When Amanda learned she was expecting her second child, she started looking for help.
The mother of a 19-month old already, Amanda was worried her parenting skills were not that good. “My husband and I don’t have any family members,” she says. “I was very scared and I was worried that I wasn’t doing it right. My first child had colic…not having someone to show me the proper way to raise a child made it hard.”
So when her husband learned about the new Petrolia branch of the Pregnancy Options and Support Center, Amanda went to check it out.
Tina Hunter, the coordinator in Petrolia, says many people believe the Pregnancy Options and Support Center is for teens who find themselves making tough choices but she says they provide training and help to every age and circumstance. “We are trying to be diligent in spreading the word this is not a teen centre, it is for anyone who can say ‘wow, this is a bump in the road.’”
Hunter says the center can help women from the very beginning of their pregnancy. “If the test comes back that she is pregnant, we start looking at what the options are,” says Hunter.
“If she says I want adoption, here’s some agencies, here is a lawyer,” says Hunter. “We don’t make the calls for them, we just help give them the resources.”
Hunter says they also provide extensive training to women who will keep their children, everything from disciplining children to baby proofing homes. Women can earn “baby bucks” while taking the courses and then chose from items such as clothing and diapers after “earning their pay.”
And while the center is “life affirming” Hunter says they will provide women with information on abortion services if they ask. …if they want an abortion, we provide the information but we don’t facilitate it. No one at our center is allowed to pass off information that is threatening, just theses are the facts.”
Hunter says the Pregnancy Options Center is not new to Sarnia-Lambton. The main center has been operating in Sarnia since 1988.
“We were finding we were getting calls from girls in the county wanting services but when they got to making the appointment, they said ‘I can’t get to you,’” says Hunter.
“With a large amount of children feeding into LCCVI and the hospital near by, we felt that was a good fit to be in Petrolia.”
The center is open three days a week, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am to 4pm and Friday from 10 am to 3 pm.