For those who are facing unplanned pregnancies, the journey is hard.
We want you to know we are here for you, to walk gently and compassionately with you. We want to answer your questions, spend time getting to know you, and help you make the best decisions for the circumstances you find yourself in. Adoption can be a beautiful outcome.
Catholic Charities provides a professional, compassionate birthparent coordinator to walk alongside you during your pregnancy and beyond.
"Catholic Charities brought me peace and clarity in my time of need."
“Catholic Charities brought me peace and clarity in my time of need. To anyone considering adoption take that first step and reach out there is no pressure only love and resources for you. Thank you Catholic Charities for providing my sweet Benjamin with a forever home! “
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the first steps?
The first step is to contact a birthparent coordinator. It does not matter whether you just found out you are pregnant or if you are at the end of your pregnancy. You can receive preliminary information over the phone (913-908-0829) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org), then you will schedule an in-person appointment with an adoption social worker. She will listen to your story, educate you on the adoption process, answer your questions and can lead you through exercises to help you determine if making an adoption plan is what is best for you and your baby. If you decide to parent your child, she can provide you with parenting support. You will not be pressured into making any decisions as this is an important life choice.
Will I need an attorney? Will I have to go to court?
If you decide to make an adoption plan, Catholic Charities will hire and pay for your adoption attorney. S/he will inform you of the legal process and represent your best interests. The overwhelming majority of our birthmoms do attend one brief court hearing, compared to only a handful of birthfathers that attend. If you do not want to appear in court, you can speak with your attorney about that decision.
Is financial assistance available?
In many cases, Catholic Charities is able to help with other expenses you may incur such as maternity clothes, transportation assistance, food, rent/utility assistance, etc. The agency will also pay for professional counseling for you. Each client is unique as are their needs and the availability of our funds. Each request is considered on a case by case basis.
Can I choose the adoptive family?
Absolutely! After you have thoroughly shared your wishes and desires for your child and decided on what level of communication you want to receive in the future, you will be given letters and profile books from prospective families to review either with your social worker and/or on your own. We will only show you families who match what you are looking for in a family. You also have the option of meeting the family you select either during your pregnancy or after the baby is born—whatever your preference is. It is also okay if you do not want to physically meet the family.
How are adoptive families screened?
Before a family can adopt, they must complete a home study, which is a thorough and invasive process that lasts about three to four months. It includes a full FBI background check and an in-depth evaluation of their finances, marital stability, lifestyle, personalities, physical and mental health, medical history, background, education, reasons for adopting, and much more. All families who successfully complete this process are prepared to be parents in every way and will provide a safe, stable, and loving home for your baby.
What happens at the hospital?
You will decide on your own birthing plan. Your birthparent coordinator can help walk you through your various options. You choose when you want the adoptive family to come to the hospital; some birthmoms want the couple there as soon as the baby is born while other birthparents want some time with the baby privately before introducing the baby to the adoptive family. It’s your call!
The adoptive family will need time to bond with the baby while s/he is in the hospital, because the baby will leave the hospital with the adoptive family in majority of cases.
I’m in labor — can I still choose adoption?
Yes. You can choose adoption at any point after your baby is born. Any of our waiting families would be thrilled to welcome your baby into their home. You can notify your nurse that you are interested in making an adoption plan or you can call us directly at 913-908-0829. A birthparent coordinator will come to the hospital to talk with you, answer any questions, and help you develop an adoption plan.
When do I sign paperwork relinquishing my rights? What about the birthfather?
In the State of Missouri, you cannot legally sign your termination of parental rights and consent to adopt until at least 48 hours after the baby is born. Some birth moms need additional time to make their decision after the baby is born. Your birthparent coordinator will not pressure you into making a decision before you are ready. You can change your mind on your adoption plan anytime before signing your relinquishing paperwork.
Birthfathers are also given the opportunity to sign termination of parental rights and consent to adopt. Catholic Charities will hire and pay for an attorney for the named birthfather to help guide him through the adoption process. However, there are a number of circumstances where a potential adoption continues without the birthfather’s paperwork. This includes when the birthfather is unknown, unnamed, was never notified of the pregnancy and birth, and in cases where the birthfather is known but refuses to sign the paperwork. All birthfathers are encouraged to register on Missouri’s Putative Father Registry by calling 573-751-6378.
Can I have an open adoption?
Yes! Decades of research show that open adoptions benefit the adoptee, birth parents, and the adoptive family. Gone are the days of total secrecy. Birthparents play a major role in deciding how frequent and what types of communication they are comfortable with. The openness can range from receiving letters and pictures through Catholic Charities to mailing gifts back and forth to annual reunions and phones calls directly with your child and his/her adoptive parents. Some birthparents are not ready for this right away so you can always ask your birthparent coordinator to hold all correspondence in your file until you are ready for it.
What if I need help weeks, months, or years after I place my baby for adoption?
You will be encouraged to continue meeting monthly with your birthparent coordinator for at least the first 3-6 months post-delivery. She can help you work through any questions or concerns you have. She will provide you with information and resources to help you continue to cope and heal. Even after your case is closed, you may still contact Catholic Charities and the adoption team will provide you with additional resources or referrals to help you out.
If you have more specific questions, please email us at email@example.com or call or text 913-908-0829 to speak with an adoption social worker. You can also fill out the form below to be contacted with more information.
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