There are over 153 million orphans, including the U.S. foster care system and children waiting to be adopted as per UNICEF statistics. That’s a lot. In fact, it’s too high to not do something. The church, including Woodland Park, should lead the way in caring for the fatherless, motherless, and hopeless. So many of our Body at Woodland Park Baptist Church have a personal experience in Adoption or Foster Care. Some were adopted as infants or children, while others have been blessed by adopting a child into their families. Some have chosen to serve as Foster Parents for a child or were fostered themselves. Whatever the experience, we believe the Body of Christ has a responsibility to come alongside others who are called to foster or adopt.
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
The Elders approved a group of individuals, all members of Woodland Park Baptist Church, to serve as the Adoption and Foster Care Ministry Council (AFCMC). This Council operates under the Children’s Ministry Department and works with the Children’s and Family Pastor to support families and individuals as they pursue God’s calling in this area. The support given will vary according to the need(s) of each family or individual. Some types of support offered are:
Referral Sources for Adoption and Foster Care Agencies
Referral Sources for Financial Assistance
Training Opportunities at Woodland Park Baptist Church and the Community
It should be made very clear that the Woodland Park Baptist Church AFCM is NOT a licensed agency to assist a family or individual. It exists solely as a resource and support ministry.
All families and individuals must obtain a home study through a licensed agency. This agency will be the responsible party for all background checks. The AFCM may assist any family or individual to find an appropriate agency. The AFCM will maintain a list of agencies which agree with the doctrinal truths held by Woodland Park Baptist Church.
It is important to mention that Woodland Park Baptist Church will not be conducting any background checks on families or individuals for this ministry. We do not want to be the one “approving” families to adopt or foster; that should be determined by professionals in the field. The only approval that will be done by WPBC is determining if the family or individual is an active member of Woodland Park Baptist Church.
After “approving” the family or individual, the AFCM will give the Lifesong application material (see below for more information on Lifesong).
GIVING TO THE FUND
Woodland Park Baptist Church has established an Adoption Fund whose function is to receive funds from donors. These funds are given with the understanding that they are not designated to an individual adoption. IRS guidelines do not allow tax credit if the donation is given for a specific individual. Therefore, all donations given to the Adoption Fund are available to anyone who meets the guidelines. If someone wants to support an individual family those donations will have to be handle through another means.
STEPS TO REQUEST FUNDS
After the Home study has been completed and approved, the family or individual may contact the Council to discuss funding opportunities.
As funds are received, Woodland Park Baptist Church will forward these funds to our Partner organization, Lifesong for Orphans. These funds will be made available to Woodland Park Baptist Church members who apply for these funds through Lifesong. It will be Lifesong’s responsibility to determine the amount and type of assistance given. By allowing Lifesong to make this decision on the funding, Woodland Park Baptist Church will not be in a position of having to “approve” the applicants for financial assistance, thus risking potential negative reactions if they are not approved. Lifesong has partnered with churches all over the country to manage their funds.
TYPES OF FUNDS AVAILABLE
Lifesong for Orphans may award an Interest-free loan or a Matching Grant. For more information on how these funds are awarded, interested families and individuals may contact Lifesong for Orphans directly at (309) 747-4515.