Volunteer cuddlers needed to cover newborns in orphanages with love
An adoption agency in the U.S. is in need of volunteer cuddlers to serve as interim caregivers of babies put up for adoption
The difficult decision of putting a kid up for adoption doesn't always happen instantly. Some moms, for up to weeks after their kid is born, are still unsure whether or not to officially place their kid in an adoption agency.
During this time, interim caregivers are needed to make these babies feel safe and loved.
“My job is to make the baby feel safe and loved 24/7,” Susan Singer, an interim caregiver, told ABC News.
Adoption agencies in the U.S. are constantly looking for volunteers to blanket babies put up for adoption in love via warm hugs.
These babies, who are awaiting adoption, are in need of interim caregivers to make them feel loved an nurtured. But volunteers are not required to provide medical care.
One of these agencies, The Cradle, has specific requirements for those wanting to become volunteer cuddlers.
What does an interim caregiver do?
The interim caregiver does more than enveloping newborns in hugs; volunteers will be tasked with feedings, soothing, and playing with the babies.
“I hold them all the time. I talk to them. I sing to them. We play music. And I get so much joy and pleasure," shares Susan. "I feel so good when I’m with an infant that I hope that it does … something for them too.”
The main goal of the interim caregiver is ensuring that these babies get as much love and attention as possible during the first few weeks of their lives.
About 159,000 American children were both adopted and waiting to be adopted in 2014, reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
How does one become a Cuddler?
Before you get down to cuddling and showering a newborn with love, certain background checks and home visits are done by the adoption agency. Once cleared, the agency will allocate a budget for all expenses needed for those who are deemed qualified to give these babies a temporary home.
But volunteer cuddlers who simply want to go to the agencies to lovingly hold the babies are also needed. These cuddlers can choose which days they can fulfill 2-hour regular shifts twice per month. Schedules are available seven days a week. The greatest demand is for evening and weekend cuddlers.
Each adoption agency varies in their criteria for qualified volunteer cuddlers.
- In-person interview
- Must be 18 years old and above
- Physical exam and TB test every two years
- Background Check clearance
- 3 character references (not family members)
- Mandatory Reporter compliance
- Confidentiality Statement compliance
- Influenza vaccination annually
- Tdap current vaccinations (Tetnus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis)
- Other vaccinations or screenings as may be required
- Ability to independently walk down three flights of stairs quickly in an emergency
- Ability to independently lean down into a crib, rock and feed baby, and return baby to crib
- Ability to sit and stand from a large rocking chair
- Participation in training seminar, as required
Volunteer cradle cuddlers aren't exactly the norm around the world just yet but it is an interesting and admirable cause to explore. After all, hugs are universal.
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