Is LDS Family Services getting out of the adoption business?
According to a source that seems to have the juice, LDS Family Services will be getting out of the adoption business ENTIRELY at the end of 2013. My source says that the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints will no longer be doing adoptions, and they are letting go all of their adoption-related staff prior to Christmas. They also say they will continue to offer their “free lifelong counseling” to the women who have already lost a child to their system.
The source, who says that this was confirmed by a friend who is a social worker for LDS Family Services, says this had been rumored to be in the works for about two years. While there is likely to be no official reason given by the LDS church as to why it is getting out of the adoption business, “but within the rank and file workers, it is thought to be because of the pending lawsuits against LDSFS in relation to father’s rights, as well as the “gay adoption issue.”
A source tells FMF outside of Utah, LDSFS has been quietly getting out of the adoption business for years, and many LDS Family Services already do not do adoptions, but this will mark a dramatic end to most or all adoption services.
Makes sense to me. As LDSFS has 62 agencies (according to Wikipedia) in the United States and elsewhere, the policies and practices of the Mormon religion regarding adoption could be running afoul of new state laws in Utah that make it less onerous for a father to claim a child about to be put up for adoption, but also gay rights, since LDS would find it repugnant to comply with the requirement of some state agencies that licensed adoption agencies allow gay people to adopt.We do hear of the cases where fathers have gone to the courts to stop adoptions, but because of the cost involved, there may be many troubling cases involving father’s rights that are sub rosa.
The real question is: What will this do to the National Council for Adoption, our staunch and relentless opponent regarding opening sealed birth certificates? When Florence Fisher and I testified in Washington, DC in the Seventies when there was a glimmer of a possibility of federal legislation opening the sealed birth certificates, NCFA supplied an anonymous birth mother to counter my testimony. She openly wept when I spoke, and her two handlers were hugging her as I walked past her and sat down. At that moment I had no compassion for the woman for I knew how much harm she, and others like her, were doing to our movement.
NCFA’s website no longer has a listing of all the member agencies so you can see at a glance how many are LDS, but a large percentage are, thus providing a hefty bundle of NCFA funds for their lobby efforts. Bethany is the other large member agency, with multiple offices in several states. (The other day as noted in the previous post, I found four Bethany agencies in Michigan, my state of origin; however at the NCFA site, seven in Michigan alone were listed.)
To see which agencies belong, you now have to click on each state. A quick check of Utah and several surrounding states came up with 21 LDSFS agencies, 8 in Utah, 5 in Idaho, 4 in Arizona, 2 in New Mexico, and 1 apiece in Colorado and Nebraska. Wikipedia lists LDSFS as having agencies outside of the U.S. in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan; not all of them do adoptions. If LDSFS is indeed going out of the adoption business, there will be a great many adoption social workers looking for a change of career.
A TREND IN THE MAKING?
Perhaps this move by LDSFS is part of a larger trend. Jane reported recently that Spence-Chapin in New York was also getting out of the adoption business–at least for domestic infants. Our last post was about the files adrift from New Life Adoption agency in Syracuse that folded two years ago, and before that, we reported on an agency in San Antonio that shut down in 2012. Who’s next? Clearly adoption of domestic infants is no longer the profit center it has been for decades.
Other than being offered a child this morning on Facebook from an orphanage in Africa, I have nothing else to report. I asked the person who messaged me if this is how he found adoptive parents, and he said, yes, as well as “from sites like parentprofiles.com, adopting.com and many others.” I did not have the energy to play along and see how far I got with adopting one of the children he has available. –lorraine dusky
The Mormons ran an Indian Adoption Program – that history didn’t get taught in your history class, I bet… Trace/Lara