PORTALES (BNM) - New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home and Families Ministries has hired Carolyn Tollett as its adoption director. Her hiring moves the home closer to implementing a direct adoption process.
Speaking with the Baptist New Mexican, NMBCH President Randy Rankin said that implementing an adoption ministry has been a dream of the organization for three years. The new ministry was a factor in adding “Family Ministries” to the organization’s official name.
“We realized that doing family ministries did not just involve taking care of kids who are on our campus,” Rankin explained. “At the same time [that] we developed our Christian Women Job Corps and Christian Men’s Job Corp programs, we decided we would go into the adoption program.”
Tollet is a former children’s home employee. She is completing a Ph.D. and works as a social work instructor and field director for New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas. Rankin says that she will work out of the NMBCH’s Hope Center in downtown Portales. According to Rankin, Tollet is a licensed adoption worker and licensed to conduct home studies for prospective adoptive parents.
While NMBCH is not ruling out the adoption of infants, Rankin emphasized the need for older child and teenage adoptions. “We’re encouraging families who want to adopt to look at some of the older children who are out there for adoption, that’s going to be our main focus,” he said. “We’re not going to rule out infants ... but there are so many children eligible for adoption just in New Mexico alone - close to 2,800. ... We feel like they need forever homes, too.”
Currently, NMBCH’s Portales campus can house 32 residents - some of which are adoptable, according to Rankin. Rankin said they are at half capacity. Upon the completion of the organization’s Estancia and Alamogordo campuses, NMBCH will be able to house 12 residents at each new location.
The organization does not receive any Cooperative Program funds for its operations. And, for religious reasons, the children’s home also refuses government funds. Churches, donors and investments fund its ministries. The Mission New Mexico State Mission Offering has allocated a portion of its proceeds to launch the home’s adoption ministry. Rankin said, “The convention has been very good in the last three years in supporting us through Mission New Mexico funds.”
For more information on NMBCH, visit www.nmbch.com.