Are You Catholic and Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy?
As a Catholic facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may feel unsure of what to do and where to turn. How to tell family members, friends in the congregation or your priest can feel overwhelming. You have options to consider, and it is important that you have someone to discuss those options with.
Our adoption coordinators provide Catholic adoption services and are kind, caring women with the experience to guide you through the process of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. You will not be judged for your situation or for any choices you have made. We speak with many women every day who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and may have feelings of guilt or shame. We have peer counselors who have been where you are and can provide professional counselors who can help you through the decision making process. If you choose adoption for your baby, we can help you find the words to help those around you understand your decision. Many people do not understand how modern open adoption works, and we can provide the information and resources for you to share with your family and community.
In an open Catholic adoption, you can choose Catholic adoptive parents for your baby. You will know your baby is being raised by a couple with the same faith and will be able to receive updates, pictures, and even visits if that is something you would like. Your adoption coordinator will help you find a Catholic couple with the same vision for the type and amount of contact after the adoption as you have. You can pick a couple that lives near you or in another state or a couple that lives in the city or at the beach. We have many wonderful Catholic couples across the nation, praying for a child to join their family. You will be able to view their profiles and meet with them on the phone, in-person, or by text at first. Your adoption coordinator will be there by your side throughout the process.
Once you find the couple you feel is meant to adopt your baby, you will be considered “matched.” You can get to know the family. You can invite them to doctor’s appointments if they are nearby and form a relationship if that is what you want. One of our birth mothers, Erin, started attending mass with the adoptive couple she was matched with, and they found this to be an amazing bonding experience for all of them. This provided a great foundation for their open adoption. On the other hand, some birth mothers prefer more privacy during their pregnancy and this is fine, too. There is no right or wrong. Your adoption coordinator will make sure you and the adoptive parents are on the same page and will assist with communication whenever needed.
We all make mistakes. Some mistakes come with more consequences than others. But we are blessed with the opportunity to make better choices as we move forward each day. Reach out to those in your family and church that support you and your decisions. Look to the future and know that this unplanned pregnancy can be a blessing for the Catholic adoptive parents and for you. You can have a healthy relationship with the adoptive family and can move forward in your life with a little more knowledge and empathy for others who may have a similar experience. Some of our birth mothers go on to be peer counselors so they can help others.
Our families, like our staff, will not judge you. They will embrace you, knowing that you are considering providing them with a beautiful gift, the gift of a child.
Adoption is a gift to your child as well. This unselfish act of finding a Catholic family to provide a stable, loving, faith-filled home for your child is the ultimate act of love.
By Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. / American Carriage House Publishing
Whether you just found out about an unplanned pregnancy or have been considering adoption as an option for some time you are not alone. Take the time to consider your choices and come to the best decision for you, your child and your situation. Women from all backgrounds, in many different situations have chosen adoption. This book has compassionate answers to your questions.
Jessica was a freshman in college when she found out she was pregnant. “Adoption proved to be the best decision I ever made. My daughter lives an active, healthy life with her Catholic parents,” Jessica shares. Read about how she decided to pick a Catholic adoptive couple for her baby girl.