KICKS: Kids Investing in Communities through Kindness and Service.

KICKS is a service club for children where they learn to give and serve without expectation of reward, prizes or winning anything for themselves. We know they will be rewarded by the good feelings they develop as they help others and see what a positive difference they are making in someone else’s life.

In the past, children have made cards and crafts for shut-ins at local nursing homes, appreciation cards for their teachers and parents, and sandwiches for the sack lunches at Kids Food Basket.

College kids from Circle K and a local Grandville High School Nat’l Honor Society student joined us in our future home community of Wyoming, MI on Saturday February 3, 2018. We had a lot of fun going house to house shoveling walks and meeting our new neighbors!

snowy service

Do you know a child or group of kids who would like to be a KICKS kid? For more information about involvement in KICKS, call Cathy at (616) 451-0245

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Infant Adoption/ Direct Consent Adoption (You make your child’s adoption plan together with a family of your choosing.)

Our goal is to honor and respect you for who you are and whatever circumstances you may be in. Placing parents can be male or female, young or old, biological parents or adoptive parents.

Often placing parents do not feel ready to offer a new baby stability as they move fast forward through their teenage or college years into the responsibilities of parenthood.

Other times parents may choose to place a child because of prior experience with their other children being in foster care or involved in court actions.

One thing is for sure; all placing parents deeply love their children and have found themselves unable to provide for the day-to-day needs of their child. They all seek help from Greater Hopes Family Services in order to meet the needs of their child. Not one is giving up. Not one is failing. They are making the hardest decision of their lives, a giving decision, so that their children can have the best of both worlds.

That is one reason why Greater Hopes’ adoptive and foster families do not want placing parents to go away after placement. If you need to go for some reason, we will respect that. However, we all hope you stay involved in a way that offers your child your very best and in a manner that helps you grow and heal as well.

And, if you find your circumstances have changed and you find a healthy way to parent your child prior to the court hearing when the adoption takes place, we will still honor and support you. We won’t go away either.

Call Cathy Raidna at (616) 451-0245 to talk about your situation.

Please join Greater Hopes at an Orientation Meeting where you can learn more about these children and how you can help. We will discuss the roles of Family Friends, other volunteers, foster families and adoptive families. See our Events page to confirm meeting times.

Our Mission Greater Hopes tenderly cares for Michigan’s children and families by thoughtfully providing ethical and professional adoption services.

Important Philosophies We believe that when children are adopted they have the need and the right to be aware of, and connected to, their birthfamily and personal heritage as well as being connected to the adoptive family who has accepted the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. We encourage as much ongoing contact as possible as is healthy and positive for the child.The principles of loving one another, sharing, forgiveness, grace and service to others flow throughout our programs.

Statement of Purpose Greater Hopes, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), child-placing agency. We facilitate voluntary adoption plans for parents placing their children for adoption. Services include but are not limited to evaluating circumstances, supporting placing parents, seeking family members and other important people in a child’s history, evaluating resource families, educating families, providing legal filing services, supervising placements, maintaining support groups, and seeking available supportive resources. Clients served include parents and children. At least one party to each adoption must be a Michigan resident. Participation in counseling and consultation services outside of Greater Hopes is supported and encouraged.

It is our mission to maximize children’s potential by offering suitable and permanent homes where they will be given every opportunity to grow and develop in the happiest and healthiest manner possible given each child’s individual history and situation. Adults respect a child’s life when they allow him or her to remain connected to what belongs to him or her. Charged to provide respectful and loving parents, we assist qualified adults in their desire to adopt a child.

Adoptive Parent Selection A parent with parental rights to their child who is making an adoption plan selects the adoptive parents. A newborn assigned to Greater Hopes through the Safe Delivery of Newborn Law will be placed based on availability of a family most able to meet a specific child’s needs. An adoption plan for a child who is released to this agency may be made by a large group of people including but not limited to the placing parents, child, caseworkers, supervisors, prospective adoptive parents, therapists, teachers, relatives, a GAL, a CASA volunteer, and other people important in the child’s life.

Services Provided throughout the process. Eligible adoptive applicants, placing parents, and adoptees may receive the following direct or indirect services: options counseling, orientation to adoption, training and education, a Preplacement Consultation and Assessment, counseling and mediation sessions, support groups, legal relinquishment services and/or adoption filing services, post placement supervision, post placement services and referrals, interstate services, post finalization support and guidance, intermediary/search services, application services for subsidies and other benefits, and referrals to other social service agents as needed.

Geographic area served includes all of Michigan. At least one party to the adoption must be a Michigan resident.

R 400.12606 Training requirements.
Rule 606. An agency shall document that an applicant for adoption has, at a minimum, had training in all of the following areas:

(a) Separation.
(b) Attachment and bonding.
(c) Child development, including safe sleep practices for children under 1 year of age.
(d) Behavioral and emotional needs of adoptive children.
(e) Impact of adoption on the family.
(f) Post adoption service availability. 

EFFECTIVE 02/01/2017: Adoptive parents who adopt children who have been a part of the child welfare system, any institutionalized child care system, or who adopt children from the child’s previous adoptive family will also be required to train in the following areas:

(a) Characteristics and needs of the child being placed into the home.

(b) Safe sleep practices for infants.

(c) Effective parenting.

(d) Behavior management, including de-escalation techniques.

(e) Importance of the child’s prior families.

(f) Concurrent planning.

(g) Role of the agency.

(h) Safety planning per the child’s behaviors

Each adoptive family shall identify a preferred method of appropriate discipline that is free from physical or corporal punishment in which they will attend a class, or otherwise perform a study in. For example, PRIDE, Pressley Ridge Training, Love and Logic, 1-2-3 Magic Parenting, Nurturing Parent Programs, or Advanced Parenting for Challenging Children would be acceptable options. Other classes may be approved upon request. Adoptive parents who make a reasonable case that shows prior experience participating in nurturing parenting classes might be exempt from this specific requirement.

All families may also have other specific training requirements to adhere to as noted in any of our agency generated assessments. These types of training requirements may arise out of a variety situations in which staff determine a family needs additional support or information in order to provide the best possible care to the children we place in their care.

Types of Adoptions and Children to be Placed: (a) Types of children served and their special needs: Greater Hopes assists in voluntary domestic adoptions in which placing parents have selected the adoptive family from either their own support systems and communities, or from our pool of resource families. Resource families/ potential adoptive parents also have the right to identify which placing parent circumstances they feel best able to support and assist. We fully support an ongoing and open relationship between the adoptive parents and the placing parents to whatever extent possible to benefit the child.

The agency accepts children released under the safe delivery act, section 20 of 1939 PA 288, MCL 712.20

Children in all programs will all have the need to explore their history openly. Many will have issues trusting, bonding and attaching but these obstacles can be managed through the use of supportive counseling and training. Some children will have developmental delays or impairments. Often times, children have disorders that have evolved as a result of their early childhood experiences with trauma. All of these children need an ongoing connection to the people who have loved and cared for them already.

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents Greater Hopes desires that any healthy and well-adjusted Michigan residents who wish to adopt apply at this agency. It is believed that in order to meet the wide range of needs that children have, there must be a range of family types available to these children. Any family could be a desirable adoptive family if they are able to lovingly and freely embrace the adoptive child, his birthfamily, his culture, his self, and the difficult behaviors that the child may have. Inability to pay for services shall not make a family ineligible to adopt and waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The adoptive evaluation under CPA R 400.12605 will include but is not limited to exploring the following topics: motivation to adopt, infertility, criminal activity and convictions, emotional stability, compatibility between joint applicants, adjustment of other children, attitudes toward adoption, health, and parenting ideals. An agency must recommend approval for adoption as a result of this assessment in order for a family to be eligible to adopt from this agency. Applicants with a serious criminal history, a child abuse history as a perpetrator, or a current substance use problem shall not be eligible for adoption. This list of excluded backgrounds is not exhaustive.


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Waiting Child Adoption

As of October 1, 2016 we no longer have a waiting child program. However, many children still need homes! If you are just considering adopting a waiting child for the first time, MARE can answer the question, “Where Do I Begin?”

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