The adoption program is Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ founding program, and it is the foundation for helping those with infertility issues build their forever families.
“We are inspired by faith, rooted in loved, and united in serving all who are impacted by adoption- the birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees,” said Heather Roberts, Coordinator of Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling.
While many agencies have adoption programs, they are all a little bit different. “They are different because they have their own view on adoption, the processes are different and each state has different adoption laws,” explained Roberts. “For adoption at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, the focus is on our Catholic identity and supporting families who cannot expand their family naturally.”
What does the adoption process look like at Catholic Charities?
- Married couples who are interested in adopting should first call Catholic Charities’ office, speak with a social worker to get screened and then proceed to setting up an in-person or virtual appointment.
- An application must be completed and submitted.
- Upon approval of the application, the process begins for a home study. The home study takes time and there is lots of paperwork, interviews, assessments and evaluations. It might take 90 to 180 days to complete a home study; it just depends on the family and how ready they are to progress through the paperwork and interview process.
- After the couple is home study approved –which means that at any moment a baby can go into their home, the “waiting period” begins.
Since the birth parents choose the forever family (adoptive couple), it is not known when this will happen or why one birth parent/couple might choose one family over another. On average, a family might wait one to two years, but it could be shorter or much longer. During the “waiting period,” the Catholic Charities’ Adoption team meets with families once every 10 to 12 weeks to keep connected, continue to give adoption support and adoption education.
Once an expectant mother/couple chooses a family, it is called a “match.” As long as the expectant mother continues to feel like adoption is best for her child and feels like the couple are the best parents for this child, the two start building a relationship and bond. Then once the baby is born, the mother and or parents relinquish their rights to the child to Catholic Charities. At that time, the child is under the care of the child placing agency (Catholic Charities) and put in to the care of the adoptive couple. Legally the adoption must finalize to make it official that the child is forever the couples’. Depending on legal situations with the birth father, this process can go very quickly (30 to 60 days) or very long (over 1 year).
“We always pray for strength for the adoptive couple, peace, and God’s presence through the process since the social workers do not have control of the future but want the best for all parties involved,” added Roberts. “We know God divinely connects families together so we have faith in God’s timing even when it doesn’t always make sense to us.”