Washington, DC — HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson recently announced the release of $8.6 million in grants to start a new program to raise awareness about adoption as an option for pregnant women.
The four grant recipients will train health care workers at federally funded health centers and clinics to provide pregnant women with information about adoption when providing counseling and other services.
“Women should know that adoption often makes sense both for themselves and for their unborn children,” Secretary Thompson said. “These grants are an important step in making sure that every pregnant woman who is considering her alternatives understands the benefits of adoption.”
Congress authorized the new training program as part of the Infant Adoption Awareness Act included in the Children's Health Act of 2000. The law requires HHS to develop and implement programs to train staff at federally funded health centers and clinics to provide adoption information and referral to pregnant women on an equal basis with other alternatives presented to the women.
HHS has developed a set of best-practice guidelines for the grantees to follow when providing this training. These guidelines were developed in consultation with 29 experts in the fields of adoption, child welfare, health services and counseling.
“These grants are an important step in making sure that every pregnant woman who is considering her alternatives understands the benefits of adoption,” HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., said. “Potential adoptive parents are waiting to welcome children into their homes, and all children deserve a chance to flourish in a loving, permanent family. This program will bring us closer to helping both parents and children.”
The National Council for Adoption, based in Washington, D.C., received $6.1 million to implement a national training program. The other grantees will develop state and regional training programs. The grants will be jointly administered by two HHS agencies, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The recipients of the awards, the scope of their projects and the funding levels follow:
- National Council for Adoption
- Spaulding for Children
- Harmony Adoptions of Tennessee
- Arizona Children's Association
Salvation Army Reverses Decision to Give Homosexual Benefits
WASHINGTON (LSN.ca) – On November 12 the Salvation Army Western Division reversed its policy, which would have extended health benefits to homosexual couples. In a press release on the organization's website, the Salvation Army says they have “established a national policy to extend health benefits access to an employee's spouse and dependent children only.”
The decision follows a deluge of complaints from members of the organization and pro-family supporters. The release says, the decision to rescind the policy stemmed from a review of the benefits “which has included messages received from Salvationists and other members of our constituencies.” Salvation Army Commissioner Lawrence R. Moretz wrote, “This will mean that we may need to walk away from historical funding sources or cut back service in communities where such opposition or local regulations conflict with our policy. We must be prepared for this, and prayerfully accept the challenge to seek funding and continue our ministry that will not compromise any of our principles.”
The Family Research Council applauded the decision and said, “Again, we are pleased to see the Salvation Army reclaim it's biblical standard of morality and reaffirm the importance of marriage and the family.”
(This update courtesy of LifeSite News.)