Adoption agencies are amazing places, where adults and children meet and begin their journey as a family. But agencies across the country are in need of some very special helpers; they’re looking for interim caregivers to hold, hug, and love babies for a few weeks after they are born.
Caregivers Wanted! Adoption Agency Seeks Volunteer Cuddlers
Agencies, like the New York based Spence-Chapin, are looking for volunteer caregivers to care for newborns for two to four weeks while their mother decides whether or not she would like to proceed with the adoption process for her child.
Not just anyone can volunteer, however. Adam Cotumaccio, president of Spence-Chapin, told ABC that volunteers go through extensive background checks and home visits to ensure that the newborns will be in a safe place .
However, he goes on to say that interim newborn care is “not meant to be a long-term solution by any stretch of the imagination.” The program is designed this way to give new mothers who are considering adoption time to make the best decisions possible for her future and the future of her baby.
“If a woman is thinking of an adoption plan, she’s in crisis. The program offers a pressure release valve for this woman,” Cotumaccio explained.
These programs need more help than ever before. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, there are 159, 000 children who are adopted or waiting to be adopted every year .
Adam Pertman, president of the National Center for Adoption and Permanency told ABC News, “All agencies over the years have certainly needed volunteers but … the need has grown. Volunteers have become more and more essential.” 
A Personal Experience: Susan Singer’s Take on Volunteer Baby Snuggling
One of those volunteers is Susan Singer, who has been volunteering with Spence-Chapin’s interim care program since 2010. After her son died at the age of 22 in 2009, the retired school teacher was looking for something to add fulfillment to her life and she found just the thing with this program.
“When you’re working in a public school system, especially a public school system with kids that have a lot issues, you’re used to being really on your toes all day,” the 64 year old Singer told ABC News. “So, when a friend called me up and told me about his program, I said, ‘What have I got to lose?’ I thought to take a risk because normally I would say, ‘What if something goes wrong? This is really risky.’ But at that moment, I just thought, ‘No, I really want to do this.’ And it’s just been great.”
Volunteers are properly vetted to ensure that the newborns are in a safe and loving environment, and agencies will typically cover necessary expenses on things like diapers, formula, clothing, etc. This helps to ensure that more focus can be spent on caring for this child.
“My job is to make the baby feel safe and loved 24-7,” Singer added. “I hold them all the time. I talk to them. I sing to them. We play music. And I get so much joy and pleasure. I feel so good when I’m with an infant that I hope that it does … something for them, too.”
There are programs like this all over the country, and each one of them is looking for volunteers who want to provide a loving home for these newborns before they find the parents that will care for them for the rest of their lives. Reach out to adoption agencies in your area if you are willing to help love a child until their family finds them.
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