The Office of Social Services provides services to all people whose lives are touched by an unplanned pregnancy and to advocate and educate that adoption is a selfless, loving choice.
Select one of the following to view related information from the Office of Catholic Social Services:
The Philosophy of
Catholic Social Services
Pregnancy Counseling FAQ's
10 Questions About Single Parenting
Couples Waiting to Adopt
Domestic Infant Adoption
Fees and Procedure
Post Adoption Services
Birth Parent Information Update Pack
Request for Non-Identifying Information
Inspiration and Strength
"How long does the pain last?" (Article)
Companions Along The Journey Brochure
(For any birth mother who has placed a child for adoption)
Adoption: A Positive Option
Catholic Social Services offers open adoption between birth parents and adoptive parents. The birth mother can choose the couple, exchange letters, receive pictures of the baby, and have on-going direct contact with the adoptive couple/her birth child. Our agency provides orientation classes, group meetings, domestic home studies, and supervisory home visits. Our domestic adoptions are Caucasian, African-American and Bi-Racial infants. Listed below are the requirements for prospective adoptive couples:
Residents of the Diocese of Lafayette or Diocese of Lake Charles
Married for minimum three years and unable to have children or have one child and unable to have more children
Maximum age of 40 and minimum age of 24
Must have a high school diploma or G.E.D.
Couple must be physically and emotionally healthy
Financial stability and sufficient income to maintain a family
History of consistent, stable employment
Must have a strong Christian faith and be active in their church (Catholic or Protestant)
All applicants must have police clearances to screen for any criminal history, child abuse, or domestic violence
Historically, adoptions have been “closed” meaning the adoptive parents and the birth parents were kept a secret from one another. There was no contact or exchange of information other than non-identifying information. Adoption records were permanently sealed.
The face of adoption has changed drastically in the past several decades as adoptions have become more “open.” At CSS, birth parents and adoptive couples/parents are able to negotiate the degree of openness and continued contact that is appropriate for them. For most, this means telephone calls and visits prior to the birth of the child and ongoing direct contact with one another throughout the child’s life.
Some of the advantages to “openness” for individuals involved in the adoption process are listed below.
Allows a relationship of friendship and trust to build and grow years before the child is more integrally involved.
It allows the couple to receive updates about the birth parents, including medical information important to the child’s well-being.
It allows the couple to become a part of the child’s and birth parents’ lives early in the pregnancy; often they can be present at their child’s birth.
It removes many of the fears surrounding adoption and birth parents.
It allows the adoptive parents to assist the child in contacting the birth parents when the child is ready or has questions. Often, it prevents “the search” and adoptive person’s fear of rejection.
By knowing the birth family, adoptive parents better understand their child, especially if his/her personality is quite different from theirs.
It helps eliminate the unanswered questions about why she/he was placed for adoption.
It provides the child with the birth parents’ pictures, letters, videos, gifts and visits to answer questions such as, “Who do I look like?”
It helps them to understand the terms “adoption, birth parents and adoptive parents” and to distinguish the differences among each.
It prevents an obsession with the unknowns later in the child’s life. Energy is not expended on fantasies.
Lessens permanent feelings of rejection/abandonment that adopted persons often feel.
The birth parents choose the adoptive couple that will rear their child.
They have the opportunity to have telephone calls and visits with the adoptive couple both before and after the adoption, which affirms their decision of adoption.
Giving them the opportunity to receive pictures, updates and even knowing the adoptive family throughout the years prevents the “missing in action” experience from past, closed adoptions.
They are provided with a sense of security and comfort, allowing them to move forward in their lives.
The birth parents have confirmation that the child is being loved and cared for as they had hoped.
Ok, you’re pregnant—it’s unplanned, and you are in crisis.
If you’re reading this, then you have gotten past the shock, fear, and anger, at least enough to begin to look at information. Good for you!!! It doesn’t mean the tears are finished. This is one of those times in life that rates up there as one of the most difficult and confusing times in your life. We want you to know that you do not have to go through all these feelings alone; and sometimes family members/friends are just too close—they are going through this crisis too. Their opinions are filled with emotions, just like yours. We want to offer you a safe, objective place to share your questions and all the heightened and painful emotions that go with them until you find the plan that is best for you.
Catholic Social Services offers free confidential counseling by qualified social workers to young women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy regarding single parenting or placing their baby for adoption. Counseling is also provided for the birth fathers, as well as both families. The agency accepts young women from any religion, age, race or geographical location. For clients living in the Lafayette area, staff will assist you as needed to find a doctor; we have a working relationship with all social workers in area hospitals.
Reasons to Get Counseling:
- Everyone you know, close or acquaintances, has an opinion about what you should do, and they share it whether you ask for it or not. You may feel pressure to decide based on their thoughts and words they use. Without the added support from an objective party, you may make a choice that is really not your own.
- Pressure from society has always existed and always will, especially depending on the culture where you live. That is why seeing a counselor with an unbiased view is so helpful.
- You need to get all the information you can, to realistically know the best choice for you and your baby under these present circumstances. The natural tendency is to passively let events unfold to make this decision for you. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that been working for you?” Seeing a counselor can move you out of the passive role to a proactive one where you can feel good about yourself and confident in your decision.
- This is probably one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. It is not one to make strictly out of emotions as it will affect you for the rest of your life. Don’t you and your baby deserve to think through this carefully and give yourself time to consider all of your options? That’s what counseling can offer.
- This is your life and your baby’s life. You are the one responsible for choosing the best plan for him or her and yourself. Seeing a counselor helps you to figure out for instance, what information you still need, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are all of the feelings involved in this life experience and how you can process them, what conversations you need to have with significant people—the baby’s father and family, and how to best have those conversations. Your counselor can even meet with you and those significant people to help you and they navigate through some possibly difficult conversations.
Young women selecting adoption can choose their couple, meet them, have direct placement from the hospital, and have an open adoption.
You can reach us at 337 261 5654 or toll free 1-800 256 7222 for anyone in a crisis about her pregnancy.
- Pregnancy Counseling FAQ's
- 10 Questions About Single Parenting
- Companions Along The Journey Brochure (For any birth mother who has placed a child for adoption, even when placed through an attorney or another agency)
EVERYTHING TO ME (Music)
“This DVD has the music video for the adoption song “Everything to Me” by Christian artist Mark Schultz and includes [in the next 4 min. section] an interview about his personal adoption story. This emotional video speaks to everyone involved in an adoption, the birthmother, adoptive parents and the child.”
LETTING GO (VIDEO 15 min.)
Letting Go examines difficult questions facing birthparents and shows how one of the toughest decisions imaginable can be the most loving one for you
and your baby.
- How did they feel when they first discovered that they were pregnant?
- What went into their decision to make an adoption plan?
- What are some of the choices that were available to them?
- How did they deal with the sense of loss, even though it was their choice?
Birthparents who have made an adoption plan for their children can help you understand the range of emotions and experiences that they had through the adoption process.