LDS Family Services announced today that it will no longer function as a full adoption agency, instead opting to focus on providing counseling services to birthmothers considering adoption and to families who are pursuing adoptions.
According to a Deseret News article published today, the decision by LDS Family Services to stop providing adoption agency services, which include matching birthmothers with adoptive families, performing home studies to qualify prospective adoptive parents, and navigating the often confusing and complicated legal path involved with adoptions, has been in the works for some time, and it was not made in response to the recent issues associated with same-sex marriage and adoption law.
Referring to the legal issues involving adoptions for same-sex marriage as well as to litigation suits against LDS Family Services based upon the rights of fathers in adoption cases, David McConkie, LDS Family Services group manager for Services for Children, stated, “None of these issues drive this decision.” Sherilynn Stinson, LDS Family Services field group manager for Salt Lake City offices added that the decision to discontinue its role as an adoption agency “predates any of these court cases.” Instead, the reason provided for making the decision to function as a consultant rather than an agency is “truly to give more families an opportunity to adopt,” according to McConkie.
Approximately 600 couples waiting to adopt children through LDS Family Services will be affected by this decision. Those couples will be given the opportunity to complete adoptions through LDS Family Services or to use LDS Family Services counseling to find other suitable adoption agencies, such as Heart to Heart Adoptions in Sandy, Utah, to fulfill their adoption-related needs.