Adoption Grant Approval Process and Guidelines
The leadership of Harbour Shores Church is committed to encouraging and supporting local body members in the adoption process. The following guidelines are intended to outline the Harbour Shores Adoption Grant. We wish to encourage HSC members to actively participate in the adoption process and/or support through prayer and financial resources.
Harbour Shores has chosen to consider financial assistance of any type of adoption as long as the prospective adoptive parents use a licensed agency. Due to the financial problems associated with giving funds directly to grant recipients, we do not provide grants for independent adoptions at this time.
Harbour Shores has chosen to limit financial assistance for adopting parents who have been church members of at least one year and in good standing.
- Members should have 2 written reference letters towards the intent of adoption. One is required to be written by an Elder. The second letter should be from another good standing member. The intent of these letters is to show spiritual maturity and a commitment to Biblical parenting.
Harbour Shores has chosen to consider applicants who have a completed (approved) home study by a licensed social worker. This means that families have already had the opportunity to step out in faith and have proven that they are serious about adopting. However, we typically disburse funds to the adoption agency after the family has received their referral, which prevents problems arising in retrieving funds if the adoption process is interrupted for some reason.
IRS regulations place strict limits on disbursement of charitable funds directly to individuals or families. According to IRS publication 526, it is not permissible to use a fund to raise money for a specific family or for our fund to be a conduit through which a specific family raises money. Harbour Shores executes the awarding of committee approved grant funds to the licensed placement agency and not the individual family (grant awardees) for one reason in particular. While the recipient family has presented a great need for adoption assistance, allocating funds to and in cooperation with their placement agency, in the name of the awardees, assures our ministry and its supporters that funds are used for adoption expenses as the placement agency credits their fee schedule the allocated amount. This policy ensures that funds are used for its intended purpose.
GRANT APPROVAL AND AWARDING
Allocating funds within a church community is a delicate process. We recognize that, as a Council, we will be dealing with sensitive financial information as well as emotionally vulnerable grant applicants. This makes our Adoption Council all the more important for the decision-making process. All applications will be reviewed by the Council and will be submitted to the Elder Board. Grants are awarded upon a unanimous decision. In the event of a conflict of interest, Council members will remove themselves from the decision making process.
As this ministry at Harbour Shores Church grows, the number of applications and available resources will continue to fluctuate. Our goal is to help each HSC family with a financial need who are pursuing adoption.
FUND RAISING (not required for grant participation but may be suggested by the Adoption Council to aid in financial support).
All fundraising within Harbour Shores Church must be approved by the Adoption Council of Harbour Shores Church prior to presentation to the Elder Board or promotion in class or church body. Opportunities should be presented in writing to the Adoption Council and the family should be available to discuss the various aspects of the opportunity. Once approved by the Adoption Council, the fundraiser should then be presented to the Elder Board.
ADOPTION GRANT COMMITTEE
The Harbour Shores Adoption Grant Committee will function to oversee and allocate grant funds to grant recipients. The committee will consist of Harbour Shores members, 5 at the minimum and 10 at the maximum, who have a passion for adoption. Previous experience and/or knowledge of adoption are also vital to the health of the committee. A committee member will be approved by the Elder board and is asked to commit to serving for at least 3 years. Each member is also expected to participate and encourage church participation in other areas of The Orphan Care Ministry.
Often fund recipients prove to be the best volunteers, spokesmen, and future donors for the ministry, as well as a good resource for prospective adoptive parents. We would hope you would be willing to provide your testimony and pictures to encourage and inspire others within our church community.