Orlando based Christ for all Nations will reimburse employees seeking to adopt a child

Matthew 18:14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Important Takeaways:

  • Christ for All Nations Offering Employees $5,000 Towards Cost of Adoption
  • In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Orlando-based Christ for All Nations (CfaN) announced that it will reimburse employees for adoption expenses up to $5,000.
  • CfaN says that includes reimbursement adoption application fees, relevant home studies, agency and placement fees, legal fees and court costs, immigration, immunization, and translation fees, transportation, meals, and lodging, as well as parent, child, and family adoption counseling.
  • CBN News previously reported that Buffer Insurance in Southlake, TX wants to alleviate some of the financial burdens for its employees by supporting them with adoption expenses and medical costs associated with giving birth.

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Texas governor approves adoption bill that critics contend discriminates

FILE PHOTO: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, U.S., June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas governor signed a law on Thursday to protect the religious rights of faith-based groups in state child welfare programs, but critics said it could be used to discriminate against LGBT and non-Christian families in adoptions.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3859 which allows faith-based groups working with the Texas child welfare system to deny services “under circumstances that conflict with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” It was supported by several Christian groups.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative James Frank, said on social media,”HB 3859 bans no one” and has a mechanism for the state to offer alternative providers to anyone denied the right to be adoptive or foster parents because of the provider’s religious beliefs.

He said the legislation would help troubled children find homes.

Abbott’s office was not immediately available for comment.

Democrats and civil rights groups said the bill could allow private, faith-based agencies to block parents who practice a different religion or who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

LGBT rights groups have said they would challenge the adoption bill in court, arguing discrimination in the name of religion had no place in the state.

“This law’s clear intent is to allow service providers that receive state tax dollars to misuse religion as a license to discriminate against LGBT families and children in the state’s child-welfare system,” said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, a civil rights group.

Texas next month holds a special 30-day session of the Republican-controlled legislature with one item on the agenda, a bill that would limit access to public bathrooms for transgender people. Critics contend the legislation would promote discrimination.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Some poor Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis

Emmanuel Cuauro, 4, plays with a ball next to his parents Zulay Pulgar (R), 43, and Maikel Cuauro, 30, in their house in Punto Fijo, Venezuela

By Girish Gupta and Mircely Guanipa

PUNTO FIJO, Venezuela (Reuters) – Struggling to feed herself and her seven children, Venezuelan mother Zulay Pulgar asked a neighbor in October to take over care of her six-year-old daughter, a victim of a pummeling economic crisis.

The family lives on Pulgar’s father’s pension, worth $6 a month at the black market rate, in a country where prices for many basic goods are surpassing those in the United States.

“It’s better that she has another family than go into prostitution, drugs or die of hunger,” the 43-year-old unemployed mother said, sitting outside her dilapidated home with her five-year-old son, father and unemployed husband.

With average wages less than the equivalent of $50 a month at black market rates, three local councils and four national welfare groups all confirmed an increase in parents handing children over to the state, charities or friends and family.

The government does not release data on the number of parents giving away their children and welfare groups struggle to compile statistics given the ad hoc manner in which parents give away children and local councils collate figures.

Still, the trend highlights Venezuela’s fraying social fabric and the heavy toll that a deep recession and soaring inflation are taking on the country with the world’s largest oil reserves.

Showing photos of her family looking plumper just a year ago, Pulgar said just one chicken meal would now burn up half its monthly income. Breakfast is often just bread and coffee, with rice alone for both lunch and dinner.

Nancy Garcia, the 54-year-old neighbor who took in the girl, Pulgar’s second-youngest child, works in a grocery store and has five children of her own. She said she could not bear to see Pulgar’s child going without food.

“My husband, my children and I teach her to behave, how to study, to dress, to talk… She now calls me ‘mom’ and my husband ‘dad,'” said Garcia.


Every day at the social services center in Carirubana, which oversees Pulgar’s case, more than a dozen parents plead for help taking care of their children in this isolated, arid corner of Venezuela with a shaky water supply and little food.

Last year, the rate was around one parent a day.

“The principal motive now is lack of food,” said Maria Salas, director of the small and understaffed center, echoing colleagues at two other welfare groups interviewed by Reuters elsewhere in the country.

Salas added that her organization – the Council of Protection for Children and Adolescents – lacked the resources to deal with the situation and had asked authorities for help, even just a dining room, but had no luck.

Not far from Salas’ office, long supermarket lines under a hot sun help explain why parents are finding life so tough, a scene repeated across the country of 30 million people.

Venezuelans suffer shortages of the most basic goods, from food to medicine. Millions are going hungry amid triple-digit inflation and a nearly 80 percent currency collapse in the last year.

The government blames the United States and Venezuela’s opposition, yet most economists pin the responsibility on socialist policies introduced by former president Hugo Chavez, which his successor Nicolas Maduro has doubled down on even as oil prices – the economy’s lifeblood – plunged.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

The Caracas municipality of Sucre, which encompasses Petare, one of the region’s largest and poorest slums, has seen an “exponential” increase in parents needing help, say officials.

“The parents come in crying,” said Sucre welfare director Angeyeimar Gil.

“It’s very dramatic to see parents’ pain when saying they can no longer look after their child,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of cases of malnutrition and children that come to hospital with scabies.”

Two-thirds of 1,099 households with children in Caracas, ranging across social classes, said they were not eating enough in a survey released last week by children’s’ rights group Cecodap.


In some cases, parents are simply abandoning their kids.

Last month, a baby boy was found inside a bag in a relatively wealthy area of Caracas and a malnourished one-year-old boy was found abandoned in a cardboard box in the eastern city of Ciudad Guayana, local media reported.

Gil said that she had helped find places in orphanages for two newborns recently abandoned by their mothers in hospitals after birth.

There are also more cases of children begging or prostituting themselves, according to welfare workers.

Abortion is illegal in Venezuela and contraception, including condoms, is extremely hard to find.

Back in Carirubana, Pulgar was relieved that her child was being looked after properly by her neighbor.

“My girl has totally changed,” she said as another son clambered over her, adding that even her manner of speaking had improved.

She said she would love to take the child back one day but does not see her situation improving.

“This is written in the Bible. We’re living the end times.”

(Additional reporting by Liamar Ramos and Andreina Aponte in Caracas and Leonardo Gonzalez in Punto Fijo.; Editing by Alexandra Ulmer, Christian Plumb and Kieran Murray)

Baby traffickers thriving in Nigeria as recession bites

baby grasps hand

By Anamesere Igboeroteonwu and Tom Esslemont

ENUGU, Nigeria/LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As 16-year-old Maria strained under the anguish of labor in southeastern Nigeria, a midwife repeatedly slapped her across the face – but the real ordeal began minutes after birth.

“The nurse took my child away to be washed. She never brought her back,” the teenager said, gazing down at her feet.

Maria said she learned her newborn daughter had been given up for adoption for which she received 20,000 naira ($65.79) – the same price as a 50 kilogram bag of rice.

And Maria is far from alone.

A Thomson Reuters Foundation investigative team spoke to more than 10 Nigerian women duped into giving up their newborns to strangers in houses known as “baby factories” in the past two years or offered babies whose origins were unknown.

Five women did not want to be interviewed, despite the guarantee of anonymity, fearing for their own safety with criminal gangs involved in the baby trade, while two men spoke of being paid to act as “studs” to get women pregnant.

Although statistics are hard to come by, campaigners say the sale of newborns is widespread – and they fear the illegal trade is becoming more prevalent with Nigeria heading into recession this year amid ongoing political turbulence.

“The government is too overstretched by other issues to focus on baby trafficking,” said Arinze Orakwue, head of public enlightenment at the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Record numbers of baby factories were raided or closed down in the southeastern states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo this year, NAPTIP said.

A total of 14 were discovered in the first nine months of 2016, up from six in 2015 and 10 in 2014, the data showed.

But despite the growing number of raids, the scam exploiting couples desperate for a baby and young, pregnant, single women continues with newborns sold for up to $5,000 in Africa’s most populous nation where most people live on less than $2 a day.

Cultural barriers are also a factor in the West African nation, with teenage girls fearing they will be publicly shamed by strict fathers or partners over unwanted pregnancies if they do not give up their children, experts say.

“In southeastern Nigeria a woman is deemed a failure if she fails to conceive. But it is also taboo for a teenager to fall pregnant out of wedlock,” said Orakwue.

Maria said in the home in Imo state where she gave birth pregnant teenagers were welcomed by a maternal nurse who liked to be called “mama” but went on to sell the babies they delivered.

“(After I gave birth) somebody told me that mama collected big money from people before giving them other people’s babies,” Maria told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the grounds of a school compound in her village.

“I do not know where my baby is now,” said Maria, using a false name for her own protection.

A lot of the trade is carried out in Nigeria but authorities suspect babies are also sold to people from Europe and the United States because many foreigners continue to seek infants there despite the controversy around Nigerian adoptions.


The U.S. Department of State alerted prospective adoptive parents to the issue of child buying from Nigeria in June 2014 after Nigerian media warned that people were posing as owners of orphanages or homes for unwed mothers to make money.

“The State Department is aware of a growing number of adoption scams,” an alert on its website read.

Over 1,600 children have been adopted from Nigeria by U.S. citizens since 1999, according to the State Department website, about a third of them aged between one and two years old.

A U.S. official said the State Department facilitates contact between foreign officials and U.S. authorities when foreign governments raise any concerns regarding the welfare of an adopted child.

“To date, we are not aware of any concerns regarding the welfare of a child adopted from Nigeria,” a State Department official told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a statement.

In Britain a couple was found by the High Court to have “fallen under the spell” of an elaborate fraud after paying 4,500 pounds ($5,600) for herbal treatment in Nigeria that caused the woman’s stomach to swell, media reported in 2014.

The couple only realized they had been duped nine months later when presented with a baby in Nigeria that actually was not theirs, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.

Babies, whose biological parents or backgrounds are unknown, are offered to women who have not been able to conceive naturally, according to NAPTIP and interviews with three women.

The British government said it was committed to stamping out what it calls the “miracle babies” phenomenon.

“Specially-trained teams are working at the UK border to identify and safeguard babies and children who may be at risk of trafficking,” said a spokesman for the Home Office (UK interior ministry) in a statement.

Denmark suspended adoptions from Nigeria in 2014 citing concerns over forgery, corruption and lack of control by the authorities.

Apart from the illicit trade in babies, Nigeria also faces the problem of domestic and international trafficking in women and children.

Human trafficking, including selling children, is illegal in Nigeria, but almost 10 years ago a UNESCO report identified the industry as the country’s third most common crime after financial fraud and drug trafficking – and the situation appears to be getting worse, according to campaigners.

The Nigerian government has not ratified an internationally recognized set of rules known as the Hague Adoption Convention which meant the laws governing adoptions remain murky and complicated, campaigners said.

“There is corruption in the adoption process and that is the individual (Nigerian) states’ responsibility,” said NAPTIP’s Orakwue in a phone interview

“But central government should step up its funding to NAPTIP so we can increase support to victims,” Orakwue said.


Sophie, who was not able to conceive, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation she started to develop the symptoms of pregnancy after visiting a herbalist in Enugu state in 2014.

However the traditional doctor told Sophie her swollen stomach contained gas resulting from the herbal treatment rather than a fetus – but she could arrange to buy a baby.

“(The herbalist) said that she would bring me a newborn baby, girl or boy, depending on which one I wanted,” she said in the grimy sitting room of her apartment in southeastern Nigeria.

The woman said a girl would cost 380,000 naira ($1,250) while a boy would cost 500,000 naira ($1,645), said Sophie who opted for a girl.

But a sense of obligation to the woman who brought her a child prevented her from reporting the crime, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“I considered everything and thought to myself ‘why should I report (the herbalist) to the police?’ She had helped me,” she said.

NAPTIP does not have data on the number of domestic adoptions that have taken place, a figure it says is not held by central government.

“In the southeastern states, the sale of babies is unarguably very prevalent as recorded by the agency,” said Cordelia Ebiringa, NAPTIP’s commander in Enugu state.


Men are also involved in the process of illicit baby trafficking, with sperm donors impregnating surrogate mothers who then sell their babies, according to two Nigerian men.

Surrogacy is illegal in Nigeria.

Jonathan, 33, said he was paid 25,000 naira ($82) by his boss or “madam” every time he helped a client to become pregnant.

“I don’t see it as somebody exploiting me. The madams pay me for my work,” said Jonathan, who withheld his full name.

Jonathan said he did not know whether the women gave their babies away or went on to sell them although he was concerned what he was doing could be illegal.

“I often think ‘what if the police catch me?'”

Nigeria’s anti-human trafficking agency said it did not have data or information on the role of sperm donors, but many women they spoke to did not want to reveal how they fell pregnant.

“NAPTIP has no records of studs that impregnate the women at the baby factories as most of the pregnant women rescued and interviewed in such cases claimed unplanned pregnancies,” said Ebiringa.

Little information was made available by the Nigerian police or authorities in southeastern states about the number or identity of the people who run the “baby factories”.

No data was provided on the number of arrests by police in southern states of Enugu and Abia on baby trafficking offences despite repeated requests by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

But the dangers involved, both from the law and from trafficking gangs, are palpable, according to Jonathan, who estimates he has fathered about 15 children as a “stud”.

“These (baby traffickers) can be dangerous,” said Jonathan, who was once threatened by a group of thugs who found out what he was doing. “They are ready to kill anybody if you stand in their way.”

($1 = 304.00 naira)($1 = 0.8042 pounds)

(Reporting By Tom Esslemont and Anamesere Igboeroteonwu, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

Woman Adopts Dying Friend’s Four Daughters

When single mother Elizabeth Diamond died in April less than a year after being diagnosed with stage 5 brain cancer, she left this life with one less worry thanks for her friend Laura Ruffino.

Ruffino, who had been friends with Diamond since they were in grade school, adopted Diamond’s four daughters to make sure they had a loving, stable, caring home after their mother’s death.

“She said if anything ever happens to me I want you to take my girls and I instantly said ok,” said Ruffino.

“I would always want someone to do that for me. Her kids and I were so close anyway, because she was my best friend. I wanted to give her peace,” Ruffino added to ABC. “I can’t even imagine what she had to be going through.”

The family has not been forced to accommodate four new family members alone.  The community of Orchard Park, New York and surrounding towns have stepped up to provide the family with money and supplies they otherwise could not afford.

For example, someone donated a large refrigerator so that they could store enough food for the now family of 8.

“I’m in awe of the love and generosity we’re getting,” Ruffino told the New York Daily News. “I feel like Liz has her hand in all this and as a family we’re just getting stronger.”

Diamond’s family has been supportive of the adoption by the Ruffino family.

“I think it’s remarkably generous for Laura and her husband to do that,” Patricia Kaminski, Diamond’s aunt, told ABC. “I know Elizabeth’s family is very happy with that family. The rest of the family believe it’s an excellent outcome for the children.”

Arizona Church Says “Don’t Abort, We’ll Adopt”

A Phoenix area church is telling women in their area who are facing an unplanned pregnancy that they will adopt their children in an attempt to stop them from killing their child via abortion.

Members of St. Stephen’s Parish say they hope the billboard will reach women who are considering abortion to make another choice.

“We’re just there to help, you know, if we can help save babies and you know, help these mothers and fathers. That’s what our goal is, you know, not to be judgmental. That’s not what this is about,” said Anne DeRose, the parish’s Respect Life Coordinator.

DeRose says the church has families that are ready to adopt but that the church will also partner with Catholic charities to find homes for every woman that is looking for adoption over abortion.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported over 13,000 abortions in the state last year.

Planned Parenthood Aborts 327,653 Babies In 2013

Planned Parenthood reported a near record-breaking profit of $127.1 million dollars in 2013 as they performed over 327,000 abortions.

The total of 327,653 was an increase of 500 abortions from the previous year despite the rest of the abortion industry seeing an overall decline in the number of infant deaths.

The profit for the group includes over $528 million dollars in taxpayer money that funds of the abortion-celebrating group.

“The big picture is that abortion numbers are sinking to record new lows and that is because of the abortion clinic closures,” Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue told The Christian Post. “Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood has an artificial money stream that comes into their organization from the United States government to the tune of about a half a billion dollars a year.”

“They say that the money doesn’t go to abortions. It goes to other services,” Sullenger explained. “But frankly, it goes into a general fund, and the money gets spent for whatever they need it to be spent for. I think it is disingenuous to say that they have segregated the federal tax dollars.”

The report celebrating Planned Parenthood’s abortions showed that 94 percent of the group’s pregnancy services in 2013 were abortions.  The totals show 174 abortions for every adoption referral.

The total number of adoption referrals by the group fell 14 percent.

Polls show that 70 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer money funding Planned Parenthood.

Two Foster Children Receive “Christmas Miracle”

Two young foster children in Tennessee were granted a “Christmas miracle” when a prayer sent into the sky this summer was answered.

Eva, 6, and Jasmine, 8, were taking part in Vacation Bible School at the church they attended in east Tennessee. The children were told to put a prayer request inside a balloon that would be inflated with helium and released into the air.

So the girls wrote a note asking God to allow them to be adopted by the foster parents who had been caring for them during the last two months. The balloon was released with 30 others.

None of the balloons were ever heard from again…except for Eva and Jasmine’s.

The balloon made its way to a trailer park in McHenry, Maryland. The people who found the balloon mailed it back to the girl’s foster parents, Lynn and Dennis.

Lynn told WBIR-TV and the Christian Post the balloon being found was a message from God that she and her husband should adopt the girls. They had been praying for God’s direction and felt the balloon was confirmation they were to follow their hearts.

On Tuesday, a judge legally made the girls the daughters of Lynn and Dennis.

I Care!

Most of you know about the times of my life, nearly 25 years ago now, when there was great destruction and ruin that surrounded the ministry of PTL.  Anyone with access to a newspaper or television back then, saw the devastation of Heritage USA and witnessed the carnage of all that was built there… or so it seemed.

Though the world saw only devastation and ruin, there is much more to the ‘end of the story’.

At Heritage USA, the partners who gave faithfully made it possible to build a home for unwed mothers. There were many young women and girls who came there to live while their babies were growing and developing safely in their wombs. The girls were cared for with all their needs met in that safe place until the time they delivered their babies.

Through the home for unwed mothers at Heritage USA, these babies were given the gift of life instead of issued the sentence of death in an abortion clinic. I still hear quite often about someone who was born there at the home and what they are doing today. These now adult young people and sometimes their birth mothers, often express their gratitude for the provision they received which allowed them to make the right decisions. There are people who live today because we did what we could back then, and those who made that possible will receive a reward in heaven – the Bible tells us so!

Today, in this day of  unrestrained abortion of epidemic proportion, we have an even more pronounced opportunity to help young mothers make the right decisions about giving the gift of life to their unborn babies. So many babies have been murdered in the womb by this lawless generation, and it’s time now for the Church to stand up and do all that we can to help give life.

We have received the commission in a prophetic word by Cindy Jacobs to build “Lori’s House” and we are going to do it with your help! “Lori’s House” will be a safe place for girls and young women to come and have all their needs met while the little child within them grows strong enough to one day take its first breath. That life may go on to use that breath to glorify God and declare His love to a lost and dying world!

Today, we are filming several shows and partnering with Philip Cameron in the ministry of saving young girls and boys from a life of certain death in the sex trafficking trade. We are helping them to build “Stella’s House” in Moldova. Do you think Jesus is interested in this? Do you think Jesus cares if we give shelter, clothing, food and most of all love to these young girls and boys? Do you think Jesus cares?  You know He does and I care too!

In addition to helping Philip save lives in Moldova, we are going to build “Lori’s House” right here in Peaceful Valley at Morningside. We need your help. Just as those who helped Heritage USA’s home for unwed mothers are seeing the fruits of their labors in living beings who are precious to God, you can now sow into the lives of those yet to be born, those whom God has designed to be here on this earth in the Last Days.

When you help to give the gift of life, you will receive rewards in heaven. I didn’t say that, Jesus did! In Matthew 24, Jesus is talking to his disciples and giving them detailed information about the physical signs of the Last Days. The disciples continued to question him about the end of the age, and Jesus then expanded their understanding by telling them who will be chosen to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Here is what he said in Matthew 25:31-46

“The Son of Man will come again in his great glory, with all his angels. He will be King and sit on his great throne. All the nations of the world will be gathered before him, and he will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. The Son of Man will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, my Father has given you his blessing. Receive the kingdom God has prepared for you since the world was made. I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then the good people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’

“Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.’
“Then the King will say to those on his left, ‘Go away from me. You will be punished. Go into the fire that burns forever that was prepared for the devil and his angels. I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you did not invite me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me nothing to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

“Then those people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or alone and away from home or without clothes or sick or in prison? When did we see these things and not help you?’

“Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you refused to do for even the least of my people here, you refused to do for me.’ “These people will go off to be punished forever, but the good people will go to live forever.Love,