The term "foster care" conjures up feelings for many people who have experience with social services in this way. Many expectant mothers considering an adoption plan shy away from their children receiving temporary care before going into their adoptive home and many families pursuing adoption look specifically at domestic infant adoption to avoid the baggage or messiness that is assumed or associated with the foster care system. We understand the range of emotions and have seen concerns validated in news stories or hearing personal stories, but some times the associations come more from dramatized accounts in movies and TV rather than an accurate account.
At CFLS, we have seen some very helpful temporary homes for a baby receiving placement in a few days. This can help a mom who didn't know she was pregnant with making an adoption plan after delivery, or help when there are other factors that allow for the adoptive family to not have a risk placement.
We also believe families can be pro-active with their adoption, and once they have received education and completed their home assessment, they are welcome to see what connections they might have in their community to provide a two-parent, Christian home to a child in need of a forever family. We recently saw God's hand in bringing a family together that sought traditional infant adoption, but the couple kept their eyes and ears open in their community and were blessed with a surprise. We'll let them tell their story...
His ways are not our ways. They are better!
My wife, Erika and I had a wonderful experience adopting our first child, Austin, through a private adoption agency, Christian Family Life Services. When we were ready to add to our family, it was an easy decision to work with them again. After getting everything in order, we settled in to wait. A year went by, then two. After nearly three years of waiting to be matched, we received an email from a friend who forwarded a post from someone in our church: "Two siblings in need of a forever home. Please call if interested." I showed Erika and we agreed I should make the call. Ray and Milo (2 yrs and 9 mos at the time) were in the foster care system, being fostered by their aunt and uncle who could not adopt them permanently. After a couple of weeks of questions on whether or not we'd be considered candidates by the county, we got a call asking our social worker to contact the county social worker. We never thought about doing foster care to adopt, yet here we were, considering that this may be what God had in mind to add not just one more child to our family but two! We met Ray and Milo on a Friday. They were in our home the following Tuesday and have been with us since. Amazingly, our agency and the county were able to work things out so that by last November, on National Adoption Day, we officially made Ray and Milo part of our family, and we made Austin a very proud and happy big brother! We thank God for the creative ways he has made us parents by entrusting us with our three sons. His ways are not our ways. They are better!
In this week's news, CFLS has expanded our services to both birth mothers and prospective adoptive families by publishing a portion of the waiting families profiles to our website. Many agencies across the nation have employed this web service as a means to present adoptive families to women who are researching their options and looking at adoption online, and we are happy to utilize this technology. As you'll see on our "Waiting Families" page under the Birth Parents tab, our clients who have completed a home study and are waiting to be matched can include a photo as well as a brief profile and birth parent letter that have previously not been seen by birthparents until they come in to meet with our birth parent counselor. We hope this assists in connecting forever families! Please join us in prayer that birth parents will chose life and consider all their options. We trust the Lord will bring women to the agency and guide their decisions.
Greetings from CFLS,
In light of recent changes to federal law, we want to share information regarding some of our policy and position on our adoption requirements with our clients and partners. Under the direction of our Board of Directors, the policy manual covers an extensive range of details to support what our mission is as a faith-based organization. The first paragraph below details the broader commitment to the children and birth parents we serve, and the latter points expand on specific components in regard to marriage, and our efforts to support Christ-followers who struggle with sexual sin. Our policy manual states the following:
The ministry of CFLS begins with emphasis on the value of the life of every person. Every expectant mother is encouraged to choose life for her child and to make life-affirming decisions about her child’s future. Throughout the process, CFLS is committed to minister to her needs in the grace and love of Jesus Christ. If the birthparents choose to make an adoption plan for their child, CFLS is committed to offering them loving and stable Christian families from which to choose, where their child will be raised in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. (Introduction, P 2; p38)
6. The couple must have been married long enough to have established a stable marriage (minimum of 2 years at the time of application). Because CFLS bases its beliefs on the historical teachings of the Old and New Testaments, marriage is defined as a legal and spiritual commitment between a man and a woman.(Basic Requirements, p39)
1. It should be made clear to applicants that having a home study does not guarantee approval for adoption. If during the home study process, issues arise that indicate disapproval for adoption, the caseworker shall address those issues openly. The caseworker will consult with the supervisor about the issues in question. If the couple is rejected for adoption, the reason(s) shall be explained in writing. The file will note the reason(s) and how the decision was presented to the clients. (Policies Regarding Adoptive Parents, p41)
30. If either spouse has had a problem with pornography, CFLS will refer to a counselor for an assessment and make a determination as to whether or not the couple can move forward toward adoption. (Policies Regarding Adoptive Parents, p43)
31. CFLS has the right to choose with whom we work and to deny services based on moral or religious objections. (Policies Regarding Adoptive Parents, p43)
We understand there is a spectrum of Christ-followers walking through the temptation of same-sex attraction and a complex range of other sins that all of us face in the reality of our fallen world. All individuals who inquire are treated with respect as we seek to provide services and diligently honor our faith-based mission. We believe God loves all of His creation and longs to have relationship with any individual who calls his name, adopting them where they are and drawing them closer to Him as He teaches and molds them to look more like His Son, our Christ Jesus. Christian Family Life Services humbly seeks to assist with placing children for adoption in homes that seek to do the same.
We have no plans to change our requirements for adoptive couples to adopt from us. At their next Board meeting, there will be discussion about the policy manual and if there is need for any clarifying statements in regard to same-sex marriages, but we do know of other agencies who place with same-sex couples and we will suggest these opportunities to any inquiries we have going forward just as we have in the past.
If you would like to see our complete policy manual or have any further questions, please contact our Administrator, Pat Larson.
The latest News and updates from the CFLS offices and the adoption ministry.