Memphis adoption specialist hopes Oprah's story will inspire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis adoption specialist hopes Oprah's story will inspire others

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - One day after Oprah Winfrey revealed on her syndicated program that she has a half-sister who was given up for adoption as a child, a local adoption expert expressed hope that Winfrey's show would inspire others.

Nearly 24 hours after Monday's broadcast, many were still talking about Winfrey's big family secret.

"She has a biological sister that has surfaced," said Deborah Marston, an adoption specialist with Bethany Christian Services. "That's something that can be shocking."

According to Marston, adopting a child is a lengthy process which can take months, because the goal is to make sure each child is placed into a loving, nurturing home.

Marston said adoptions can allow a young parent to have a second chance at an education.

"When they see they don't have what it takes as far as family support, education, goals, financial support and support by the birth father, then they are likely to change their minds and make an adoption plan," she said.

Adoptions can also be a chance for infertile couples to have kids.

"They can give a home to a child who needs a family, and fill needs that the child has," Marston said.

Marston believes more people may now be willing to talk more openly about adoptions now that Oprah has revealed her secret.

"I would hope that this reunion Oprah has had with her sister, that it would be something that has a positive impact," she said. "I hope families see it as maybe something desirable that they would want to have contact with the family of the biological child they've adopted."

Marston said adoption can be expensive, costing anywhere from $12,000 to $27,000.

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