FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Republican governor of Kentucky has appointed a seminary official and former pastor to overhaul the state’s struggling foster care and adoption services program.
Gov. Matt Bevin selected Daniel Dumas, a senior vice president with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and adoptive father of two, to lead the post effective June 19.
“There is no reason a child in Kentucky, who is ready to be adopted, should be without a family,” he said in a statement. “We have to rethink the way we do foster care in this state, and Dan Dumas is just the visionary to help lead that charge.”
“Dan is a servant leader, and his proven track record of excellence in innovation will help us cut through the red tape currently keeping 8,000 of Kentucky’s foster children from their forever families,” Bevin stated.
The governor believes that the state is making it too difficult for families to adopt. He and his wife Glenna spent two years trying to adopt an 11-year-old girl, but were rejected because they already had five children. The Bevins went on to adopt four children from Ethiopia.
“She’s an adult now, and it just crushes me,” he told reporters in March. “There’s nobody who is giving her any real love. There are people who were taking care of her—but nobody was loving her.”
Dumas says that he believes in Bevin’s vision and is determined in the mission to place the solitary in families. (Psalm 68:6)
“I am resolved to make our adoption and foster care system faster, safer, more affordable and more accessible,” he said in a statement. “Governor Bevin and I are committed, along with many other Kentuckians, not to back down until every orphan in Kentucky has a loving home.”
In addition to his desire to overhaul the system, Bevin would like to see churches in the state rise up as the Body of Christ and open their homes to needy children.
“Three hundred and fifty, plus or minus, young people are right now, fully able to, and desirous of being adopted. There’s more than 6,000 churches in Kentucky. There should not be any child in Kentucky able to be adopted, ready to adopted, wanting to be adopted, who does not have a home,” he declared earlier this year at the “Summit to Save Our Children,” becoming visibly grieved.
According to reports, Bevin has also reached out to the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which operates Sunrise Children’s Services. The organization spearheads the “Be the One” campaign to urge every church in its convention to foster at least one child.
Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood agrees that it should be Christians leading the charge.
“This was never the state’s job. This job belonged to the Church,” he said, according to WREG-TV. “We should be very cautious in criticizing the state for its brokenness when we are not doing our job.”
James 1:27 reads, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”