Over the past few months we have introduced you to all of the UFA Board except for one...a very important one. Today we introduce you to Steve Sunday. A man with a huge heart, great humor and a love for adoption work. Steve shares with us how UFA came to be.
A New Vision for Adoption
UFA Board Advisor
In 1996 the then-commissioner of LDS Family Services, Fred M. Riley, had a dream. This dream was to build a large adoption advocacy organization that would support adoptive couples, adoptees, expectant parents, and birth parents.
As a member of the National Council For Adoption, Fred had seen many organizations over the years that failed to significantly involve those touched by adoption. Determined to build something lasting, he laid the groundwork for Families Supporting Adoption in 1997. With a small group of LDS Family Services staff and selected adoptive parents, the organization began. It started off small, with a mission to perform outreach and to provide education and support for those involved in the adoption process.
The first conference was held in Salt Lake City in 1998, with approximately 80 people participating. From those beginnings, FSA grew into one of the largest organizations of its kind in the United States, comprising more than 80 chapters and nearly 5,000 members. The last national conference was held in August 2011, with over 800 participants. FSA became a presence on the national scene, recognized by the National Council For Adoption and other major agencies because of its efforts toward: 1) protecting adoption and promoting the belief that every child deserves a loving and caring home, 2) presenting a positive image of adoption in the media, and 3) promoting adoption-friendly legislation,
I had the privilege of serving as advisor to FSA from 1999-2011. During that time we saw much growth and clarified the organization’s purpose and vision. Volunteer adoptive couples became the leaders of FSA, building it into an organization that blessed the lives of all involved in adoption. Much good was done.
At the end of 2011 there was a change in direction which included the disbanding of the FSA national board. With the loss of this national presence and united voice for adoption, I determined to build a new organization with similar goals, to help ensure adoption remained a viable option for building families. This organization is United For Adoption.
With a new national board... It is the hope of United for Adoption to carry forward the tradition of supporting adoption and, together, to become a resource to improve the institution of adoption, the practice of adoption, and the experiences of all involved.
The mission of United For Adoption is: 1) to expand opportunities for expectant parents to be exposed to the option of adoption, as well as to support them in their decisions to choose adoption and to place their children with loving families; 2) to present a healthy and positive image of adoption in the media; and 3) to support positive legislation that will protect adoption as an institution for future generations.
We now have a new national board with adoptive couples, adoptees, and birth parents who contribute their wisdom, knowledge, and skills toward securing adoption for future generations. It is the hope of United For Adoption to build on the foundations laid before and to become a resource to improve the institution of adoption, the practice of adoption, and the experiences of all involved.