Frequently Asked Questions

Keeping Us All Healthy: While covid is no longer a pandemic, it is still present. We respect the safety and comfort of all community members and thus recommend practices such as social distancing and/or mask wearing when requested by any party involved in the Adopt a Family process.

Applicant Questions

What is Adopt A Family?

Adopt A Family is a holiday giving program designed to help low-income families, seniors and veterans celebrate the holiday season by connecting them with local businesses, organization and individuals who "adopt" them and personally deliver holiday gifts.

Who can apply?

All applicants must have an income of no more than 20% above the federal poverty level.

ADDITIONALLY, Applicants must fit one of the following traits:

  • Families must have at least one child under the age of 16
  • Seniors must be 62 or older
  • Veteran or active military status

How can I apply for the program?

Anyone wishing to apply for the program must fill out an online application. This is the only way to apply for Adopt A Family. There is no paper application.

After you have completed the online application, you will be given an option to upload or mail in the verification documents required to participate in the program. Please send only copies (no originals) of the following documents:

  • A valid driver's license or other form of valid photo identification with your current address. Expired ID will not be accepted. If the address on your ID card does not match your current address, include a copy of the back of the card to show the change of address sticker.
  • Proof of income for the entire household. This includes proof of any earned income as well as proof of any assistance that any family member receives. Acceptable documents include but are not limited to: paystubs from work, DHS statements that detail how much assistance is received, Section 8 voucher with income and children listed. Copies of EBT cards are not accepted.
  • Proof of guardianship for the children. This includes birth certificates, letters of guardianship, or a letter from their school on official letterhead. Copies of social security cards, report cards or medical records will not be accepted.
  • If you are a veteran, acceptable documents for proof of Veteran status are either a DD-214 or valid VA identification card.

Once this information has been received and is verified, your application can be approved and your family will be made available for adoption by a sponsor. Being approved for adoption does not guarantee being adopted.

How will I know if I am adopted?

If you are adopted, your sponsor will contact you by phone or email prior to the program close. It is very important that you provide a working phone number and email address. If a sponsor chooses to adopt your family, they will use that information to contact you. If they cannot get in touch with you, because the phone number or email you provided doesn't work, they will adopt a different applicant. Adopt A Family staff are unable to let you know your adoption status. Please DO NOT call us.

Am I guaranteed to be adopted?

While Adopt A Family will do all it can to match applicants with sponsors, you are not guaranteed to be adopted. Sponsors are also free to change their mind and decide to not go through with the adoption. In these cases, Adopt A Family will work to find another sponsor for your family, but cannot make any guarantees.

What can I expect if I am adopted?

Sponsors are asked to provide their families with one new gift and one new clothing item for children under the age of 16, as well as the means for a holiday meal (such as a gift card to a grocery store or a basket of food items). Additional gifts for the children or other household members is not guaranteed and considered extra.

When can I apply for Adopt A Family?

The website will be open and accepting applications starting September 15th. You will be able to check the status of your application by logging into your profile HERE.

Sponsor Questions

I committed to adopt on the website, what do I do now?

Call your adoptee! They don't know they're adopted until they receive your phone call. This is stressful time for them and your phone call will mean the world. We recommend using this time to ask them about their wish lists, clarify details, and discuss delivery times and expectations.

I committed to adopt, but am no longer able to follow through, what now?

Call, email, contact us! Just let us know. The sooner the better, so we can reopen your adoptee's profile up for adoption.

Can I adopt more than one family, senior, or veteran?

Yes! Adopt as many people as you would like. We do understand that this can be a big job for one person, so please consider donating to the program. We'll use the funding to spread the love even further by combining it with other donations. If there are specific applicants you'd like us to adopt with the funding you provide, just let us know, and we'll be sure to include them in our adoptions.

Do applicants get adopted by more than one sponsor?

No. Once a sponsor commits to an applicant, they are removed from the available applicants list with Volunteers of America Michigan.

Can I give gently used items?

Sponsors must provide at minimum one new gift and one new clothing item per child under 16, and the means to a holiday meal. Outside of this obligation you are welcome to offer your adoptee gently used items, however, please do not wrap these items up as gifts. They should be included and clearly identified as extra items you thought they might want or be able to use. The hope for this program is to provide gifts that the applicant could not otherwise obtain for themselves.

When should I deliver the gifts by?

Please deliver your gifts by 12/21 and call your adoptee immediately. They are waiting for your phone call to let them know if they are adopted or not. Note: If the deliver by date has passed or is empty, there are no open campaigns currently. Please check back or call us for more information.

Should I wrap the presents?

Wrapping or not wrapping is up to the sponsor. For adults (seniors, veterans or if you decide to give gifts to the parents), we recommend you provide wrapped gifts. For children, we recommend you provide wrapping paper and supplies to accompany unwrapped gifts for the children. This way parents can have some ownership and awareness of the gifts they are giving their children.

How much am I supposed to provide?

Sponsors are asked to provide at minimum one new gift and one new clothing item per child under 16, and the means to a holiday meal.

For seniors or veterans, please provide a gift item and a means to a holiday meal.

I'm having problems reaching my adoptee.

Applicants for our programs often have difficulty maintaining a single phone number and have limited access to internet for email access. Please be patient with them as the explanation might be as simple as they only go to the library once a week to check email or they're currently out of minutes on their phone. Additionally, please let us know about the difficulty using the "contact us" feature. We will look in their application for any additional phone numbers they may have provided and try to reach them on your behalf.

The applicants in my "considering" list keep disappearing.

That means the applicants you're "considering" have been adopted. The considering option lets you flag applicants that you like, but it does not take them off the available list. If another sponsor is interested, they can still adopt the applicant, which will remove them from your list.

Can I adopt with my company, church group, family, or other group?

Absolutely, when signing up simply use the company/group information section. If you are the first one signing up for your group, select "yes-new" and provide your group name. You will then be given a group link and ID number that you can share with your members.

Delivery Options

Adopt a Family sponsors can personally deliver gifts to their adoptees or, if preferred, gifts can be mailed directly to the family, veteran or senior. Please discuss delivery methods with your adoptees. If you are shipping the gifts directly to them, please make sure to share the tracking information so they are around to receive the package. If delivering gifts in person, please discuss with your adoptee whether masks, distancing or porch drop-off is preferred.