Adopt a child

Are You Interested in Growing Your Family Through Adoption?

We are a Virginia licensed adoption agency serving Northern Virginia and the surrounding areas. We understand that starting the adoption journey can be confusing and overwhelming, and we are here to help. When it comes to adoption, you have many options available to you, and we can help you decide the best fit for your family. We recognize that adoption is a life-long journey, and as such, we remain a life-long resource to all the families we serve.

Deciding to adopt is the first big step.  Figuring out where to go from there can feel overwhelming...  We encourage families to explore adoption programs and find a provider that they are comfortable working with: a provider who communicates clear values, ethical adoption practices and who are transparent with their clients.  We want you to have a clear understanding of the adoption process and realistic expectations so that we can best prepare you for this journey.  

Our Adoption services at Catholic Charities are focused on providing transformative services to individuals, families and communities through adoption support, education, and outstanding adoption services.  We offer adoption programs for:  

Call or e-mail us anytime to speak with an adoption worker and learn more about our services.  We also invite you to attend one of our free information sessions to learn more about our program and the services available to you.   

Which Adoption Provider is Right for Our Family?

Prospective adoptive parents must be aware and mindful of potential adoption scams and unethical practices.  Finding a provider who is reputable, licensed and accredited is critical to ensure the best outcomes for you and your adopted child(ren).  At Catholic Charities, we are committed to fostering healthy adoptions and educating communities on adoption ethics is one way we seek to do that.  

Here are some additional tips for connecting with an agency that is right for you: 

Research Prospective Providers

  • Request information, speak to the staff, attend info meetings, and ask around - Be aware of how the agency responds to requests: are they prompt, forthcoming, and transparent?
    • Click here to contact us
    • Click here for details on attending an upcoming adoption information session
    • Click here to view client testimonials - Coming Soon!
  • Verify Credentials - Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington has been licensed by the State of Virginia as a child-placing agency since 1947.  This means that we continue to meet the standards set by Virginia regarding staff, records, and client care, and we are audited regularly to ensure we comply with current standards.   We do not provide services outside of Virginia and therefore are not licensed in any other state.  Our adoption program is also accredited by COA (Council on Accreditation) which means that in addition to meeting the state standards, we also meet additional standards that certify we are providing high-quality services and care to our clients. 

Expect High Quality Service Delivery and Training 

The ultimate goal of adoption is not just for a family to adopt a child, but also for that child and family to thrive.  This is why ethical adoption providers prepare families throughout the home study and training process for the challenges they may face and equip families with the skills and knowledge they will need to successfully navigate those challenges. 

Catholic Charities places high standards on pre-adoption training and ongoing training to ensure our families are set up for success, have realistic expectations and are prepared for their role of adoptive parent(s).  We do this through multiple training methods including classroom instruction, self-reflection tools, and external trainings to meet adoption competency requirements.   Families who work with us will have access to a lifetime of adoption community, training opportunities and support. 

Quality of services are often reflected in the cost of adoption. Be aware of this and avoid the “bargain shopping” mentality when searching for an adoption provider. The cost of your adoption will vary greatly depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing as well as whether a provider is delivering other services that contribute to creating a healthy adoption.  There may also by some financial assistance available to family.  To view our current fee schedule, click here.

There's no way to really, fully prepare for the emotional demands of the adoption journey. However, the training we received from our worker and the other staff members should have all the credit in getting us to a point of readiness to accept where this journey might take us. We were able to handle all of the good and the challenging parts, and work through it each step of the way.

 – Brittany, adoptive mother

Listen to Your Gut

Adoption is emotional, personal and challenging.  You’ll want to work with a provider with whom you feel comfortable.  What are their agency values?  Do their values align with your values? Do the services they offer align with your adoption goals? Do you feel comfortable talking with the staff? 

Our clients do not need to be Catholic, or of any faith, to work with us.  At Catholic Charities, our service model and delivery are rooted in the Catholic faith and teachings on the dignity and value of individuals and families

Also remember, that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Be wary of providers who make blanket promises or assurances regarding adoption. For a child to be adopted, there must first be some type of crisis leading to the adoption - it should never be assumed that a pregnant client considering adoption will ultimately follow through with her adoption plan even if she has chosen an adoptive family. Similarly, it should not be assumed that a child in foster care will not have behavioral struggles when transitioned to the adoptive home.

Adoption is not an exchange of goods, and it should never be viewed as merely transactional.  Adoption should always be structured in a way that protects and supports everyone in the adoption triad: the birth family, the adoptive family and the adoptee.  

The decision to pursue adoption is a big step, followed by the equally big step of who will be accompanying you on your adoption journey.  Be sure to do your research, expect high quality services, and listen to your gut.  

Lord, we pray for all families considering growing through the gift of adoption.  Please guide their hearts towards ethical adoption providers that will best support and prepare them for the journey they are about to begin.  Bless all prospective and current adoptive families, birth parents and adopted children.  Saint Joseph, perfect foster father of Jesus, pray for us! 

Additional Resources