Frequently Asked Questions About Our Adoption Services

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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?

We serve the Diocese of Arlington. This includes the general area of Northern Virginia, which comprises of the following 21 northern-most counties within the Commonwealth of Virginia: Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland, and cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester.

What does "openness" mean between the adoptive family and the birth family?

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.

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.

Do you work with families for embryo adoptions? 

Prospective families pursuing embryo adoption will be referred to a member of the clergy to discuss the Church’s teachings on the moral issues related to the adoption and implantation of an embryo.