Church to Pay Adoption.com Profile Fee for Couples for One Year
Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
“Through February 2016, the Church will pay for you to be listed on Adoption.com Parent Profiles to give you more opportunities to make an adoption connection.” —David McConkie, LDS Family Services
It has been about a year since LDS Family Services announced that it would no longer operate as a full-scale adoption agency, instead focusing on counseling for birth parents and prospective adoption parents.
“It was a sad day for a lot of LDS families who wanted to adopt,” acknowledged David McConkie, adoption group manager for LDS Family Services.
But an announcement made March 2 offers hope to such families.
“The Church has agreed to help them to transition to Adoption.com, the world’s largest adoption-related website, where their exposure to women who might want to place a baby for adoption will be multiples of what we’ve ever been able to give them,” Brother McConkie said.
A video made available on the new LDS section of the website, www.adoption.com/lds, directed to LDS couples hoping to adopt, explained the plan.
“We believe the most important thing LDS Family Services can do for you as hopeful adoptive parents is to help provide more opportunities for you to connect with individuals who are considering placing a child for adoption,” Brother McConkie said on the video in announcing the new relationship with Adoption.com.
“It will open doors that were not previously accessible to many hopeful adoptive parents,” he said. “You’ll be able to have your adoption profile listed on the world’s most-used adoption website, and the Church will pay for your profile listing for up to a full year. We’ve never done anything like this, and it’s going to be wonderful. We’re grateful for this opportunity to be able to help you in your adoption journey.”
In a Church News interview, Brother McConkie said a profile listing normally costs $199 a month. But the Church has offered to cover the cost for eligible adoptive parents through February 2016.
On the video, Brother McConkie explained the procedure:
“First, you can go to Adoption.com Parent Profiles to create a listing of your family’s hope to adopt.
“Second, LDS Family Services will request a letter of recommendation from your bishop. This will enable expectant parents to filter temple-worthy families like yours.
“Third, Adoption.com will verify that you have a current home study. For all other adoption services such as home studies, adoption education, and placement or post-placement services, LDS Family Services will be able to consult with you and assist you to identify appropriate community resources.”
An adoption home study is a detailed written report compiled by a social worker regarding a family hoping to adopt.
Brother McConkie said that LDS Family Services has been working for the past year under the direction of the First Presidency to provide a way to increase opportunities for LDS families to adopt. The new relationship with Adoption.com is the result of that work.
“For more than a decade, the Adoption.com team has operated Parent Profiles, which many hopeful adoptive parents have used to find adoption connections,” he said.
“As part of its relationship with LDS Family Services, Adoption.com is upgrading Parent Profiles with many new features, and Parent Profiles will become part of the larger Adopton.com site. Through February 2016, the Church will pay for you to be listed on Adopton.com Parent Profiles to give you more opportunities to make an adoption connection. … Since the Church is covering these costs through February 2016, the sooner you get your profile live after launch, the more months of free service you will receive.”
After the year of free service, there will be a substantial group discount for LDS families who list their profiles on the website, Brother McConkie noted.
Nathan Gwilliam, creator and CEO of Adoption.com, said a special section of the website is being created expressly for LDS families, which can be accessed at adoption.com/lds.
In the past, LDS Family Services has operated its own adoption website called “It’s about Love.”
“We didn’t have great exposure on that website,” Brother McConkie said.
But the Internet address for that former website will now redirect to adoption.com/lds, Brother Gwilliam said.
“The new site is far better than anything we could have built and offers far more exposure in multiples than anything we could have built,” said Brother McConkie.
Brother Gwilliam started Adoption.com in 1997 while a student at BYU. He wrote a thesis about how to use the Internet to help children through adoption. That led to the creation of the website using the computer lab at the university’s Marriott School of Management. Within 11 years, it grew to be the world’s most-used adoption website. Today, it has more than 650,000 visits per month with millions of monthly page views, more than a million pages of content, and more than 800,000 registered members.
On Saturday, March 7, an open house will be held in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to introduce the new website to hopeful adoptive families.
There, they will receive help on how to create and place an appealing family profile on the website.
“There will be so much information couples will not want to just come at the end,” Brother Gwilliam said. “They’re going to want to stay for several hours probably.”