That's right. Here's a tough subject for most Doulas & Business Owners. Those that turn away clients/business due to personal reasons are always crucified & others claim they're discriminating. I don't see it as discrimination at all. That's the beauty of this profession- I don't have to take on any client I don't click with & I feel referring them on is the right thing to do vs working with them & risking them not having the best experience and support available to them.
I don't see Doula work in the same way I see other jobs (like a doctor or cashier or teacher). It is inherently intimate & personal. I don't think one must only serve clients they agree with or that share similar values with, but I don't think there is anything wrong with acknowledging that there are certain people a Doula might not click with. For some Doulas this might be a specific group, for others it may just be individuals.
I think we fear being clear & direct about our true feelings & limits, but the truth is we are human, unique, and every Doula is not going to be a great fit for every client. Being clear, direct & honest with a potential client is almost always going to be a better route to take, as opposed to pretending that we are whatever we think that client wants. As a doula I'm not selling you some generic service statistically proven to improve birth outcomes. I'm a package deal & therefore "all of me" will be attending your birth, so in my opinion it's far preferable to integrate my feelings & beliefs, & be clear about who I am as a whole with my clients from day one.
Yes, I might get slightly fewer leads or turn some potential clients off that way, but the clients I do get will be better suited to actually hiring me and having a great experience.
...And then the choice is entirely up to you, the prospective client. You get a peek into who I am via my website, my articles, etc. & therefore have that much more info to help decide whether you might like to work with me, possibly before any conversations between us even take place. I should clarify, perhaps... I am truly happy & honored to serve any client who wants my support - but in being clear about who I am & what I believe & feel I am helping potential clients decide if *I* am the best Doula for *them* - not if they are "the best" client for me. I hope that makes sense?
Now, I'm not against unassisted & free births at all. The reason I won't attend a PLANNED unassisted birth is it could put me in a position to practice outside of my scope & SOP (Standards of Practice) as I would be the "expert" if help were needed & I am NOT a medical professional. Even if I were to have legal paperwork drawn up by a lawyer that would "protect" me, I still wouldn't do it. Even if you love me & we get along great in the off chance there's an emergency and/or complication who would YOU (the expectant parent/couple) blame? If baby died, even if it wasn't anyone's fault (especially mine) who would be the one getting charged? Exactly. In order to protect myself & my family legally I just cannot take on planned UB/FB clients. Now, there are the occasional accidental UN/FB (i.e. on the way to the hospital/BC, on the side of the road, DR/Midwife didn't make it in time, etc) & that's different.
This has probably got to be one of my BIGGEST reasons I would turn you away & refer you to somebody else. I am not going to be acquaintances with anyone transphobic, racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, or hate filled. Remember I am a HUGE human rights activist. I fight, stand up, & protest for everyone's rights. My main goal in life is to finish midwifery school & open up my own radical reproductive & birth center in Jacksonville, Florida. It would be a center geared mainly towards the LGBTQIA & POC community & it would include such services as abortion & adoption support/services, fertility support, prenatal/antenatal support & care, labor & delivery, and of course postpartum care & support. I can't be a good Doula to you if you're filled with hate towards any group (race, gender or sexual orientation, religion, etc) because I wouldn't be able to give you ALL of my loving support, kwim?
Circumcision. By now most of you ought to know how very much against RIC (Routine Infant circumcision) I am, if not you can read why I will not be circumcising my son & why you should research circumcision here. So if you plan to circumcise without being open to receiving info/facts & changing your minds...I am NOT your Doula (this goes for all my Doula work, especially Postpartum Doula). I just cannot ethically support human rights violations or genital mutilation. If that means I don't get certain clients, that's fine with me. I would refer out to another local Doula who doesn't have an ethical problem with the procedure. I cannot, with a clean conscience, help parents to have whatever birth experience is their ideal, only to have them turn around and commit such an act of sexual violence on their unconsenting child. Part of my role as a doula is to respect your body's innate intelligence and help you advocate for individualized, evidence based, compassionate care. It's unethical, and I can't be apart of that at all, so I wouldn't be rude to you, but I would send you to someone else who doesn't have the issues with it that I do.