Pregnancy Support & Open Adoption Services
Planning For Your Baby
Frequently Asked Questions
- I'm pregnant. How can Catholic Charities help me?
A Catholic Charities counselor will meet with you wherever is easiest for you to discuss your situation and answer any questions you may have. Our primary goal is to meet your needs and provide support to you as you make the best decision for you and your baby. We will also provide supportive, professional counseling to fully explore both parenting and adoption. In addition, we will help you obtain medical care, housing, food, maternity clothes and financial support. We are committed to assisting you in every way possible during this time. Our services are provided without cost, pressure or judgment. If you choose adoption we provide post-adoption counseling and services for at least one year.
- Will I be pressured to give up my baby?
Absolutely not. At Catholic Charities our main concern is to help you meet your needs and to make the best decision for you and your baby. We consider adoption a resource among other resources that we want to make available to you. If you choose to parent your baby we will help you. It is our belief that only you can make this difficult decision and we will support your decision whether it is to place your baby for adoption or parent.
- What will it cost me?
There are no fees for pregnant women, the father of the baby or their families. All services are provided to pregnancy clients at no charge.
- Do I have to be Catholic?
No. Our services are available to any pregnant woman who asks for our assistance regardless of religious background.
- What is an open adoption?
At Catholic Charities we consider an open adoption to be a life-long caring relationship between a birth family and an adoptive family. It is based on respect, candor, trust and mutual regard. This relationship often resembles extended family with visits, letters, phone calls and pictures being frequently shared. Although the decision of whether or not to have an open adoption is up to you, all of our prospective adoptive families desire to have a life-long relationship with you and will welcome ongoing contact with you.
- Why is an open adoption something I should consider?
Catholic Charities believes that an open adoption truly honors all the participants in adoption, especially the child. Research and our own experiences have demonstrated that the birth mother and birth father are greatly aided in the healing of their grief in an open adoption. Witnessing with their own eyes the healthy development of their birth child and how the adoptive parents love the child as their own helps them feel reassured that they made a good decision. The adoptive parents benefit by being affirmed as the "mommy and daddy" by the birth parents who entrust them with the baby and help them feel entitled to this child. The child benefits most of all by understanding the reasons for their adoption and having ongoing medical, social and genetic information about themselves. The child gains the stability of a loving adoptive family without losing the important information and ongoing affection of the birth family. The birth parents are always available to answer those questions that only they can fully answer. Openness helps eliminate the shame and secrecy of the closed adoption system.
- What kind of adoptive parents do you have and how do you know that they are good families?
We are very diligent in our search for excellent families. In fact, many of the other adoption agencies and adoption attorneys call us when they need a good family because Catholic Charities' families are known to be loving, open, committed to being good parents and to caring about and welcoming birth parents. Because we understand that every pregnant woman we meet is a unique person with individual values and interests, we work hard to maintain diversity in our waiting families. We have families of different religious backgrounds, educational levels, occupations, family size, personalities, and interests. If you are considering adoption we believe you will find the right family for your baby among our many families. All of our approved prospective adoptive parents participate in a comprehensive home study and are expected to meet both Oregon standards and Catholic Charities' standards for adoptive parents.
- How do I pick the right family for my baby?
After you have met with a counselor, we will give you albums to review of our prospective adoptive families. You will be able to look at photographs of them, read a letter they have written and learn additional information about them such as their ages, occupations, educational level, parenting plans, etc. If you need more information about a particular couple, we will try to accommodate you. Once you are fairly sure that you want to meet a couple, we will arrange the first meeting. If after that meeting they seem like the right family, we will help you continue to spend time with this couple to begin building a trusting relationship which will continue after the adoption.
- What happens if I change my mind?
In Oregon you cannot make a final decision about adoption until after your baby is born. You have every right to change your mind up until the time that you sign papers and the baby is placed with the adoptive family of your choice. At Catholic Charities we will continue to remind you of your rights. This will probably be one of the biggest decisions of your life and we want you to be as certain as possible before you place your child. Remember, that if you choose to parent your child, we will support you.
- Can the birthfather be involved?
Yes. Whenever possible, it is to your child's advantage to know about their birth father and to have a relationship with him. The birth father can be included in counseling to explore both parenting and adoption, making the adoption plan with you, and helping you choose prospective adoptive parents. We will discuss the birth father's involvement with you and help you make difficult decisions that meet both legal requirements and your needs for privacy.
- Is there help if I decide to parent my child?
Absolutely. We provide pregnancy counseling and support to all pregnant women who come to Catholic Charities for services regardless of their final decision to parent or place for adoption. We will continue to provide you with counseling for up to four months after your child's birth and help you obtain needed resources for yourself and baby.
- If I choose to place my baby for adoption, when do I sign relinquishment papers?
It is a whole new decision once your baby is born and you will be supported as you again consider your options. If you are firm in your decision to entrust your baby for adoption, we encourage birth mother's to wait at least 24 hours and ideally wait 48 hours before signing adoption consents. In Oregon, you cannot legally sign Adoption Consents until after the baby is born.