[T] and Heather,
I am so sorry that you feel our marketing is in any way coercive, but this is not the case. We are deeply committed to providing non-directive counseling to all pregnant women.
Since we have been doing adoptions for 27 years we have long-term statistics to guide us. For example, over the last 27 years, on average, we have talked to 1,000 pregnant women a year. Of these about 200/year decide to place. This statistic has remained stable for so long that we know only 17-20% of women who do an intake should end up placing. If this number, creeps up we know there is a problem with our counseling program, and we would investigate immediately.
Our advertising is completely focused on increasing the number of pregnant women who call us. The reason for this is because we know we are committed to non-directive counseling and many other, if not most, other agencies are not. We also believe that if a birthmother decides to place that we will be able to provide her with the best counseling-based services. But as you can see from these statistics 80% of the pregnant women who call us do not place. This number is so high that there is no way that we are providing anything except non-directive counseling.
We have not changed the amount of money or effort we put into marketing. We are still a counseling based agency. Most of our resources go into our counseling program. We have more than 20 counselors on staff, while our marketing department has two people. Over the last couple of years the type of advertising we are doing has changed in response to the type of media that most people, including young people, are using. Our small marketing team has had remarkable success as we are much more effective in our outreach than we had been before we made these changes.
I know some people also think that our more professional looking newsletter means we are dedicating more resources to this sort of outreach, but the reality it the new marketing team discovered that the new format is actually much cheaper to produce and mail than our old xeroxed copied format.
I am very sorry that these changes have caused you to believe that we have changed our fundamental philosophy. We have not. Please feel free to email or call me if you have any other concerns.