About the Fund
Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:34–35, ESV).
Throughout the history of the church, Christians have always been the leaders in adoption. Going back all the way to the very first days of the Christian Church. Throughout the Roman Empire Christians quickly became known as those who adopted. Their love for the orphan was particularly evident.
Today at Park Community Church there is a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit that is evident to many. God is stirring this church up to be leaders in the adoption conversation. Many couples have already stepped into the work of caring for orphans and children at risk through organizations like Safe Families, becoming Foster Parents, and also by adopting.
At Park we believe that many are called to participate in caring for orphans through adoption. As a church we want to come around potential adoptive and foster parents and provide community, stability, and support. We also believe that finances should never be a barrier for a willing Christian family to enter into adoption. Today, adoption costs usually range between $25,000 - $35,000 depending on the adoption agency used and whether the adoption is domestic or international. That can be a huge barrier for many people considering adoption.
This is where there is a unique opportunity for our church to step in and support. Through the regular giving here at Park and in partnership with Renew Chicago, this Adoption Fund aims to come alongside adoptive parents to provide significant financial assistance in their pursuit of adoption. We want to remove finances from being a barrier for members of our Church to adopt. Our prayer is that we would stir one another up to radical love in the name of Jesus.
The Adoption Fund is a collaborative effort between Park Community Church and a great partner ministry of ours called Lifesong. While all of the finances that make the fund possible are from Park, much of the day to day management and processing of applications and finances are handled through Lifesong who specializes in managing Adoption Funds for churches around the nation. Once a short initial application is completed with Park Community Church, Lifesong manages and facilitates our fund using mutually agreed upon criteria for applications, accounting, receipts, disbursements, etc.
This partnership allows Park Community Church to really come alongside each potential adoptive family and provide holistic care during the adoption journey.
The Adoption Fund is available for those who have been official members in good standing at Park Community Church for at least year. We expect all of our members to be involved in their local church in meaningful ways through: regularly attending Sunday services, participating in Small Groups throughout the week, serving, and regularly giving financially towards their church.
If you are not a member of Park but are interested in the Adoption Fund or in finding support for adoption and foster care, we encourage you to speak to your location Pastor at Park to get connected into the growing community of foster and adoptive parents here at Park Community Church. There are many resources available across Park.
The first step in the application with the Adoption Fund is a short internal application with Park Community Church. Once you have completed this application, a member from Park’s Renew Chicago Team will contact you to discuss next steps.
See the full process below.
Adoption Fund Facilitator
Adoption Fund Application Process
Beginning the journey of adoption can seem really exciting and overwhelming at the same time. As a Church, we want to be able to come alongside you throughout the whole journey. If you are just taking the first steps of learning about adoption or beginning to navigate selecting an agency and are looking for someone to talk to about that journey, please reach out to us. We have plenty of folks who would love to talk about what that looks like with you.
The following process outlines a potential flow for applying for and receiving grants towards your adoption. We know the whole process of adoption can feel overwhelming at times, but we have a team ready to help make this as simple and well-supported as possible. The organization Lifesong (mentioned below) is a third party non-profit that helps churches like ours manage their adoption funds.
Family begins certification process with agency of choice and begins process of completing the home study requirements for that agency.
Application through Park Community Church is received
Initial review by Park’s Adoption Fund Board is completed
Upon approval, applicant begins more thorough application with Lifesong
Application is received by Lifesong and checked to make sure that it is complete
Anything that is missing is communicated to the family
The application is reviewed in detail by a trained coordinator at Lifesong, this includes careful scrutiny of
Review of other Areas of Concern
A phone interview with the family to hear update of adoption timeline and to discuss any issues that might have arisen from review of the application
The raising of any concerns with the Lifesong Program Director or Program Coordinator
A recommendation is written up and submitted to the Lifesong’s Review Committee for approval
The Review Committee (Lifesong Vice President, Program Director and Program Coordinator) meet to prayerfully consider the recommendations. Files are reviewed, Park’s fund preferences, guidelines, and balances are considered and informed decisions are made.
The Review committee make a recommendation to the Park’s Adoption Fund Oversight Committee.
The Church Fund accepts or suggests changes to the recommendation. An agreement is reached between the Church Fund and Lifesong.
The Lifesong Coordinator contacts the family to pass on the funding decision and to help them make the most of that funding.
Appropriate paperwork is completed
The family is helped throughout the duration of their adoption
Ready to start the process?
Not ready to adopt but want to get involved?
Adoption is just one part of caring for the vulnerable and our adoption advocates are also knowledgeable in these other areas of care:
Safe Families: Bringing children into your home for a short term in hopes that they don’t have to enter foster care and giving their parents a chance to get back on their feet.
Foster Care: Being a home for children in the state’s care as they work to reunite the child with their family. You must be formally licensed by DCFS to be a foster parent.
Foster-to-Adopt: A foster child in your care might not be able to reunite with their family and then need to find a forever family, adoption is then possible through the foster care system. Also, there are waiting children who already are in need of a forever family where rights have already been terminated. All adoption costs are covered by the state.
If the calling of adoption or foster care is something that is stirring your heart, there are a lot of ways for you to get involved. Each Park Church location is equipped with an advocate who would love to discuss options for ways for you to be involved at your location or to just answer some of your questions.
Another way you can be a part of the Adoption Fund is to give. We think it is important that any financial contribution to the Adoption Fund should not replace your tithe to your local church, but it would be out of an overflow of compassion and desire to make strides in renewing and transforming the city of Chicago to care for orphans and children who need it. If you would like to contribute to the Adoption Fund, click here.