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LDS Family Services provides counseling for people experiencing unplanned pregnancies; adoption services; professional counseling for families, couples, and individuals; and sponsors an addiction recovery program. The organization is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and provides counseling consistent with its doctrine, but it will not turn away people of other faiths looking for counsel or adoption services. These services have been offered since the early 1920’s and there are now 62 offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, and Japan.
LDS Family Services provide parents of unplanned pregnancies with many options. Parents can choose to have an open adoption, where there is correspondence with the adoption family before birth and continued contact with the family and child after birth. The parent and family determine the amount of contact.
Even if birth parents are still unsure about adoption, they can come in and discuss other options with the counselors at LDS Family Services. They are available to provide information and other resources that will help with decision-making. Counseling is given on an individual basis. Group meetings with other people in similar situations are also offered. A family can also request to have counseling sessions together. LDS Family Services will also help birth mothers find assistance for medical care and even housing during pregnancy, if it is needed.
The parents are also able to choose the adoptive family. LDS Family Services provides profiles on its website and in its offices. This way the parents may choose a couple that will most likely provide the type of life they want for their child. All of the services provided by Family Services are free to birth parents, and kept confidential. Services are offered for free to anyone involved in the situation such as birth fathers and grandparents.
Professional counseling is also available through Family Services. This can include counseling for such things as marital conflict, parent-child conflict, addiction, abuse, depression, anxiety, and same-gender attraction. Working with the member and the member's bishop is often helpful in changing destructive behaviors and creating healthier relationships. In order to receive counseling services, members may be referred by their bishop, or they may contact the agency directly.
There is also a free crisis telephone service that is available 24 hours a day every day at 1-800-537-2229. The web site is available to anyone at LDS Family Services.