Last year, Stephanie and KJ came to JF&CS looking to grow their family. With one child at home, they already had experience with other adoption agencies. This time around, they were looking for a different kind of adoption experience. “While looking for adoption agencies in Massachusetts, the JF&CS website indicated that they were inclusive of LGBTQ people. That was definitely an important factor for us,” KJ said.

Although Stephanie and KJ didn’t know it at the time, JF&CS Adoption Resources had received a grant from the Krupp Family Foundation that allowed the agency to be more visible to LGBTQ families. JF&CS has always been LGBTQ friendly, but this grant gave us the chance to create a new website that could be seen by more families in search of a welcoming adoption agency. In addition to creating an inclusive website, this grant made it possible to give LGBTQ families an interest-free loan for the adoption process.

Approximately 65,000 adopted children across the nation are being raised by LGBTQ parents. In many cases, LGTBQ families face the same struggles as heterosexual families, such as confusion about the adoption process, financial hardship and legal risk, while also experiencing their own unique difficulties. There are very few resources that focus on the needs of LGBTQ adoptive parents and their children. LGBTQ couples also struggle with the opportunity of having financial assistance grants available to them due to explicit or covert discrimination. With the interest-free loan that is exclusively for Adoption Resources’ LGBTQ couples, they are given the same opportunities as heterosexual couples to grow their family. This interest-free loan is one of the only loans of its type for LGBTQ families.

“We’ve been able to attract a diverse pool of adoptive parents with the Krupp grant. Between 15% and 20% of our families are LGBTQ. We’ve become more visible in the community, and we’re able to give some families the opportunity to adopt without the financial risk,” shared Betsy Hochberg, LICSW, director of Adoption Resources.

Once Stephanie and KJ began their adoption experience with JF&CS, they saw what really made Adoption Resources stand out among the rest. “JF&CS was so supportive; I never thought we could get the personal guidance we found through the process,” Stephanie said.

“Adoption can be an emotional roller coaster. There’s a lot of everyday ups and downs, hopes and expectations,” said KJ. “But JF&CS made the process feel so positive,” said Stephanie. “We had a great working relationship with the adoption team. They helped us practice the patience we needed to navigate it all.”

JF&CS provides waiting families with the knowledge and resources they need to be prepared every step of the way. “We’re very hands-on and supportive from the beginning pre-adopt stage through the waiting period and long after placement. Families adopt and, understandably, have questions along the way as they parent,” said Deb Shrier, LICSW, associate director of Adoption Resources.

By attending adoption education workshops through JF&CS, Stephanie and KJ, as well as other pre-adoptive families, can feel comfortable and prepared for the future. Whether waiting families are attending an orientation meeting about the adoption process, hearing adoptive parents share their personal experiences or listening to a panel discussion of birth parents who have made adoption plans for their children, JF&CS provides the guidance families need to feel confident and reassured throughout their adoption.

Through educational workshops and meetings with their social worker, Stephanie and KJ were able to have a smooth and personalized adoption experience. Last spring, Stephanie and KJ added two girls to their family and, according to KJ, “the biggest surprise was twins.”

To learn more about Adoption Resources, visit our website.

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