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.
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.
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?
Vanceone,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
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
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.
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.
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...
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
I love it when the Church adjusts. Quiet, simple forward movement.
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.
AdoptAttyI'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.
I am still confused.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
"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.
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.
[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.