Social worker helps families with decisions

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2003

Every Thursday at St. Augustine's, John McGuire of Rochester, a clinical social worker through Catholic Charities, is available for individual, marriage and pregnancy counseling. The pregnancy counseling is offered free of charge and is set up to help a woman who may have an unplanned pregnancy.

"I am here to help a woman sort through choices of whether she wants to be a single parent or choose to have her baby adopted. There is often many people involved in helping her make a decision such as the woman's boyfriend and parents," McGuire said.

The outside support a woman has with family, friends and the father of the child is crucial in making a decision on whether the woman chooses to raise a child as a single parent or putting it up for adoption.

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"We don't push adoption. Being a single parent is not looked upon as such a stigma as in the past. Adoption can bring a source of sadness and grief to a woman. But parenting is a big job, it is not just bringing home a cute little baby," McGuire said.


a woman chooses to have her baby adopted, free counseling is offered for a year for the birth mother through Catholic Charities. Sometimes McGuire is a go between for the birth mother and adopted parents.

"This can be rewarding for me when I can give the birth mother photos or a card about her baby. It is rewarding when the families that adopt a baby are thrilled with their new baby," McGuire said.

Pregnancy counseling through Catholic Charities is run by monetary donations. Besides pregnancy counseling, short term foster parenting is offered when the birth mother is unsure of what she is going to do.

"We have volunteers that are witnesses for the birth parent when a baby is going to be adopted. Everything we offer is confidential. We work closely with Birthright and they offer baby clothing and blankets. They are a wonderful organization," McGuire said.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, McGuire has worked as a clinical social worker for 20 years. He has been with Catholic Charities for 11 years.