Comments about ‘Erin Stewart: Stumbling blocks to adoption’

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Published: Wednesday, July 9 2014 7:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, July 9 2014 9:13 a.m. MDT

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Sal
Provo, UT

LDS Family Services had to get out of the adoption business or face years of litigation from the gay rights community. Family Services is not going to adopt to gay couples. The current government we have will not uphold religious freedom rights. If there were no other options maybe they would hang in there for the fight. But there are many options available for couples who want to adopt.

GQ Monkee
Cottonwood Heights, UT

My wife and I are in the process of adopting through a private agency. When we first spoke with LDS family services, the counselor there told us that only 1/3 of the couples on their waiting list ever found placements with them. She basically urged us to seek help elsewhere, and we did. We wouldn't trade our daughter for the world, but it is clear that even non-profit agencies have someone's profit in mind. I suggest finding an agency with a sliding scale for pricing (based on your income). Typical agencies do have varied pricing structures, but those are usually racially based. White kids come at a premium, which just feels wrong to me. There's a lot about adoption agencies that feels wrong to me though, from the lack of transparency in fees to the dishonesty toward birth fathers to the used-car tactics they use to push prospective parents into quick decisions that may or may not be in their best interest. The best advice I can give is to remember that no agency you find has the prospective parents' best interest in mind. That's still up to you.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Sal: Please stop spreading misinformation. LDS Family Services has clearly stated that the debate over same-sex marriage has nothing to do with why they are getting out of the adoption business. As a private, religious organization that only worked with temple-recommend holding, married LDS couples they have never faced litigation over same-sex parents adopting. (Catholic Charities of Boston, which did face litigation over their practices, remained and still remains free to perform private adoptions - they just no longer do state adoptions.)

LDS Family Services has stated that they are getting out of the adoption business because more single women are choosing to raise their children instead of placing them for adoption, and the LDS Church feels it can better serve its members by providing counseling and resources instead of focusing on adoption. They also feel that prospective parents have a better chance of finding a child if they broaden their search to other outlets.

@ Erin: Best wishes. :)

Trey J
Sandy, UT

LDS Family Services was very birth-mother oriented (for understandable reasons). We felt it was so hyper-sensitive to accommodate the birth mother's every want that it inadvertently made the anxious adoptive parents feel like second class citizens. We ended up choosing to leave LDS Family Services after 9 months on the list and went with an international adoption agency. We had an amazing experience with them and felt they were entirely focused on helping us become adoptive parents as quickly as possible. Because we were adopting from an orphanage, there were no birth-mother concerns to worry about. Of course the fees and travel costs of international adoption are high, but if the non-LDS agencies are charging high fees for domestic adoptions, international adoptions may not be that much more expensive and the need is great, and frankly, the US laws on adoption and possible legal challenges from birth mothers (or fathers) pose higher risks for trouble later on that international adoptions.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I think this is a great article that portrays well some of the many difficulties in finding help when you want to adopt a child. However, Erin, I believe that "importantly" is an adverb, and it really bothers me to see it used as another part of speech. Sorry about nit-picking, but you are a professional writer.

Twardy
Folsom, CA

Not sure how it works in Utah, but in California you can use a private agency and pay crazy fees and wait for a perfect child to arrive or you can go through a county and adopt a child for free. A child that needs a good home and doesn't necessarily fit the "perfect" child profile.
It's not for everyone, but those kids can surely use good parents.

Itsme2
SLC, UT

Hi Erin, my husband and I too are going through the adoption process through LDS Family Services. We only started this a few months ago, so we're still near the beginning of the process. I was informed by my case worker that LDSFC would "grandfather" us in through the end of the year. So if you're one of the (I think) 600 couples that are in the system currently, you can continue with their help through the end of the year as you would have if they had made no changes. It is my belief that God will help me adopt a child if it is His will. He knows the time crunch we're under, so He will help make it happen if it is to be. Best wishes to you.

Utah Foster Care Foundation
Murray, UT

I agree with the person who said there are children who need good homes and you don't have to spend your life savings to do it. Hundreds of Utah children are adopted through foster care each year. There are so many outstanding foster and adoptive parents who started out with LDS Family Services wanting infants, only to discover that they could be open to taking children of all ages.

Forizzle
Ashton, ID

Yes there are hundreds of kids that have no one out there for them older than a newborn who need help. My wife and I are foster parents and it is the most rewarding task out there because you can help families get together again or you can adopt if the parents rights are terminated that is if you want to. It is surprising how many people do not know this. Also if you have been in the situations some of these kids go through and not feel the love that many get, it is a real Christ like action to take them in and love them. I would say it is more noble too because anyone can take a baby with the few problems they have in life, but to take a kid in that has been neglected for their whole life and show them that you are there for them despite their faults. I think it takes a heart of gold to do, but like I said it is rewarding. sadly not many people have that strength anymore unless you can prove me wrong.

Wen
Stansbury, UT

I adopted 8 years ago with LDS Family Services. It was a long wait back then, and my son came thru a third party. The wait was always very long with LDS, two to five years was standard (or longer) they encouraged us to look for other sources and ways of finding a child. This change for them has been a long time in the making. The long lists and waiting and not many babies was frustrating to many looking to LDS to provide, and which they had no control over. What they are experts in is the counseling and knowledge for both birth mothers and adoptive parents. They are excellent in providing comfort, advice and direction for any to make their own decisions. I think they made the right decision to stick with what they are best at.

Wen
Stansbury, UT

I adopted with LDS 8 years ago. It was a long wait back then, the standard is 2 to 8 years! My son found me thru a third party. They have no control over the babies available. It was frustrating to many. This change has been in the making for a long time. What they are very good at is counseling, advice and giving comfort to both birth mothers and adoptive parents, which is what they still do. I believe it was the right decision at the right time. If there is another child meant for you and your family, keep praying. That child will find its way to you. Many other agencies can do what you need.

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

If LDS Social Services "were just interested in finding the best homes for children who needed them", they would have been aggressively seeking homes for older kids and would not have limited their clients to couples where both parties were LDS.

K
Mchenry, IL

I'm glad they are concerning themselves with other family helps. The Christian thing to do is to keep children with their parents and find a way to make that work. It is not the homosexual community but birth fathers and birth families that threatened law suits. For you to have a third child two people have to give consent and agree that you will parent their child. When you want to parent someone else's child you need their permission and you need to get in a way that is fair for the sake of the child, yourself and the family. There will always be some children who are adoptable. I think it's great that the number isn't so large. We are lucky to live in a world where there are not scores of children orphaned due to an epidemic. I adopted after a multi year wait. Is your need to have a huge family greater than a families need to raise the child they gave birth to? It's really not about you but finding a home for a child, not seeking out pregnant women who can be persuaded to let you parent their child.

K
Mchenry, IL

There is no problem later on if you get the birth fathers permission and present yourselves to him before and after the birth in a similar way to how you court a birth mother. Some kids adoptable in foreign countries do have birth parents who also have to consent to the adoption and the US will not grant a visa if it shown there was persuasive contact ahead of time. If the child is already a ward of the state then you just have to make certain that they arrived in state care properly to get the visa. Your are going to be a list a long time with the perspective that someone letting you raise their child is their showing that child love. You are in a position to parent and would love to parent more children. The LDS church subsidized the costs. Why don't they have a grant situation set up to help members fund adoption in light of this changing focus? I would look for an agency that is highly involved in adult adoptee groups. Things were not handled well in past, and the agencies that have these connections are far more fair.

patjan
Flower Mound, TX

This was a good and heart touching article. I wish you blessings in adopting your future child.

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