LDS Family Services
LDS Family Services is a private nonprofit corporation owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It offers members of the church and others marital and family counseling, addiction and drug dependency counseling, general psychotherapy, and counseling and other services to women or girls experiencing unintended pregnancy. In addition to individual counseling, classes are offered on strengthening marriage; strengthening families; and the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP), based on the 12-step model and Christian values.
In 1919 the organization was created as the Relief Society Social Service Department by Amy B. Lyman, an official in the church's Relief Society. In 1969, the organization was renamed Unified Social Services. In 1973, the organization became a corporation separate from the church's Relief Society and renamed LDS Social Services; in 1995, the name was changed to LDS Family Services.
LDS Family Services currently has 85 offices located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Philippines, Tonga, Mexico, Brazil and several other south and central American countries. Staff must have a minimum of a master's degree in behavioural sciences.
Adoption services discontinued
For decades, LDS Family Services had been one of the largest, private, nonprofit adoption agencies in the world. But on June 17, 2014, it announced that it would no longer operate a full-scale adoption agency. Instead, LDS Family Services planned to shift all of its adoption-related resources to counseling for birth parents and prospective adoptive parents and partner with local agencies for services it no longer provided. According to the Deseret News, the agency cited changes in adoption trends such as the reduction in children available for adoption. LDS Family Services has been the subject of lawsuits about fathers' rights in recent adoption cases, and other religious-based adoption agencies are under pressure to facilitate adoptions for same-sex couples. But the organization said that none of these issues influenced its decision.
- Moulton, Kristen (June 17, 2014). "Mormon Church Drops Adoption Business". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
- Walch, Tad (June 17, 2014). "LDS Family Services Shifts from Adoption Agency to Adoption Counseling". Deseret News. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
- C. Ross Clement (1992). "Social Services" in Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan) p. 1386–1387.
- Encyclopedia of Latter-Day Saint History, p. 1157.