7 Ways You Can Volunteer in Adoption

It’s volunteer recognition day. How can YOU help in Adoption?

Sarah M. Baker April 20, 2016

Volunteering is a feel-good experience. Whether you are doing it for extra credit in school, to gain experience in a field you are interested in working in, or simply giving back to a cause you are passionate about, volunteers are needed in a lot of areas and so greatly appreciated. For Volunteer Recognition Day, we’ve put together a list of great ways for you to give back to adoption.

Support Groups
1. Support Groups

Whether it’s a local agency or online group, people need support in their adoption journey. Birth parents, adoptive parents, women considering adoption, hopeful adoptive parents, and even adoptees are out there looking for support, knowledge and friends. You can reach out locally, start your own group, or find an online support forum that you can volunteer to help moderate. Or you can just be an active participate in sharing your own personal story with others.

Adoption Agencies
2. Adoption Agencies

Agencies often are in need of volunteers. Many agencies are not-for-profit or trying to limit the overhead costs passed on to adoptive families, so volunteers play a vital role in that circle. Whether it be filing paperwork, responding to emails, answering the phone, assembling packets, guest writing blogs, or helping with events, volunteers are needed at most agencies.

Foster Care
3. Foster Care

You don’t have to be a foster parent to help in the foster care program. Consider offering your services in professional areas that can cut costs for them. Photographing waiting children or foster families is one way to give back. Being a foster buddy or donating items that foster families need for quick placements are other options. Foster programs often hold events that need volunteers to help make them successful. Contact your local family services today!

4. Orphanages

Dmytro Gilitukha / Shutterstock.com

While orphanages are a thing of the past in the US, there are still some group homes with therapy as a focus as well as many, many orphanages internationally. You may not be able to travel to the international orphanages, but you can volunteer at local group homes or contact orphanages to see what you can do to help. It may be fundraising, donating items the children need, or just advocacy and awareness.

Public Speaking
5. Public Speaking

Do you have a passion for adoption and the willingness to share your story? You can blog, write a book, or be a public speaker. Whether it’s attending small groups to share your adoption story, being on an educational panel, or speaking to large groups, awareness is a key component to changing how adoption is viewed.

Creating Change
6. Creating Change

Adoption is far from flawless. How can you see to it that the ethics we want to see are passed on into laws? By helping create that change! If you feel like you can be in an educational or lobbying role, then make yourself heard. Get involved with state and national policy makers. Visit local doctors or agencies and be the change!

Foster Parenting or Interim Care
7. Foster Parenting or Interim Care

If you are considering opening your home to children in need, there are many options to help. Whether you are a long-term foster parent, an interim care provider, or interested in fostering to adopt, help is needed to provide stable, loving homes to children. You will likely need some training, background checks, and a home study, but don’t let that deter you from making a difference!

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Sarah M. Baker

Sarah is a Staff Storyteller for Adoption.com and passionate about teaching others the power of open adoption. She is very active in the adoption community, where she spends a lot of time advocating as the founder of Heart For Open Adoption. She is the mom of two boys in addition to parenting her niece. She is a mother biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. Sarah promotes adoption education and ethical adoptions. She and her husband were featured on Season 2 of Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby,” which tells the story of their first adoption match failing. Sarah hopes to bring her personal experience to you and help anyone who wants more information about adoption to find it with ease. Though it was once a taboo subject, Sarah hopes to make adoption something people are no longer afraid to talk about. You can learn more about Sarah and her family on her blog.

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