If you’re looking for a meaningful volunteer gig — better than snuggling goats or puppies — look no further. Did you know adoption agencies are constantly seeking volunteers to hang out with brand new babies, whose birth moms are swaying back and forth on whether or not to put them up for adoption?
The gut-wrenching decision doesn’t always happen when the baby is in utero or right after mom gives birth. Then what?
A day in the life of an interim caregiver, whose role usually lasts two to four weeks, is as sweet as you might imagine, according to Singer: “I hold them all the time. I talk to them. I sing to them. We play music. And I get so much joy and pleasure. I feel so good when I’m with an infant that I hope that it does … something for them too.” (Sign me up.)
You read that right. Sweet, innocent babies need your warm arms and soothing voice. The main goal is to make sure the newborns get off to a loving head start.
Before you can buddy up with a baby, there’s — of course — background checks and home visits. Once an interim caregiver is cleared, transportation, diapers, formula, car seats, pediatrician visits, and anything else the baby might need is financially covered.
Also, if you don’t think you can emotionally handle hosting the baby in your home, adoption agencies are always looking for cleared volunteers to visit their nurseries on site to simply rock and hold the babies.
The President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, Adam Pertman, said all agencies over the years have certainly needed volunteers. “The need has grown. Volunteers have become more and more essential,” said Pertman.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 159,000 American children were both adopted and waiting to be adopted in 2014 — that’s a lot of love to go around.
Contact The Cradle if you’d like to learn more about becoming an interim caregiver.More On