Adoption agencies need volunteers to cuddle, nurture newborns awaiting adoption

Posted at 2:38 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 16:38:40-05

NEW YORK — Infants put up for adoption need your cuddles and love.

Adoption agencies across the country are searching for temporary caregivers to nurture and care for newborn babies as they await adoption. Agencies need volunteers willing to cuddle, hug, and love the babies during their first few weeks, according to ABC News.

Susan Singer, a former teacher, told ABC she has cared for 20 babies since 2010 through Spence-Chapin’s interim care provider program in New York. The organization had no volunteers earlier this month and is currently seeking 5-10 families of “all types.”

Similar organizations across the country are facing the same struggles.

“Agencies are not exactly the best funded today, so volunteers are more important probably than they have ever been,” Adam Pertman, president of the National Center on 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.”

Volunteers are subjected to a background check and home visits. Agencies also help cover some necessary expenses including diapers, formula, clothing, and transportation.

“It’s our most popular volunteer activity because everyone loves holding newborn babies. Newborns benefit so much from the one-on-one care,”Joan Jaeger, vice president of outreach and communications for Adoption Learning Partners, told ABC.

Knowing the baby will only remain in the volunteer’s care for a short amount of time eases separation anxiety issues, a spokeswoman for New York’s Spence-Chapin adoption agency told DNAInfo.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 108,000 children were awaiting adoption in 2014 (the last year data is available).