In the mid 1970s a small number of couples in Central Ohio were choosing home birth for their families, but were unable to find information to guide them, midwives to attend their births or good medical backup. An informal parent support group was formed to provide parents with a forum for sharing what scant information was available in print as well as their own personal experiences in giving birth at home.
In an attempt to determine the extent of the interest in home birth in Ohio, a group of six couples planned a Home Birth Seminar, which was held on Ohio State University’s campus in October, 1976. They hoped to have 100 in attendance in order to cover their expenses….500 parents attended the seminar! During the seminar, the attendees completed a survey regarding what they hoped would become available within their community. In response to that survey, these six couples founded the Center for Humane Options in Childbirth Experiences (CHOICE) in January, 1977. On July 4th, 1977, CHOICE obtained 501 (c) (3) non profit status. The founders of CHOICE are: Rev. Fred and Abby J. Kinne, Margaret Wilmeth and Peter Freeman, Jim and Jan Dalton, Rick and Dae Curtis, Nina McIndoe and Steve Beck, and Margi and Bruce Roberts.
In January 2017, CHOICE celebrated 40 years of serving over 6,000 families. In those 40 years, CHOICE has trained 23 midwives, many of whom have been involved in the midwifery movement on a national level. We have also trained quite a few monitrices and doulas that have gone on to serve the community at large.