain and secondary, was the mothers and the children and the adoptive families.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Right. Because this was such an earthquake in the adoption community, now we’re dealing with the aftershocks. We’re dealing with the ripple effect.

Ron Reigns:
Yeah, the people who had nothing to do with any of it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Yeah, the innocent. Again, I hope that they actually come to a resolution quickly and this isn’t drawn out over the next 10 years and we can see and learn from what he did to make sure that it doesn’t ever happen in the adoption community again. So hopefully, there’ll be something positive that can come out of this.

Ron Reigns:
Absolutely. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo announced that more than 3600 adopted new Yorkers have filed to receive their certified birth certificates online within the first 48 hours of a new law going into effect. Cuomo said, “Adoptees have every right to the same birth records as everyone else and the new law enacted is making that a reality for the first time.” The law says that adoptees 18 and older in New York state outside of New York City may request a copy of their birth certificate. This will also allow direct descendants of an adoptee to request the adoptee’s birth certificate if the adopted person is deceased.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So I think this is revolutionary and I commend New York for taking this and passing this law.

Ron Reigns:
I’ll be honest, I’m a little surprised.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
I am too because New York has some laws that I’m not fully in agreement with.

Ron Reigns:
They seem very friendly towards abortion and not so much towards adoption. Isn’t that correct?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
It could be interpreted as such. Yes.

Ron Reigns:
Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
That being the case, this is a huge step because as an adoptee, I have found my birth mother, I have obtained my original birth certificate, but for all of those adoptees that haven’t, what an incredible gift? Truly an incredible gift. What an incredible gift for the generations behind them that are not going to have access? With all the genetic testing, the 23andMe and ancestry.com, that is just opening up this new world for adoptees like myself to find out for once, I can honestly say I know what my nationality is.

Ron Reigns:
Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
For so many years, for dozens of years, I couldn’t do that. To have that and then for these individuals to have that opportunity of knowing their biological parents’ names is just… I hope that every state follows this protocol. I really do. I hope that every state follows it.

Ron Reigns:
I agree.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So I know this isn’t adoption related really or abortion related, but I just have to say kudos to California.

Ron Reigns:
I know why.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Diapers are now tax-free.

Ron Reigns:
Super good news.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So next time you go to California and you have a child in diapers, stock up.

Ron Reigns:
Or even if you don’t, bring them back to Arizona.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Right.

Ron Reigns:
Might need them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Yeah. Stock up and that is just incredible. Now, you did bring up something before we started this podcast. I have to say, I don’t know if adult diapers are included or not.

Ron Reigns:
Well, I would think they are, I think that’s a great story for me because I’m getting up to that age.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Yeah, but why would they discriminate? Why do you have to be a baby to have tax-free diapers?

Ron Reigns:
In March, the Supreme Court’s going to rule on the constitutionality of Louisiana’s abortion law requiring abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they’re providing the abortions. The filing goes further than just arguing for the support of the constitutionality of the Louisiana law. It also implies that the confusion about abortion is directly linked to confusing laws for which abortion was deemed constitutional, 1973’s Roe V. Wade and Planned Parenthood V. Casey in 1992. On March 4th, Louisiana will argue that abortion businesses shouldn’t be presumed to have, “third-party standing,” before the United States Supreme Court. Opponents are saying that it would limit the state of 4.5 million people to just one abortion provider.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So in doing some research and reading about this, this is the landmark case that they’re saying may be the domino in overturning Roe V. Wade. This may start-

Ron Reigns:
Start that ball rolling.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Right.

Ron Reigns:
Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
I, as an adoption professional, actually found this very confusing. When I was reading this, I read it over and over again and I thought, “Why am I not understanding what they’re trying to achieve?”

Ron Reigns:
Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So from what I understand, they are stating that doctors who perform abortions have to have privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility.

Ron Reigns:
Admitting privileges?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Right.

Ron Reigns:
So that means they can take a mother, the mother who’s having the abortion into the hospital?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
No, what they’re stating is that if the mother is having health complications from the abortion, that they can then admit her to the hospital and treat her there.

Ron Reigns:
I see.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So if she had a perforated uterus or something that was related to the abortion, that she would then be able to receive adequate medical care from a hospital underneath that physician. For the common lay person, I think this would be very confusing as to why this is related to Roe V. Wade.

Ron Reigns:
Right, because that’s where I’m at right now.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Okay. So, when we go back as to what makes this filing particularly interesting is not just the sheer volume of congressional signatories, almost 40% of the state and house combined, it’s also the fact that it goes further than just arguing support for the constitutionality of the Louisiana law to suggest that the widespread confusion regarding abortion law ties directly to the confusing basic premises under which abortion was found constitutional. So basically, this law that they’re trying to push through is putting up barriers for abortion.

Ron Reigns:
Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
By enforcing this law, it will drastically reduce-

Ron Reigns:
The number of doctors?Arizona Crisis Pregnancy

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Yes, the number of abortion providers.

Ron Reigns:
Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So it’s a roundabout way to eliminate the number of abortions performed. It will make it harder for people who want to get an abortion in Louisiana to get one and it will put up an extra fence basically.

Ron Reigns:
Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Again, I think that hopefully, as this goes into court and as we see it on the news, I’m hoping that it will be broken down so people can understand the direct effect that it will have because it is very confusing to understand.

Ron Reigns:
Very confusing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
We have to start with the disclaimer that we are not accountants, that we are sheerly explaining more about tax benefits and how they relate to adoption. The information that we were talking about was taken right off of the IRS website.

Ron Reigns:
Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So there is a tax credit for adoption, for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion from income for employer provided adoption assistance. The credit is non-refundable, which means it’s limited to one’s tax liability for the year, but any credit and excess of your tax liability may be carried for up to five years. The maximum dollar amount for 2019 is $14080 per child.

Ron Reigns:
Okay.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So I think it’s important for our adoptive families to understand that they may qualify for assistance, and hopefully, this will help the previous podcast where-

Ron Reigns:
We discussed some of the costs and the things to offset the costs of adopting a child.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Yeah, and what makes adoption difficult? So, this is one of those things.

Ron Reigns:
For both credit and exclusion, qualified adoption expenses defined in section 23 D1 of the code include: reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs and attorney fees, traveling expenses, including the amount spent for meals and lodging while away from home, and other expenses that are directly related to and for the principal purpose of the legal adoption of an eligible child. An expense may be a qualified adoption expense, even if the expense is paid before the eligible child has been identified. For example, prospective adoptive parents who pay for a home study at the outset of an adoption effort may treat the fees as a qualified adoption expense. An eligible child is an individual who is under the age of 18 or is physically or mentally incapable of self-care. Qualified adoption expenses don’t include expenses that a taxpayer pays to adopt the child of the taxpayer’s spouse. Qualified adoption expenses include expenses paid by a registered domestic partner who lives in a state that allows us same-sex second parent or a co-parent to adopt his or her partner’s child as long as those expenses otherwise, qualify for the credit.

Nicole:
My name is Nicole. I chose adoption after I struggled with… Because I called you guys like way back in May and I finally called him back in like August because back in May, I was like, “Well, that’s a good idea, but maybe I can keep the child.” As time went by, I couldn’t get jobs, so I decided to put the child up for adoption because I can’t afford a kid. I wanted the adoptive parents to be alive like me, but different than me in terms of stability because I am far from it. I wanted them to have their life put together and I wanted them to kind of be like me, all quirky and energetic. I had five families to choose from. A couple of them didn’t work out because of my heritage. So the family I chose only had one kid and they looked active and he looked clean. They looked like they were in with their family, so I chose them.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
Tell me about your relationship with the adoptive family. Where did it start? Where is it now?

Nicole:
I had first met the adoptive parents when I was super, super out of it at the hospital after my C-section. I don’t remember what I said to them. Literally I don’t, but apparently, I was playing musical cups because I kept taking the cups and moving around the table at the hospital. But I’m in contact with the adoptive mom every day through email through Child Connect. So, every week, I get pictures, but all I really wanted was to know how the child was doing and get pictures every now and then. I get 10 or 15 pictures every week. I am very happy with my adoptive choice. Adoption was pretty much the best idea for the child if you don’t have your life put together like me.

Nicole:
I moved out here from the East Coast because I lost everything in the flood from Hurricane Florence. I literally moved down here with the clothes on my back. Ever since, I’ve been rebuilding it little by little. The pregnancy came as a surprise and I never even went to the doctor until I was eight months pregnant. If you know or foresee that you can’t take care of a child, you need to do adoption. For me, I knew before I moved out here that it was going to take at least a year and a half for me to get everything back in place. But when I found out I was pregnant, I was like, “There’s a monkey wrench in everything.”

Nicole:
So I’m just now starting the process of rebuilding. So now, I’ve got a year and a half long fight to rebuild everything. I am very happy with my adoption choice. I couldn’t have picked a better family because of how alike the adoptive mom and I are and how stable they are with their life. Their oldest child loves the baby. I get pictures of both of them all the time. So, my favorite thing about Building Arizona Families is Kelly and Kristie. They’ve made this whole process pretty much easy for me to go through. So, whenever I had a problem, I just texted them and they would reply. That has to be my favorite thing.

Ron Reigns:
We have a pregnancy crisis hotline available 24 by phone or text at 623-695-4112 or you can call our toll-free number 1-800-340-9665. If you are experiencing a crisis pregnancy in Arizona, we can make an immediate appointment with you to get you to a safe place, provide food and clothing, and started on creating an Arizona adoption plan or give you more information. You can check out our blogs on our website at azpregnancyhelp.com. Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me, Ron Reigns. If you enjoy this podcast, rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts and as always, thanks to Grapes for letting us use their song, “I Dunno” as our theme song. Join us next time for Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. For Kelly Rourke-Scarry, I’m Ron Reigns and we’ll see you then.

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