AMP S2E12: DHS Adoption Squad! - Margot Gaston and Richie McFarland
There are three main ways that one can adopt a child: Internationally, privately/domestically, and finally, through the DCFS Foster Care System. That last one often gets overlooked, though for a few reasons. I think people consider it only a foster care thing. They don't realize that you can open as an adopt-only home and just get placements that are available for adoption. Also, people conside it to be harder and more messy, which in many cases is true, but it is also often a quicker route to adoption and a massively less expensive one.
Margot and Richie are 2 members (Richie is actually the department head) of the Adoption Specialist Team at DHS in Arkansas Area 1 (Northwest Arkansas and surrounding areas). They are definitely experts in their fields and have incredible passions for their work and responsibility to serve the least of these.
In their interview, we talked about technical issues like training and qualifications, and also heart issues like trauma and preparedness. It was such a great learning experience and so informative on this method of adoption! Listen in at the link above or on your favorite podcast app, and then go drop off some coffee and donuts at your local DCFS office!
Those Three Words: A Birth Mother's Story of Choice, Chance, and Motherhood is out now! It is such an amazing book and you definitely need to grab yourself a copy over on Amazon!
You can find a DCFS Office in your state and near you here and get the ball rolling on your own adoption story!
Grace Haven Ministries offers support and services for adoptive families in the trenches. I can say this from personal experience. We were at the end of our rope with this business and Grace Haven's director of counseling services was at our house within an hour... FO FREE. She talked us off the ledge and provided us with some great resources for moving forward. Seriously, reach out to them with your concerns and struggles TODAY. Visit their website here and their Facebook page here.
The CALL trains, equips, and supports foster and adoptive families. You heard from the director in NWA, Ann in the first episode of this podcast. They are great and you should check them out. They have no-commitment info-meeting regularly if you just want to gather more information about adopting from the foster care system, and they provide the complete training you need to become an open home. Check out their website here and their Facebook page here.
Project Zero puts the real live faces of children who are available for adoption in front of the families looking to provide forever homes for them. They travel around the state promoting their dream of having Zero waiting children in Arkansas. You can check out their website here and their Facebook here.