Frequently Asked Questions
by Adoptive Parents
What makes Catholic Charities different from other adoption agencies?
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington has been providing adoption services since 1947. We are committed to providing life-affirming options to pregnant women whether they choose to parent or entrust their child for adoption.
Do you need to be Catholic to receive services through Catholic Charities?
No, you do not need to be Catholic. We serve people of all religions and races.
What is Catholic Charities' jurisdiction?
What does "openness" mean between the adoptive family and the birth family?
We believe open adoption truly honors all the participants in adoption, especially the child. Similar to all other relationships, openness is built between the adoptive family and the birth family. The amount of contact between birth families and adoptive families is unique to each adoption plan, but the openness can range from letters and pictures to visits. Openness does not mean co-parenting. The adoptive parents are the parents to the child. We discuss the meaning of openness throughout the home study process.
What are the different types of adoptions/home studies?
We provide services for the following types of adoptions: Domestic, Interstate, International, Parental, and Waiting Child. To learn more about the adoption process, please give us a call to register for one of our upcoming information sessions.
What if I am interested in adopting in Virginia as well as outside of Virginia?
Adoptive parents are permitted to participate in multiple adoption programs. For instance, adoptive parents are able to enter our domestic infant pool and also work with an interstate agency at the same time. Adoptive parents are also able to be considered for our domestic infant pool and the Waiting Child program. If adoptive parents are applying for multiple programs there may be a difference in cost. Please ask your social worker specific questions about your options.
Why do I need a placing agency to adopt internationally?
In July 2015, the Universal Accreditation Act (UAA) was implemented stating that all adoptive families that plan to adopt internationally need a primary provider agency (placing agency) as well as a local home study and post placement agency. For more information, please visit the UAA website.
How long does it take to adopt?
It depends. On average, the home study process may take three to six months, depending on how quickly paperwork is completed and appointments are scheduled. Once home study approved, the waiting time to be matched with a child can range. The finalization process also varies among states and countries.
Do you work with facilitators?
We do not work with facilitators, as facilitators are illegal in Virginia. Facilitators are one, two or a small group of people that usually have no counseling background. They advertise to locate a birthmother on behalf of the adoptive families. However, please note that facilitators are not the same as consultants.
Can we be gender specific?
For our domestic program, you cannot be gender specific. For interstate and international adoptions, your agency may allow gender specifications.
I want to adopt an older child - How can I do this?
Our Waiting Child program may be a good fit for you! This program helps match families with children waiting to be adopted from the United States foster care system.
What if we become pregnant while waiting?
We ask that our parents complete any fertility treatments prior to joining our adoption pool, but we understand that even "infertile" couples are occasionally surprised by an unexpected pregnancy. Naturally we would be excited and hopeful for a couple who became pregnant during the home study process or while waiting in our pool of families. However, we would not allow them to be considered by pregnant women interested in placing their child for adoption. We believe that each child, whether biological or adopted, deserves the undivided attention of his/her expectant parents. We would place the family on hold until the outcome of the pregnancy is determined.
Is there support available for adoptive parents while they are in the process and waiting for a placement?
We understand how difficult the waiting can be for prospective adoptive parents who have often suffered the grief of infertility and/or miscarriage. We strive to provide our waiting and adoptive parents with as much support and encouragement as they need. We strongly recommend attendance at our "waiting family" gatherings, which provide on-going education, as well as emotional support. Many of our families have become friends after first meeting at these gatherings. We also encourage you to call your caseworker whenever you need reassurance or information.