During 20-plus years in ministry, Jeff Slack (’98, M.A. ’02) came to believe that something important was missing from many youth groups: a strong curriculum to educate students about adoption as an option for unwanted pregnancy.

Hoping to fill that void, Slack in October 2010 released Adopt: The Option, a two-week curriculum for youth groups that outlines the need and biblical basis for adoption. Also included on the DVD kit are resources such as a student guide, posters, videos and games.

“It just clicked that there’s nobody sharing with students a positive understanding of adoption from a biblical perspective,” Slack said.

Although it is just over a year old, the curriculum is already making a difference. In October, it was chosen by Congressman Gary Miller (R-Calif.) to receive an Angels in Adoption award, an annual honor from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute that recognizes efforts to spread adoption awareness.

Adopt: The Option discusses the pros and cons of all three options for pregnant women, which are adoption, abortion and keeping the child. The DVD also explains the characteristics of open and closed adoptions.

The curriculum’s goal is to create advocates for adoption among youth group students. At the end of the program, students are provided with a wallet card to give to a pregnant friend in need. The card contains the phone number of a licensed Christian social worker who can direct young women interested in adoption to one of the video’s partnering adoption agencies.

Slack, who runs a ministry called Connect the Family, invited numerous other adoption agencies to serve as partners for the curriculum, including Generations Adoption and Nightlight Christian Adoption, where Slack serves as a board member.

One of his goals is to partner with an adoption agency in every state. Adopt: The Option currently has partners in California, Colorado, South Carolina and Texas.

“Rather than them calling Planned Parenthood to try to get answers, we’re encouraging them to call our number, and then from there we connect them to one of our partners if they’re interested in hearing more about adoption,” Slack said.

Over 1,000 youth group students have participated in the curriculum so far, Slack said. After they complete the program, the students sign commitment cards, which the youth pastors mail back to Slack so he can track the program’s progress.

“We hope to change the tide of adoption awareness,” he said. “We had hoped we would see 25,000 commitment cards signed in the first year. We’ll probably see that sometime next year, and that’s our initial goal. And then we’ll see where God takes it from there.”

For more information or to purchase the curriculum, visit www.adopttheoption.com.