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Church endorses adoption month

The First Presidency has released the following statement:

"The President of the United States has proclaimed the month of November as National Adoption Month. We join in this recognition and celebration of adoption and express our support of unwed parents who choose to place their children for adoption.

"When a man and a woman conceive a child out of wedlock, their first consideration should be to marry and work toward establishing an eternal family relationship. When the probability of a successful marriage is unlikely because of age or other circumstances, unwed parents are encouraged to place their child for adoption through LDS Family Services to help ensure that the child is reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Adoption is an unselfish, loving decision that blesses the birth parents, the child, and the adoptive family.

"We commend all citizens and officers of government who promote the practice of adoption and who seek to strengthen the family as a fundamental unit of society."

Earlier this year, the First Presidency sent to General Authorities, Area Authority Seventies; stake, mission and district presidents, bishops and branch presidents; and auxiliary leaders a letter about adoption and unwed parents.

In that letter, instruction similar to that contained in the statement above was given. Also, the First Presidency stated: "Birth parents who do not marry should not be counseled to keep the infant as a condition of repentance or out of a sense of obligation to care for one's own. Unwed parents are not able to provide the blessings of the sealing covenant. Further, they are generally unable to provide a stable, nuturing environment which is so essential for the baby's well-being. Unmarried parents should give prayerful consideration to the best interests of the child and the blessings that can come to an infant who is sealed to a mother and father."

LDS Family Services, a nonprofit agency, is making help readily available to birth parents. To give birth parents means to anonymously learn more about adoption, the agency has created a Web site at www.itsaboutlove.org.

Those who seek more information or help concerning this matter may telephone 1-800-537-2229, or (801) 240-3015, or visit the web site for a listing of the 57 domestic and seven international LDS Family Services offices.

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