Religious Adoption


When considering adoption as a way to build a family, your faith and/or religion can play a part in the process. For example, you could be asked about your religious beliefs while completing your home study requirements, or when applying for an adoption grant, or when seeking an adoption agency to work with.

Private adoption agencies can be affiliated with a particular faith or religion, such as Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, etc. Typically, these agencies are non-profit, state licensed, and are recognizable by their name (Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, etc.). You will find that these agencies generally do not require a hopeful adoptive family to be of the faith the agency is affiliated with. For example, if you are not Catholic, you could still work with Catholic Charities.

Every state has its own set of adoption laws, however when it comes to determining who is qualified to adopt, a person’s religious association typically does not matter. Still, adoption agencies can and do establish their own requirements to adopt.

Many religious agencies have been providing much needed adoption services both domestically and internationally for years. These agencies can also play a big part in foster adoption because there are a number of states that contract with these agencies to help connect families with children who are waiting to be adopted through foster care.

Agencies will usually provide services such as:

  • Adoption education and training
  • Homestudy completion
  • Placement services
  • Screening of prospective birthparents to reduce risk of fraud or scam
  • Birthmother counseling and support (financial, emotional, etc.)
  • Legal services with attorneys who are on staff
  • Post-placement services
  • International adoption services
  • Foster adoption services

Most agencies will offer regularly scheduled "How to Adopt" workshops or meetings. These are a great way to learn more and ask questions about the process, no matter if you are just thinking about adoption or have not yet decided on which type of adoption you’d like to pursue. You will be guided through the agency’s process, including an overall view of their programs, costs, timeframes, and requirements.

Here are some of the larger religious adoption agencies or places to find an agency near you:

Catholic Charities (sometimes called Catholic Social Services)

Jewish Family Services

Lutheran Family Services