“LDS Family Services Launches New Web Site,” Ensign, Sept. 2009, 78
ItsAboutLove.org, LDS Family Services’ newly redesigned pregnancy counseling and adoption services Web site, launched in June 2009. In part, the Web site helps expectant parents consider all options for their unborn child.
“It is about connecting people with what they need,” said Valerie Mechling, a birth mother who placed her baby for adoption through LDS Family Services three years ago. “This new Web site really does a good job of that.”
LDS Family Services redesigned the site to add more in-depth information and resources, as well as to improve its aesthetic appeal and organization. They segmented the Web site to reach four key audiences: expectant parents and their families, couples who are hoping to adopt a child, professionals, and Church leaders.
The Web site has information on single parenting, marriage, abortion, and adoption. It gives information about the pregnancy trimesters, answers frequently asked questions about pregnancy, dispels several myths, and facilitates meetings of prospective parents with counselors and birth mothers.
In one new segment, birth mothers talk about why they chose adoption for their babies. According to Shanna Bake, LDS Family Services program specialist, the 16 video clips of birth mothers telling their stories, along with the responses to questions from actual birth parents, birth grandparents, and professionals, may be the best part of the Web site.
Tamra Hyde, who is one of the featured birth mothers, placed her child for adoption in 1996 through LDS Family Services. She said that when she was contemplating adoption, she did not know anyone who had placed a child for adoption.
“I think it will be beneficial for people to see that good people make this choice; people who would make good parents even make this choice,” she said.
If an adoption plan is made, the Web site also has an internal search engine that allows expectant parents to find a family that fits their desires for their baby. The search capacities on the Web site can help connect expectant parents with more than 800 couples. These couples can make online profiles with a letter to the expectant parents, a photo album of their family, and information about themselves.
“The irony about adoption is that from both sides it can start in tragedy, really—an unplanned pregnancy or inability to have children,” Sister Hyde said. “But both sides at the end of the story and in hindsight will call themselves blessed.”