We have been hearing a lot of panic in the last few months about the changes that have come to LDS Family Services’ adoption program and what it will mean for adoptive couples. We know that at the end of this month, LDSFS will no longer be offering many adoption services and we want to help calm some of the fears we are hearing associated with this transition.

All of us at Utah Adoption Specialists were trained at LDS Family Services and have years of experience working with both birth parents and adoptive couples and providing the casework services you’ve become accustomed to. We formed our business over a year ago specifically because we understood what the changes were going to mean for our dear adoptive couples. We felt that there was going to be a lack of services for couples in regards to casework especially with the new changes. While you can get a home study anywhere, it is often viewed as a product- once complete, it is handed over to you and your contact with the social worker stops. That is now how we want it to be! This is why we felt it was important to continue to provide those same casework services outside of LDS Family Services.

Now, regarding the changes at LDS Family Services, here are a few things to know. We hope this information will help you feel confident in moving forward with your adoption plans without thinking that the only option for you will be to spend tens of thousands of dollars.

1) While LDS Family Services will no longer be a full service agency, you will still have the same chance of being matched with a birth parent through LDSFS as before. Once you have a completed home study, you can build a profile with LDSFS. LDSFS will still feature eligible couples on their website (which will be changing soon to a different site) for free. So, if your plan was just to use LDSFS all along, you still can! A caseworker at UAS will replace your caseworker at LDSFS, but essentially, the services will look the same.

2) You could ultimately have more people on your side to help you complete your adoption- and that’s not a bad thing, right? If you get a home study through UAS, you will have a worker here to help you all along the way (at no additional cost), plus when a match is made, you’ll hire an attorney of your choice to help you facilitate the legal process. Your attorney and social worker together will make a great team to provide you with all the help you’ll need.

3) COST. We know this is a major concern for many people. We have done a lot of homework for you and have met with many attorneys all over the state of Utah. We have a list, sorted by county, of those we feel confident about in regards to their competency in adoption law AND their fees. With your social worker’s services and your legal fees together, in many cases, your adoptions are going to cost significantly less than even the adoptions at LDS Family Services. This is a big deal because LDSFS already cost so much less than any other agency option. Great news right!?

4) Of course you still have other options versus just the LDSFS paired with UAS and an attorney route. We’re happy to help you look at all of those and help you decide what is best for your family. We want to help you look at many options so that your adoption can happen as quickly as possible.

One other tip before the end of the year: Go request a copy of your home study from LDSFS if you have one with them. By law, the same study can be updated and used for more than one adoption as long as there are no major changes within your family. We’d love to update your study for you and save you some time and money, but you have to have a copy of the original study first!

Any questions? Please ask!