As an expectant parent, you may be researching the options for you and your baby. One of those options may be whether you will create an adoption plan for your child. An adoption plan is a plan the expectant parent or parents put together in choosing how and with whom they will place their child for adoption. As an expectant mother, you will be deciding on whether to place your child for adoption or if you have already determined that you will make an adoption plan, you will need to decide what type of adoption agency (or adoption attorney) you would like to utilize to facilitate and finalize the adoption. Expectant parents of faith may want to utilize a faith-based adoption service provider to help complete the adoption. For example, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Catholic, or Greek Orthodox expectant parents may want to use an adoption agency that shares the same faith as them. Roman Catholic families may want to use an adoption agency that has a Roman Catholic mission and a faith-based approach to the adoption process. There are many wonderful reasons for expectant parents to consider Catholic adoption agencies when placing their baby for adoption and here are just a few of those reasons.
1. Catholic Adoption Agencies Share Your Faith
Some of the reasons to consider Catholic adoption agencies when contemplating your adoption plan are often very personal to the expectant parents making the plan. However, some of the reasons to consider Catholic adoption agencies can be universal and important to reflect upon as you start your adoption journey. Catholic adoption agencies are special and unique in that they intimately understand and share the same Roman Catholic faith as the expectant parents. Similarly to the experience of worshiping in your Catholic parish surrounded by parishioners who share the same faith as you, you too can feel that same sense of shared beliefs when using a Catholic adoption agency to help you create and finalize your baby’s adoption plan. Your adoption plan is unique to you and your baby and one reason to consider Catholic adoption agencies when deciding on an adoption agency could be that they understand the uniqueness of your faith, which also may be playing a role in your decision to place your baby for adoption. While other Christian adoption agencies may also be a good choice for you as an expectant parent in your shared belief in Christianity and that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, Catholic adoption agencies tend to share your specific faith and belief in the tenets of the religion that make Catholics different from other Christian denominations.
Catholic adoption agencies though are also not just for Roman Catholic expectant parents and their child. They also serve all individuals, whether they are Catholic, Christian, of another religion, or expectant parents who do not have a faith or do not practice any religion, although maybe they were raised in the Church or another religion. Catholic adoption agencies have a belief that their works serve a higher purpose and a higher power and those values are important to expectant parents whether they share the same religion or beliefs or not.
Catholic adoption agencies are usually non-profit organizations that believe deeply in adoption and its roots in the Bible. They believe that the first adoption starts with Moses when he was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter and continued throughout Scripture through to the birth of Jesus who is considered by many Christians to be adopted by Joseph, his earthly father and husband, and Mary, the Blessed Mother. These beliefs serve as the foundation for their work. The Bible, Catholic Catechism, and religious values of being pro-life and supporting others frame the work of Catholic adoption agencies. These values are often important to many expectant parents, Catholic or not.
2. Catholic Adoption Agencies Have a Long History and Strong Reputation in the United States.
One of the reasons to consider Catholic adoption agencies when creating an adoption plan or just exploring your options as an expectant parent is their long history, strong foundation, and reputation for transparent, ethical adoptions in the United States. The history of Catholic adoption has its roots in the inception of adoption in the United States as it is known today. Its long, rich history adds to the value and for some people, this is one of the reasons many expectant parents consider Catholic adoption agencies for facilitating the adoption of their baby. Catholic adoption goes back to 1898 when the first Catholic Home Bureau was established. The Catholic Home Bureau was the first Catholic organization in American to place children with forever families instead of keeping children in orphanages for their entire childhood or young adult life. In 1910 the National Conference of Catholic Charities was established which led to the first Catholic adoption agencies in the United States under the umbrella of Catholic Charities and their respective chapters which serve the poor, marginalized, and family services like foster care and adoption services. In 1986, the organization changed its name to Catholic Charities USA, and today there are over 165 chapters around the United States and most have adoption agency programs within their chapters.
Catholic adoption agencies are usually well respected in the adoption world. They have been in existence for a long time and uphold the values of transparency and ethical practice in adoption for all members of the adoption triad. Roman Catholic adoption agencies seek to support and provide support services for the expectant mother and expectant parents regardless of whether they go through with completing an adoption plan or not. It is important to remember that no matter what, and no matter which adoption agency you choose, no person and no organization should ever make you feel coerced to place your baby for adoption, no matter how far along you are in the process. You may have chosen adoptive parents for your child, you may have worked with a Roman Catholic adoption agency for months, your baby may already be born – you can change your mind. Good Catholic adoption agencies should support your decision no matter what and usually offer support services to you as both an expectant mother and birth mother. Most Catholic adoption agencies offer services like counseling during the pregnancy and following the adoption for the expectant parents. One of the reasons to consider Catholic adoption agencies is that these support services are often faith-based, or driven by their faith and beliefs, and have counselors, social workers, and/or adoption professionals who share your faith who can be so important as you walk through one of the most integral experiences of your life. They can pray with you during this journey and pray for you and your baby and the future adoptive parents you choose for your baby.
Regardless of whether the adoption agency or adoption attorney you use is Roman Catholic or not, finding an ethical adoption agency with whom you connect and feel good about using is important during this adoption journey. Creating a list of adoption agencies in your area, whether they are a Catholic adoption agency or not, can be a good start. You may want to make a list of what is important to you when using an adoption service provider and then look for adoption agencies in your area. Once you whittle down your list based on what is important to you or your geographical area or both, you may want to come up with a list of questions for interviewing your prospective adoption agencies and Catholic adoption agencies. Once you go through those questions you can have a better idea of what adoption agency you would like to go with, Catholic or not. Also, remember if you consider Catholic adoption agencies or choose another adoption agency to support you in your adoption journey and help finalize your adoption, you can always change your mind and use another adoption agency at any point. That is why it is important to feel good about the adoption agency you choose at the beginning of the process. They should be holding your hand throughout this journey and can become some very important people to you during one of the biggest decisions of your life – it is critical you feel comfortable with them as an agency.
3. Catholic Adoption Agencies Serve All Members of the Adoption Triad
Another reason to consider Catholic adoption agencies may be because, in general, they are well known and often serve thousands of expectant parents and prospective adoptive parents. Their long history referenced above for being ethical, transparent, and in offering many supportive services for all members of the adoption triad through history means that many families use them for their adoption journey.
These adoption agencies in Catholic Charities, as well as other Roman Catholic adoption agencies, exist to serve all of the members of the adoption triad. The adoption triad is made up of the adoptive family, the expectant parents (who eventually, after the birth of the baby, are considered the birth parents or birth mother), and the child who is adopted by the adoptive parents.
As an expectant parent, you may want to view many profiles of adoptive families before making a choice. You may also want to use an adoption agency that is working with many adoptive families and has a reputation for having a strict screening process for who they work with in terms of adoptive parents. Catholic adoption agencies often work with lots of hopeful adoptive parents in making profiles for expectant mothers. Their profiles tend to include information on them as a family, as a couple, and as parents, if they already have children in the home. These adoption profiles will include photos, information on how they met as a couple, their home, their careers, and their hope for adoption. They may include their values and their hopes and dreams as hopeful adoptive parents for the future child they hope to adopt. As an expectant mother, the Catholic adoption agency may have hundreds of these profiles from which to choose to present prospective families to you that meet your criteria for what is important in an adoptive family.
As an expectant mother, you may want to place your child with a family who is Roman Catholic or Christian. Another one of the reasons to consider Catholic adoption agencies is that they can work with many Roman Catholic hopeful adoptive parents. You may be able to view many more profiles of Roman Catholic adoptive parents than if you used a non-faith-based adoption agency. A Catholic adoption agency may also understand your preference as an expectant parent to have your baby Baptized and eventually confirmed or raised in a Catholic church. You may have more information on how active a prospective adoptive family is in their parish if they were raised in the Catholic Church, married in the Catholic church, or what they believe as followers of Christ. All of these preferences tend to be understood well by a Catholic adoption agency. Even as an expectant mother with no faith practice or who is not Catholic, you may want your child raised in a specific faith or the Catholic church and this can be one way to ensure you find families who are active in their congregation and whose personal relationship with Jesus is strong and important to them.
Another reason to consider Catholic adoption agencies is that through this entire journey of adoption, you can talk about your faith with your social worker, with other adoption professionals at the adoption agency, and know they understand the potential faith-based reasons for creating or contemplating an adoption plan. They can offer services that are in line with your faith and preferences for your baby. They may intimately understand the needs of expectant mothers because of their long, rich history in supporting expectant mothers whether they choose to parent their child or choose an adoption plan for their baby. These Catholic adoption agencies will hold your hand throughout the journey, supporting you through all of the emotions you may feel, and decisions you will need to make.