Editorial

Dumas great choice to repair state’s adoption, foster care system

Posted

Pure genius.

That’s perhaps the best way to describe Gov. Matt Bevin’s move to draft one of Al Mohler’s top lieutenants to lead the overhaul of Kentucky’s broken adoption and foster care system.

Mohler is the brilliant theologian and savvy administrator who has propelled The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to greatness with the largest masters of divinity enrollment in the history of Christianity. He did that by recruiting people who equaled his own intellect and work ethic.

So, when Bevin began looking around for the person who could fix a system that has been failing abused, neglected and abandoned children for generations, it surprised no one in Southern Baptist circles that Dan Dumas would be at the top of a short list.

Dumas loves a challenge and he has a heart for hurting children, and those two personal traits drew him out of a rewarding job as a senior vice president and professor at Southern Seminary into a hot seat of a job in state government.

Dumas said he is “resolved to make our adoption and foster care system faster, safer, more affordable, and more accessible” and that he, along with Bevin, is committed “to not back down until every orphan in Kentucky has a loving home.” Worthy of note is that Dumas and his wife Jane have two adopted sons of their own, Aidan and Elijah.

It will be Dumas’ job to rethink the way Kentucky does foster care and adoption. The governor said Dumas is just the visionary to revamp the system and cut through the red tape currently keeping far too many of Kentucky’s 8,000 foster children from being adopted into forever families.

As soon as the announcement was made that Dumas had been selected for this strategic role, critics came out of the woodwork. They especially jumped all over his $240,000-a-year contract. The fact is, it’s difficult to convince good men like Dumas to leave positions in the private sector for the fishbowl of public service to face an endless of barrage of unwarranted disparagements. When great men like Dumas do step up, they should be well compensated.

Dumas got only a small taste of what’s to come on the day Bevin announced his appointment. Liberals began complaining in chorus about their preposterous concerns that Dumas will prevent gay and lesbian couples from adopting. Others actually suggested that this man who has twice adopted and boasts a resume of Navy service, published books, and overseeing multi-million dollar budgets is unqualified and that he is overpaid.

Don’t worry. Dumas will not be deterred.

Paul Chitwood, executive director of the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention, said Dumas “is uniquely qualified” to repair “the broken adoption and foster care system.”

Mohler described Dumas as “a great leader” with a “tremendous heart.”

Kentucky will be well-served by Dumas. This was a real coup by Bevin to get Dumas to leave a job he loves to accept this challenge.

Make no mistake, Kentucky’s most vulnerable children will be well-served by this good man.

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