Part Two in a series on adoption by Stephanie Buckner
In 2004, after several years of unsuccessfully conceiving a child, our hearts turned toward adoption. We were so grateful for the amount of resources available! When we started we had no idea that adoptive families banded together create a unique culture, complete with its own language. It was overwhelming to take such a big step but thankfully organizations such as Latter-Day Saint Family Services (LDSFS) was there to guide us through the complicated process. After 2 adoptions we have a better grasp on what to expect and a pretty decent understanding of the process. Of course, each adoption is unique and everyone's situation can vary.
LDS Family Services provides infant adoption services for couples residing in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Am I qualified?
Qualified adoptive applicants are:
- Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sealed to each other in the temple, and have current temple recommends.
- Married at least two years and have a stable marital relationship. If either partner has been involved in a divorce, agency director approval is needed.
- In good physical health with a reasonable life expectancy. If either partner has a history of voluntary sterilization, agency director approval is needed.
- Financially able to care for the child.
- Able to clear criminal background and child abuse registry checks as required by government regulations.
- Able to provide health insurance coverage for adopted children placed with them.
How much does it cost?
Fees range from $4,000 to $10,000 based on 10 percent of the couple’s combined gross annual income as reported on a couple's previous year’s tax return. The cost of each adoption is subsidized by a grant from the LDS Church.
What is required of me?
LDSFS prepares couples for domestic adoption by completing a home study which ensures that couples meet agency and government requirements. This typically includes 3–4 interviews and completing paperwork provided by the agency. The homestudy is extensive and involves backgrounds checks, fingerprinting and so forth. It took us about 4 weeks to complete (and that was working aggressively on it!)
In most offices, adoption classes and support groups are also offered. To complete your case study you will be required to take a couple of adoption classes, attend a seminar or something similar. Your LDSFS agency will give you options on how to get your required training. They are fun and informative! LDSFS also offers a support group called Families Supporting Adoption (FSA). Participating in FSA is a great way to get to know other adoptive families and ask questions! It is always helpful to have others who understand what you are going through.
How long will I wait?
Waiting time for a placement varies from couple to couple . Many factors influence selection, including the number of approved adoptive couples, children available for adoption, birth parents' preferences (yes - you will actually fill out an "order form"), and adoptive couples involvement in the process (networking helps!). We waited 2 years for our first placement. Only 1 for our second. (We took advantage of a LOT of networking options that I feel really sped up the process for us)
How do I know if adoption is right for me?
Educating and familiarizing yourself with the process and a lot of Prayer will help you have a better idea if this is the right choice for your family. We have always felt that God led us down this path to unite us with OUR children.
To learn more about LDS Family Services, visit It's About Love:
To learn more about the LDS Adoption Support Network, visit FSA's site:
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. Thanks! :)
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