It is for the precious children like Sierra that
we dedicate our lives.
Keep rooting for me sweet girl!
Yesterday LDS Family Services made the announcement that they would no longer be doing adoptions as of August 1, 2014. There are several contributing factors in their decision. but with this change many people have no place to go to fill their adoption needs. Family Services provided a lower cost adoption option. They also created a place for birth moms to have hope and feel secure knowing they would find a strong family that met their criteria. With Family Services getting out of adoptions they leave a void.
LDS Family Services plans to refer all birthmoms to local adoption agencies and focus only on counseling. I'm glad they are still going to counsel but sending these mothers to local agencies may not be the best option. Once the birthmoms are affiliated with an agency they can then only choose from families that have paid fees and signed up with that agency. There is never a guarantee that these girls will find an LDS family if that is their choice. Yes, the birthmom can make that one of their requirements but in the end they may have one choice of a family and that could be after a scramble on the agency's part to find an LDS family. We've been part of that scramble and one of the families found through that scramble. This scenario especially applies to agencies located outside of the state of Utah. Families are typically counseled by social workers and agency staff to put their religious affiliation down as "Christian". This makes it more difficult for the agency to sift through and find the LDS families if they are even willing to do so. Agency staff can be very intimidating and the whole process of choosing a family daunting and overwhelming. Birthmoms do not always feel they have the ability to voice their opinion or ask for more profiles of families if they don't feel comfortable with what they have been presented. We have seen this happen and advocated for birthmoms in this position. The birthmom needs to feel secure that she will have the opportunity to choose, not just a good family, but the best family that meets her desires. Agencies will limit the birhtmothers ability to find her family because they can only pull from the pool of families they have.
This change will also greatly affect the adoptive families. Most families at Family Services chose the agency because they are of the same religious affiliation and the fees are much lower than other agencies. Some of these families are now struggling with their faith and hope that they will ever find their child or even be parents. The typical agency fees are $30,000 - $50,000 with medical and travel expenses on top of that. Before the families even get to placement they have to pay for a homestudy that can be as high as $3,500 in some states. Not many families have this kind of money and many get second mortgages, private loans, cash out their 401k and any other thing they can do to come up with the money to adopt just one child. I fear so many of these wonderful families will never realize their dream of being parents. This is one of the main reasons Doug and I want to help by building a network of affordable attorneys who can do it for less than $5,000, educate birthmoms about the practices of conventional agencies and develop a website that will match babies and families. We feel strongly that we want to fill the gaps in guide couples along this journey that can still be very affordable.
All of my older children, who are still young in life and careers, have at least one friend that is hoping to adopt. Some of these deserving families are either still in college or just out. They can afford a baby but not the fees to the agencies. We can not turn our back on them. What if it was me or one of my children facing this challenge? Or one of my daughters was in the position to place a child for adoption and I did not have the knowledge I do about adoption? I would be lost and feel very isolated and alone. Because of this Doug and I and our family have created a place for birthmothers and adoptive families to connect. A place that allows the birthmom to feel hope and security in knowing she has options. Where the adoptive family can add to their family and pay a much more reasonable amount to get the legal paperwork done. We have set up a Face Book page and are in the process of creating a website that will have a database of perspective adoptive families, adoption education and information and support for both birth families and adoptive families through the adoption process. In time we will provide resources for social workers and attorneys in different states. All of this will be done with no fees. That way the adoption can happen through an attorney or as a private placement with an agency, which is much cheaper. We are working on getting our non-profit status and plan for all of this to expand.
It is a big undertaking and at moments a little intimidating. Tyler, Jessica, Sereen, Jared, and Britton have all stepped up and given of their time in this cause. I know Ressa and Jason will too as soon as we have time to come up for breath and call them. I also have a person that is very close to me that has been a birthmother twice. She is part of our team and a very valuable source to understand the view of the birthmom.
We have a request. Please share our Face Book page and website with all those you know. No one wants to find out that someone they love is in a position of being pregnant at the wrong time, but it happens and we can help.
our links are:
Two days ago a lost quote ended up on my desk. At the time I remembered how much I loved it and wondered where it came from. Yesterday as all of this came to fruition I read the quote again and realized how fitting it was for this moment and knew that Heavenly Father meant for it to be there. This morning I decided that an angel must have put it on my desk as a source of encouragement and strength. I feel sure this is the path we are to take. So sure that I began to feel very anxious and inadequate at the prospects ahead. "How could I do this? Maybe I really don't want to after all. I just want to move to Tonga." At that moment I heard a whisper in my mind that this is what I prayed for and I could do it. Don't give up. I have read my lost quote many times in the last two days and am very grateful for it.
"God does not ask us about our ability but about our availability,
and if we then prove our dependability he will increase our capability."
Neal A. Maxwell