Woman and BabyAfter a news story went viral last month – which implies that agencies across the country are in need of baby cuddlers – American Adoptions, and many other agencies, have received calls and inquiries from well-meaning volunteers hoping to cuddle babies. However, the article is incredibly misleading and fails to mention that what the agency is really in need of are interim caregivers, which is a far cry from a simple cuddle sesh.

The original report came from ABC News, which published a feature story on New York adoption agency, Spence-Chapin’s, interim care provider program. This program is much like a foster care program in which a family provides temporary care for an infant until his or her parents determine whether they will parent the child or place him or her for adoption. Care can last anywhere from one to eight weeks and includes: diaper changes, feedings, waking at all hours of the night, bathing, clothing, and, of course, a large dose of cuddling.

Unfortunately, the article that went viral was not the original, but ones that state, “An adoption agency in New York City is looking for volunteers to cuddle newborns…” Herein lies the problem.

Since this story took off people have come to believe that adoption agencies have nurseries where they keep infants – this is not the case. While some agencies still operate nurseries, this is a very rare thing to find these days.

While we love to see enthusiasm from people willing to help care for babies, we really wish we were seeing the same enthusiasm for foster care.

There are more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted. In each state, there is a need for loving families who are willing to provide foster care to these children. Families who can provide love and support until they are returned to their biological families, or they find their forever families.  You could be one of those families!

So, even though we can’t offer you the opportunity to volunteer to cuddle babies for us, we can offer you the opportunity to change a child’s life by becoming a foster parent. If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent visit the Dave Thomas Foundation or Adopt US Kids to learn more about fostering.