One of the current ICS projects in development is an enhancement to the LDS Family Services Web site for adoption services (ItsAboutLove.org). The new site will provide many new features that will help streamline the adoption process.
Chief among the enhancements is a much richer set of criteria for expectant birth mothers to search on as they look for a couple to adopt their children. As an example, birth mothers can currently search for how many children a couple has. On the new site they will be able to specify not only the number of children, but also whether the children are biological, adopted, or foster. They will be able to search on the mother’s employment after the adoption, whether the couple served missions, whether the couple would accept siblings of the child being placed for adoption, the racial background of the couple, and even whether the couple has a certain pet. There will also be a new keyword search if the birth mother has a certain hobby or interest she would like to find in the family she would have adopt her child. Another improvement to the search capability for birth mothers will be better matching of her preferences and the characteristics of her child with the preferences of couples.
Other new features for birth mothers will be the ability to save and easily view her favorite couples. She will also be able to place a temporary hold on a couple she is considering placing her child with. Birth mothers will also have the option of saving a search so that they can come back and run the same search later.
More detailed information will be gathered for couples hoping to adopt when they register with LDS Family Services, thus allowing the birth mother to learn more about the couples she finds on the site. A couple will be able to indicate if they want their information to be viewed by anyone coming to the site or only by users registered on the site.
And, of course, you can’t have a new Web site without an improved look and feel! There will be new colors, a more modern look, and more articles and helpful information for parents placing a child for adoption and for couples who want to adopt.
As with the original site, the goal of the new site is to help in establishing eternal families and to provide support to birth parents who find themselves in difficult circumstances, thus bringing all involved closer to Christ.
Lisa Howes is a development engineer for the Church.