In 1986, a series of newspaper articles pointing to the alarming numbers of teen pregnancies in Hong Kong deeply moved Gary & Helen Stephens and Ranjan & Phyllis Marwah to found Mother’s Choice. They felt burdened for the girls, who the newspapers reported were as young as 13-years-old, and who were terminating their pregnancies in their ninth month. The couples did some research, and found that the majority of these girls were completely alone in facing the biggest crisis of their lives.
They were determined to set up a home that would help young girls through crisis pregnancy, and instead of criminalizing or shunning them, would provide acceptance and healing. They were not going to be a secret, where girls would come and never be heard from again.
Despite having young families and limited resources, they quickly rolled up their sleeves. With their heart for service, love for the city of Hong Kong, and support from many in the community, our founders opened the doors to Mother’s Choice in 1987.
Although they knew the services of Mother’s Choice were needed, they were still surprised when the first girl arrived at 8:30am on the first day that Mother’s Choice opened. Within 24 hours, the first baby was born – the baby was delivered at Mother’s Choice before we even had time to get her to the hospital! Within the first three years of operations, Mother’s Choice had already helped over 250 girls, and provided loving care for over 60 babies.
Our founders’ passion to provide loving, non-judgmental support to the many pregnant teenagers who had no one else to turn to quickly expanded to providing nurturing care to children without families, and to be a voice for them to be in a family. Thirty years later, we are more committed than ever before to serving vulnerable girls and babies who need our help.
Find out more about the founding of Mother’s Choice over on our Facebook page, where for the month of January, we are telling the story of how we began, 30 years ago.