Placed just two in homes last year
number of single women choosing to parent their infants, the proliferation of agencies that provide adoption services, an increasing number of resources for such families and a slowly declining birthrate, Catholic Charities officials say.
Marywood — formerly the Home of the Holy Infancy — was created in 1921 by the Daughters of Charity, a Catholic order, to help unwed mothers and adoptive families. In the following nine decades, Marywood served more than 7,000 families. It housed teen mothers, found homes for foster children and helped families prepare for their new additions.
But the Austin nonprofit struggled financially for more than a decade as placements declined sharply, state support decreased and donations dwindled. Thirty years ago, Marywood found homes for about 120 children a year. Last year, it placed two.
In 2004, the nonprofit closed Annalee House — a residential program that housed about 40 teen mothers and their children each year — because of money problems. At that time, Marywood laid off nearly two dozen employees.
In September 2010, the charity formally partnered with Catholic Charities of Central Texas, which provides services such as disaster assistance, legal help, literacy classes and life
While nearly 200 cities, counties and other municipalities across the country offer domestic partner benefits, Pflugerville would be the first school district in the state to do so. The move was recommended by an insurance benefits advisory committee of school workers.
Employees seeking domestic partner coverage were required to sign an affidavit stating they have jointly shared a permanent residence for at least one year and had to show proof of at least two of the following: a joint lease, mortgage or deed; joint ownership of a vehicle; joint ownership of banking or credit card accounts; or proof of power of attorney or a will attesting to the domestic partner as a beneficiary of life insurance.
Superintendent Charles Dupre said at the time that offering such benefits is “a strong state- skills training. Its Gabriel Project Life Centers offer services to women and men during crisis pregnancies and through the first year of the baby’s life.
Although Marywood remained an independent nonprofit, it was funded by Catholic Charities and treated as a program of the diocese. Marywood’s staff vacated its longtime home on West 26th Street, and the handful of remaining employees relocated to Catholic Charities’ office at 1625 Rutherford Lane.
But while the nonprofit now had financial security, it could not expand its programs. Several ment of anti-discrimination.” He said the district was advocating for equity and social justice and put a strong value on all employees.
“The board has the authority to discuss any matter they see fit in the district and I respect their right to do so,” Dupre said Thursday night.
August Plock, president of the Pflugerville Educators Association, a local affiliate of the Texas State Teachers Association, said the majority of employees are in favor of the domestic partner benefits.
Though opponents equate it to sponsoring or endorsing gay marriage, Plock said, it’s really an issue of equality.
“The teacher down the hall from me should have the same benefits as my family if I choose to cover my wife and child,” Plock said. “We want to maintain these benefits. We don’t want to see them taken away from us.”
Former trustee John Carlton, who said he is against offering the benefits, said the issue should have been decided publicly.
“Something this controversial needs to come up before the elected officials to see who stands where, so, through the
Photos and newspaper clippings adorn a room at the home of teen mothers at the Marywood Children and Family Services adoption agency. Marywood was created in 1921 and will close Dec. 31.