Catholic Charities: Providing Help, Creating Hope.

Catholic Charities provides domestic and inter-country adoption services to children and families. We place children from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds with their forever families.

EXPECTANT PARENTS: We care about you and your baby, and we are here to help regardless of whether you choose to parent your child or to make an adoption plan. Our services are always free to expectant parents whether you are considering adoption or just seeking information. We work with pregnant women, birth mothers, birth fathers, and families interested in adoption. We also assist pregnant women who are looking for ways and resources to parent and care for their children. Click here to learn more about our Pregnancy Services.

POTENTIAL ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: Our staff is committed to helping you find the adoption option that is right for you. We provide you with the information and support needed during your adoption journey. Click here to learn more about our Adoption programs.

Interested in learning more about adoptions? Attend one of our ADOPTION MATTERS workshops, a presentation covering all aspects of finding families for children. Many are intimidated about the process and not sure where to start. Come hear our experienced social workers demystify the journey toward a successful adoption and building happy families by registering for one of our workshops.

 

Contact Us: (225) 336-8708 or click here to send an email.


 

Webinar: Growing Up as a Transracial Adoptee: What Parents Need to Know

ADOPTIVE FAMILIES

 

In this webinar, Deborah H. Johnson will discuss growing up as a transracial adoptee and what parents today need to know about talking about race and adoption, finding role models for their children, and more. Register today.

If you adopted your child transracially, what does he or she experience growing up? How should you be talking about race and racism, birth culture, and differences in your family to instill a positive racial identity? How should you discuss teasing he or she may face at school, as well as societal attitudes and events in the news to help your child navigate a world that is far from colorblind, now and as an adult?

In this webinar, social worker and adult adoptee Deborah H. Johnson will discuss transracial parenting from a professional and personal perspective. Join us for this presentation and a chance to ask your questions.

The Adoptive Families “Growing Up as a Transracial Adoptee: What Parents Need to Know” with Deborah H. Johnson will take place on Thursday, May 19, 1-2pm ET.

Not available May 19? Register anyway and we’ll send you the link to replay the webinar.


 

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Multicultural Family?

These 7 questions will help you assess whether you're ready to adopt transracially or cross-culturally.

Maya Brown-Zimmerman March 22, 2016

As parents, we like to think that love is enough. If we just love our children hard enough, it’ll make up for whatever pitfalls we have in our parenting. If we tell our children we love them every day, they’ll always feel it.

But in adoption, we know that love isn’t enough. Adoption is born from loss, and that loss has to be addressed. Adopting transracially takes this to another level. You may think, “I could love any child, the race doesn’t matter,” or, “It’s racist to have a preference on your future child’s ethnicity,” and so say you’re open to a child of any ethnicity.

Please remember, though: a child who is adopted into a family of a different race needs more than love and good intentions. They need racial mirrors. They need to be allowed to talk about race. They need parents who will be sensitive to their birth culture’s mores. They need parents who understand white privilege and how that affects their children of color, both when they are with them and when their children are alone.

Before you make a decision as to what ethnicities you’re open to, consider the following, andthen ask yourself “Do I have what it takes to be a multicultural family?” These questions come from conversations I’ve had and observed with transracially adopted adults since adopting my daughter.

1. Do I have friends—real friends—of the ethnicity of the child I could adopt? It’s said over and over, but your child should not be your first black/latino/etc. friend.

2. Do I live in a diverse area? Specifically, are there many people of my future child’s ethnicity in my town/school district? If not, am I willing to move? It is SO important that kids have access to racial mirrors (meaning people who look like them) of all ages. I’m not adopted, but I am biracial: latina and white. I grew up in a very white area (literally, the census at the time showed 96.75% of residents were white, with only 1.14% latino of any race). Not having classmates of my ethnicity or culture was frustrating at times, and that was with having parents at home who looked like me. Because of this experience, the racial makeup of my children’s schools was one of my top considerations when we bought a house a few years ago. I love that my daughter will have many friends who look like her when she starts school! Besides racial mirrors, I’m grateful that I live somewhere it’s easy to get a variety of products for my daughter’s hair, and where she can go to a salon with knowledge about how to care for her hair when she is older. Access to food, music, and cultural events are other important aspects of living in an area where your child’s birth culture is more prominent.

3. Am I comfortable talking about race? It’s important to talk about race! We should not strive to be colorblind, which comes from a point of white privilege (if you haven’t heard of that term, definitely Google it!), but to acknowledge the differences. If we’re comfortable talking about race, our kids will feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their feelings. Whether we talk about it or not, our kids are aware that they’re a different color from their parents, and they can’t escape the stereotypes that society places on them for how they look.

4. Do I understand the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement? This is important whether you’re considering adopting an African American child or not. The essence of this movement is that there is a group of people in our country not being treated equally. If you’re responding with “but ALL lives matter,” you’re dismissing the real struggles of people of color (POC). They’re not saying that white lives don’t matter, they just want THEIR lives to matter TOO. Before adopting transracially, you need to understand that your child will NOT have all the same privileges as a white person, and hopefully you’ll want to advocate for that to change. We have a duty to.

5. Am I comfortable calling out racism, both blatant and subtle? Your child needs you to stand up for them. Their feelings of comfort come first. As you learn more about racial injustices in this country, you’ll start seeing racism in ways that maybe you didn’t before. Don’t let even the microaggressions slide. This might be outside of your comfort zone now, and will likely take practice, but you need to be willing to stretch yourself for the sake of your kids.

6. How comfortable will my extended family be with us adopting transracially, and am I willing to limit my family’s time with them if they’re not? Am I willing to lose family or friends who refuse to understand? Your child has a right to feel safe in their home and with the people closest to them. They shouldn’t be subjected to people in their lives who are racist. Your best friend/cousin/parent may not think they’re being racist, but if they’re not willing to learn why their comments or actions are inappropriate and make changes, they’ve got to go.

7. Am I willing to reach out to people of my child’s ethnicity, truly listen, and learn? Even if you answer yes to questions 1 and 2, this is vital. I’ve joined a few Facebook groups since bringing our daughter home and I learn something new all the time, just by having a wide pool of people to talk with. Last week, I learned that in my daughter’s birth culture, it’s really important for babies to wear some kind of shoes when they’re outside of the house. I didn’t put my biological sons in shoes until they were walking, but I immediately bought a couple pairs of soft-soled shoes for my daughter. She’s going to stick out, having a family that doesn’t look like her. I see one of my jobs as doing everything I can to make it so that she can be comfortable fitting in with her birth culture. Shared experiences, even ones like wearing baby shoes, are important for that.

Take time to read the words of adult adoptees. There are several great Facebook groups for various aspects of transracial adoption, plus a number of blogs. If you have Netflix, look up the documentary Closure. Know that above all, your preference list should be about what is best for your future child, not what will bring a child to your home fastest. Then you’ll know if you have what it takes to be a multicultural family.


 

Are you watching TLC's "Long Lost Family" ?

Posted by BraveLove

TLC's new TV series Long Lost Family premiered this week (Sundays 10/9C), and we can't stop thinking about it. The documentary series features family members trying to reunite with birthparents, biological families, or children placed for adoption. In the premiere, we watched two different stories unfold...

Throughout the highly-emotional and personal show, we were pleasantly surprised by the sensitivity and respect displayed to all parties involved - birth parents, adoptees, even adoptive parents. We attribute this to the hosts, Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner, who were adopted and have even solved the mysteries of their own adoptions.

We would recommend that the hosts use positive adoption language and spend more time educating the audience on the rights and privacy of those involved. We also thought there were some great take aways worth sharing.

We all want to know where we come from.

It's in the core of our being to want to know our story. For adoptees with little to no information about their biological parents, that desire runs even deeper. This was communicated time and time again throughout the show. For instance, one of the adoptees said: "There's this part of me that I don't know... I feel like [my birth mother and I] share this really intimate connection that's strong, and it's there all the time, every day of your life."

Sadly, not all adoptions are ethical. People have been coerced or forced into adoption, and we do not support those practices.

One of the birth mothers shared how the decision for her son to be adopted 31 years ago was made by her mom because she her mom didn't want any kind of scandal in the family. As she described, "It was always 'you've got to be quiet about it. Don't say anything to anybody.'" So she went away to a home for unwed mothers and bore that shame and burden for much of her life. When asked what she would want to say to her son, she responded:

"He wasn't just given up just because he wasn't wanted, he was wanted very much..."

Like a lot of institutions and systems in this world, adoption is not perfect and has its flaws. Therefore it's crucial for anyone considering placing a child for adoption to ask a lot of questions, understand your rights, the process, and what to expect.

Not all adoptions result in (happy) reunions.

I promise we're not giving anything away by saying that. It's just a realistic reminder that not all reunions are created equal. People have different reasons or motivations to make the decisions they make. For those interested in finding their birth parents, contact us for help!


 

In the News: Group works to clear adoption misconceptions

Published in The Advocate, 3/5/2016Adoption forum panelists present on adoption

Abortion alternative presented

by Mark H. Hunter, Special to The Advocate

Nina, a waitress who works in a busy New York City restaurant, discovers she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion because, she tells a friend, “I can’t even take care of myself, let alone a baby.”

Her friend Jose, the restaurant’s chef, counsels her to consider adoption but supports her by accompanying her to an abortion clinic. While lying on the table, Nina realizes she can’t go through with it and eventually gives the baby up for adoption to Jose, who is not the biological father. 

“Bella” is the baby’s name and the name of an award-winning movie that won the People’s Choice Award at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. It was screened during “A Forum on Adoption” hosted by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge last week at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library. 

Read more: In the News: Group works to clear adoption misconceptions

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