Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Local and national leader in adoptions closing its doors

Adoption is a process that has been around in one form or another for centuries. In the United States, adoption has long filled the need of connecting children without families with families looking to share their love. Like any field, there are organizations that play a more dominate role than others and in the world of adoption LDS Family Services is a powerhouse. But that is changing as LDS recently announced that it will no longer handle adoptions.

LDS Family Services formally announced that the center will no longer be performing adoptions. With more than 70 offices worldwide, LDS is a major donor and second largest member of the adoption lobby organization that has helped shaped national adoption policy. The Mormon organization, which has enjoyed adoption friendly policies from its home state of Utah, has helped place thousands of children with new families. Although the organization has suffered some bad press for its alleged heavy handed tactics in getting mothers to give up their children for adoption and its use of loops holes in the legal system, the organization maintained its status as a standard bearer. In discussing its decision to halt its adoption work, the agency noted that the business model it developed decades ago no longer works in today's society.

Since 1972, the rate of white women relinquishing their children for adoption has dropped from twenty percent to one. Because minority relinquishment has maintained low rates, the drastic change has had noticeable effects on adoptions in the United States, likely prompting the newer movement of adopting foreign children.

LDS has had a long and productive life in the adoption world. As LDS leaves the adoption field, it may find its legal legacy quickly changed as fathers and legislatures seek to make changes to Utah's adoption policy.

Source: The Daily Beast, "Why Is the Mormon Church Getting Out of the Adoption Business?" Kathryn Joyce, June 23, 2014

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