WOODS CROSS – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it would no longer administer adoptions for single, unwed mothers or couples seeking to adopt.
LDS Family Services Adoptions Manager David McConkie told the Clipper that the Church made the decision primarily due to a drop in demand.
According to McConkie, only one percent of unwed mothers currently seek to place their children up for adoption, which is down from 15 percent over the past 20 years. He said that the number of couples seeking children has declined as well.
LDS Family Services has operated for decades as a traditional adoption agency, providing legal and counseling services for couples and unwed mothers.
McConkie added that LDS Family Services would continue to counsel unwed mothers and couples seeking to adopt, but only for support and referral purposes.
The shift moves the LDS Church from a full-service adoption agency to a counseling service, while outsourcing the legal adoption to other agencies and private parties, like attorneys.
Family Services will continue to offer professional counseling to single unwed mothers referred by their bishop, along with free consultation to couples seeking children, according to McConkie. Part of that service will include access to adoption websites where couples and mothers can find suitable matches.
McConkie said that some controversies involving high-profile adoptions in the courts had no bearing on the change of course, but that the new direction would prevent any future liability while reducing exposure to legal battles.
He also said that no Family Services employees would lose their jobs due to the change.