This post was inspired by an email that Shauna got. Well in fact it was actually a facebook post but I say it as an email. Any who, the post pretty much asked: When does the adoption stuff all start for us? Well in answer to this question I would like to explain the adoption process more. To set right some myths, and how all of you can start today on being apart of our adoption process.
Well first some facts about adoption. On average, throughout the nation, unwed mothers that place their child for adoption is about one percent. Those that choose to abort their child are about 50%.
Now How Adoption Works.
For the adoptive couples: first you go through loads of paper work and interviews and all sorts of stuff to reveal every aspect of your life to show that you are qualified, according to "a professional", to be a parent. Not a fun process but Shauna and I have finished that process and have been approved. Approval is when a committee of case workers get together and go over all of your info and deam you "OK" to be a parent. What does it mean to be approved? It just means we move to the next step of the adoption process- the finding and being found stage.
The Finding and being Found Stage.
This can be the fun and exciting part for us. But at the same time can get emotional and depressing at times. This is where pretty much we wait for a birth parent to pick us.
What this means: With adoption the placement of children with adoptive couples is pretty much left all up to the birth parents. They choose who they feel will be the best parents for their child. If you think about that deeply you can now see the great responsibility and love that these birth parents have. Their child's future is in their hands. They go through much work and prayer to find the right couple. God bless them for all they do and who they are.
So you may ask why do we call this the finding process. Well we, Shauna and I, try to do everything that we can to get our names out there so that birth parents will have us as a choice to be their couple. We have done this by creating this blog, joining different adoption networks, (going to) distribute pass along cards, and have our LDS Family Services Adoptive profile. The biggest is by word of mouth. Of course a lot of prayer and fasting so as to be led to the right places so the birth parents of our future child will find us. Yes, we believe and know that there is a particular child that is suppose to come into our home, so the finding that we are doing is to find not just any child but to find the right child.
Well from the statistics as shown above there aren't a lot of birth parents that place their children for adoption. My own personal feelings to the reason for those low numbers is from the lack of knowledge about adoption not only for birth parents but for the world as a whole. With our wonderful media that we have... they have shown many negative sides about adoption that are not true. Adoption is a wonderful thing for all involved. Because this post is getting long I'm not going to go into all of that, but in a later post I will talk more about it- giving stories and more info so stay tuned for that. But as far as the LDS church goes adoption is the encouraged solution to a unwed pregnant mother, so that as per the Proclamation to the Family a child can have both a father and a mother to raise the child.
How do You Get Involved
Get the word out. Mention to your family and friends that you know this "amazing" couple that is adopting and that they are looking for birth parents. The way most adoptive couples find their birth parents is because they know someone that knows someone that knows someone that was considering placing their child for adoption. Also nicknamed FOAF- Friend of a Friend. This means we need you to be that someone. Also you can write your own little post about adoption on your blogs or Facebook, send emails out to families and friends, you can help us pass out pass along cards, pray that more birth parents will go to the LDSFS (LDS Family Services) offices, etc... and whatever other way that you think you could get the word out. One huge thing that you can do though is talk to your bishop about having LDSFS come out on a fifth Sunday lesson and do their presentations they do for wards. You, and your whole ward, will learn so much from that meeting that you never knew about adoption. That's when I learned tons about adoption myself and many misconceptions were set right. In fact one of our case workers said in our last FSA meeting that her husband loves going with her to those meetings because he learns so much and they are great meetings. And if your bishop has questions you can have them get a hold of us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will hook them up with the right people to make it happen. I know that typically the LDSFS agencies have surges of birth parents after those ward meetings.
LDSFS is a wonderful organization the church has made. It is not only the agency that we are going through but for birth parents that are members of the church they offer free support and counseling to birth parents. They help them discover all the options they have before them. They have group meetings for them were they can interact with other birth parents going through similar circumstances. There is a new Riverton office that just opened up at: 3740 W 13400 S, Riverton, UT 84065
phone number 801.566.2556.
For those on the south west end of the Salt Lake Valley, and to find other agencies in your area, please go to www.itsaboutlove.org for more information.
So in conclusion of my book I just wrote, please please help us in our process by getting the word out. There is so much all of us can do to increase this wonderful work and to help couples, like us, find their children.