LDS Family Services shifts from adoption agency to adoption counseling


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  • MaryannT ,
    June 19, 2014 8:38 p.m.

    I worked as a "Birth Mom Volunteer" with LDS Family Services. It was a thrilling and very rewarding opportunity to give support to these young women and to witness babies being placed in secure LDS homes. I find the above article raises more questions than answers. I don't understand how this can lead to more adoptions----very confusing, and I don't understand the reasons for ending the adoption portion of the program.

  • lightapprentice USA, CA
    June 19, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    As I understand it Vanceone, the addiction recovery services are a 12 step program. Specific addictions are not even discussed in great detail though they may be mentioned by the participants when they share. It is participant driven so if someone struggling with same sex attraction wants to come there is nothing that can stop him/her. Also, there are many kinds of addictions so it's not likely that the addiction recovery program will be lacking for participants.

    There may be something different about LDSFS that I don't know about, in connection with addiction recovery, that requires a license? but I don't think the addiction recovery part of LDSFS is in jeopardy.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 18, 2014 9:08 p.m.

    You are forgetting that children who are not raised with their original families are also at risk for issues because of the adoption, not to mention the issues that the surrending parents face for the rest of their lives. Placing a child in a two parent home to somehow statistically prevent risks is not the reason that children are placed into two parent homes. Hopefully it is because a family wants to grow and their bio family doesn't feel prepared to so and can actively make the decision to place in a nonpressured and fair handed manner. It's quite crazy that a bio family feels it's the right thing to do to place because they make fifteen grand a year and it's not enough to live on, but it's okay to subsidize another family spending twenty thousand to adopt. It would be less expensive and more kind to divert less resources to keep the family intact. Why is ther so much compassion for the working class couple trying to have a baby but not for the family struggling on assistance to keep the family together?

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    June 18, 2014 4:10 p.m.


    You say, "California is making it illegal to 'Treat' homosexual addictions." This is an overstatement to the point of falsehood.

    The reality is that California has banned this discredited "reparative therapy" only for CHILDREN when provided by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist. Adults are free to seek whatever therapy they wish, regardless of the discredited nature of the treatment. Also, ministers and other clerics who offer counseling services are free to continue to offer this or any other technique. The law does not apply to them at all.

    I believe the main purpose of the law is to inform parents that this form of abusive therapy/deterrence conditioning is detrimental to children, causes great psychological trauma, and the state is not going to allow licensed psychotherapy professionals to practice it on children. If the parents still wish, there are others who can legally offer the "treatment."

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 18, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    I'm always sad to see social services diminished. There are far too few agencies providing far too little help to families as it is. For LDS families, LDS Family Services has been a godsend.

    Whatever the reason for the withdrawing of full adoption services, it is wrong for the Deseret News to blame or even imply that the marriage equality gains around the country are the reason. As others, above, have pointed out, the only issue regarding nondiscrimination centers around agencies being publicly funded.

    If an agency doesn't feed at the public trough, like Catholic Charities in Massachusetts did, it's generally not subject to religious nondiscrimination laws. Plus, civil marriage and sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws are two separate things. To my knowledge, civil marriage equality decisions have not changed any nondiscrimination regimens, all of which were preexisting.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    June 18, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    RedWings: That's the thing, though. California is making it illegal to "Treat" homosexual addictions; and will pull the license or jail people doing it. That means LDS addiction services cannot help same sex attraction cases in California. I think Massachusetts or Vermont is doing the same thing.

    Soon, even if you want help, you won't be able to get it. Except from "underground" psychologists. etc.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    June 18, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    The only reason I can fathom that the LDS Church is doing away with the adoption program is that, as the article states, there are now so few single mothers giving up their babies for adoption. Single motherhood, which was once seen as something to be avoided has now become the "in thing" to do. Too bad, because as others have pointed out, the absolute best way for a child to get the best start in life is in the home of two parents, particularly a man and a woman. So many children get shortchanged by the single home. And if you don't believe me, I only refer to the statements of people from David O. McKay to our current Apostles and Prophet. Those time tested principles will not change no matter how much modern society does.

    June 18, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    Vaceone -

    The addiction recovery program will likely stay - We don't focues on the problem but the solution.

    In reality, we will see more and more stifling of religious rights in the mane of "equlity" and "tolerance". Now that the government and courts are protecting behavior (homosexuality) it will only get worse...

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    June 18, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    I don't know if the pressure by same sex thing was a big deal now, but it certainly would have been soon enough. California is also making it mandatory to not "treat" gay people and try to "cure" them. Which means LDS addiction services are probably going to have to shut down.

    Good job gays--driving out social services all over the place.

    But, but--gay marriage cannot possibly hurt anyone, we were told. Lied to, actually.

  • OLA MD Philadelphia, PA
    June 18, 2014 6:06 a.m.

    In response to UHBU statement about LDS Family Services not receiving pressure to adopt to same sex couples. They absolutely are. I have first hand knowledge and have witnessed the pressure. They were threatened by the state of MA to have their license to work as an adoption agency revoked if they did not adopt to same sex couples. The only way they could continue the last 3-4 years in MA was to agree to work with same sex couple if they came through the doors. I was told that if that did happen and if they were really forced to adopt to a same sex couple that they would close down at that point. I bet that is what actually happened. To say that they are not being pressured to adopt to same sex couples is ignorant or flat out misleading (lying).

  • Mom of ten SANBORNTON, NH
    June 17, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    Hey NHCougar, the way I see it is that precious baby you now have was "supposed" to be yours and if you had a bio-baby first, he would never have found his way into your family. There is a plan in which we usually fall into somehow. As having adopted 6 kids through the foster care system myself, it may be less expensive, but adoptive parents have to keep in mind, the goal of DCYF is reunification with the bio-parents first. Placing them with bio-relatives is second and then going for an out of family adoption is third if the first two ways fail. We had a 2 year-old boy for two years that the judge sent home after all, when they asked us if we would like to adopt. It can be heartbreaking. Most kids go home, from my experience. If you want older kids,especially the ones 10 and up, they are more available. However, if it is God's plan, miracles happen. You ever know sometimes.

  • Sqweebie Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 7:44 p.m.

    To NHCougar "we become parents on Heavenly Father's time table not ours." You just needed to be patient waiting for his answer to your prayer to have a mini-you.

  • NHCougar Somersworth, NH
    June 17, 2014 7:00 p.m.

    I'm not surprised with this announcement. The beginning of last year we were told that our local LDSFS office was no longer conducting home studies and we would have to go through a local agency for one. We felt that it was only a matter of time before the church dropped the adoption arm of LDSFS. We decided that after five frustrating years with LDSFS that we would not 'renew' and try our luck with a private adoption agency. While we recognize the costs were significantly higher with a private agency - we were able to successfully adopt a few months later.

    The average cost for a private adoption has risen above $30k which has made it extremely difficult for non-profit adoption agencies, like LDSFS to compete with private agencies. My heart goes out to those couples who financially viewed LDFS as the only viable option to adopt. Luckily, there are other options such as foster adoption through the state which is very affordable.

    And never discount miracles, a few months after adopting our son - we found out my wife is expecting.

  • Alane MASCOT, TN
    June 17, 2014 5:29 p.m.

    I love it when the Church adjusts. Quiet, simple forward movement.

  • Barbara Anne Los Angeles, CA
    June 17, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    Even though this comes as no surprise, it still causes sorrow and pain to think of those who could have benefitted from this amazing agency in the future in adopting children. The costs that were kept at such a very reasonable cost will now go through the roof as other agencies are used. I am so grateful for the many kindnesses the LDS church has offered for so long to so many couples. I am also grateful that there will still be counseling available in this area and other services to those who seek it. It appears to me to be just one more sign of the times we live and have to endure in.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    June 17, 2014 4:41 p.m.


    I'm afraid you are incorrect. Here is the California law:
    " The adoption agency to which a child has been freed for adoption by either relinquishment or termination of parental rights shall not do any of the following: Deny to any person the opportunity to become an adoptive parent on the basis of the race, color, or national origin of the person or the child involved."

    There is nothing in the law that directly prohibits an agency from considering sexual orientation. Besides, even if such a provision were passed, statute 8709 states:
    "The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency to which a child has been freed for adoption by either relinquishment or termination of parental rights may consider the child's religious background in determining an appropriate placement."

    In other words, LDS family services, by serving exclusively LDS populations, would be specifically allowed to consider the religious beliefs of the adoptive couple.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    June 17, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    I am still confused.

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    June 17, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    My husband and I are in the process of completing a home study and wanting to adopt through LDS Family Services. Our counselor knew nothing of this when we met with her. Now I'm concerned that the fees associated with adoption will be out of our reach. The church's rule of thumb has been 10% of income, while private agencies can cost $30,000 to $50,000 which will make it impossible for my husband and I to adopt. I hope our dreams are not gone now.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 17, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    They have been a beacon of light to some, but also a source of pain for others. Consider how you would want to be treated. It really isn't about finding a way to get to raise another persons child on the cheap. Perhaps the couple could get a waiver to move their tithe into the adoption fund if many are so worried about the cost. It costs very little to adopt from foster care. And there is a tax benefit to help offset that cost. $50,000 for an adoption is a huge red flag. It's more like half that cost for a private healthy infant domestic adoption. Fifty thousand is an adoption with questionable fees. The cost of infant care in most cities is about a thousand a month. A couple of years living setting aside cash as if you had to pay child care, extra premium for health insurance, and other incidental costs in having a child will get you the money to fund an adoption in a couple of years. There must be a compelling reason for a child not to be raised by their parent. Not being married isn't compelling.

  • AdoptAtty stanislaus, CA
    June 17, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    In response to OBHU, you are completely incorrect about the issue of providing services to same-sex couples who wish to adopt. For many, many years, California and other states have required ALL licensed entities and all business entities to provide services to people regardless of marital status, sex, and sexual orientation. This includes for-profit businesses, and licensed non-profit adoption agencies, whether they are religious or not, and whether or not they accept any public funding.

    So while your statement may be true in your home state, it is absolutely incorrect in many places in the United States, especially in California.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    June 17, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    The climate of "gay marriage" is a major denegration leading to this. The atmosphere has become toxic and is only going to get worse. Children are the victims of "gay marriage." Every statistical analysis has shown that a child's greatest chance for success in life comes when he or she has a MOTHER and a FATHER, not some made-up pop misconformity.

  • Rkenned Syracuse, UT
    June 17, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    What isn't stated in this article is the cost associated with adoption. For many young couples the only way to afford adoption though a typical agency is for both to be employed (some adoptions can cost up to $50,000)or go into serious debt, both of which are not tenants of the LDS religion per say. LDS services operated under a simple philosophy of roughly 10% the couples annual income.
    In addition, LDS family services has very high standards for placement of a child and rightfully so. How or will these standards be compromised?

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    June 17, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    "Tuesday's announcement comes at a time when religious-based adoption agencies around the country are under pressure to facilitate adoptions for same-sex couples."

    Misleading statement. No religious-based adoption agencies are being pressured to facilitate adoptions into same-sex households UNLESS they are operating with public funds. You agree to take money, you agree to the strings attached to that money. I can't accept a mortgage but refuse the fees.

    LDS Family Services has never been pressured because they have not taken public funds. To try to lump them in because they're being sued in a paternity suit--something completely separate--is to try to rope this in to the supposed "war on religion" many believe is happening.

  • Jill Pleasant Grove, UT, USA ,
    June 17, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    I knew this decision was in the works, but seeing it in print makes me feel very sad; LDS Family Services has been a beacon of light for so many years, to countless individuals, couples and families. They've successfully worked nationwide in the adoption/social services arena; one where it's nearly impossible to find a way through the darker aspects of adoption: the emotional, financial, and racial are just a few. My husband and I have had numerous experiences with both ends of the spectrum in adoption - LDS vs. private agencies, and overall, I've developed immeasurable respect for the hardworking LDS caseworkers, whose greatest desire is to find the honest, the true, and the most benevolent path, for both birthparents and adoptive parents alike. Through your service you have helped me find light, where there was none to be found, and I have a beautiful family because of your love, dedication and service. Thank you isn't enough.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    [The decision comes at a time when religious-based adoption agencies around the country are under pressure to facilitate adoptions for same-sex couples. LDS Family Services also has been the subject of lawsuits about fathers' rights in adoption cases.

    "None of these issues drive this decision," McConkie said.]

    That's definitely true for the same-sex couples one since it's been established that they don't have to as long as they aren't using state funding like Catholic Charities was. The latter is more of a state of Utah issue than an LDSFS one.