Why Catholic Charities?
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada has provided adoption services since 1941 and we facilitate approximately 30-40 adoption plans each year. Our adoptive parents participate in 24 hours of adoption training and are screened with FBI, Nevada and child abuse clearances. We are one of the only adoption agenciesin Nevada who offer a monthly support group for expectant parents considering adoption for their child. The support group also is a means of support after placement and we provide free adoption-related counseling before and after the birth of your child, forever. We have four full-time social workers with a combined 50+ years of experience in assisting expectant parents make the best choice for their child.
An adoption plan can be made at any point in an expectant parent’s pregnancy. It also can be made at the hospital after the birth of a child. It is recognized that some people are planners and others are not. No matter when the adoption plan is made, it is always made with the best interest of the child in mind.Once contact is made with a social worker, several steps occur throughout the process. A social worker may meet with a birth parent anywhere from four to ten times throughout the process depending on when initial contact is made. Guidance, counseling, and assistance with obtaining prenatal care and other community resources are provided.
Once an expectant parent is matched with an adoptive family, the parties may decide to meet each other and get to know each other. They will discuss what type of hospital experience the birthparent would like and will also discuss what type of post-placement contact they will have with one another.
A birthparent can sign documents which make the adoption possible no sooner than 72 hours after the birth of the child. The signing of these documents irrevocably relinquishes the parental rights of the birthparent. Nevada law requires the documents to be signed in front of an agency licensed social worker, a disinterested witness, and a notary.
The child can go home with the adoptive parents once the birthparent signs the documents which make the adoption possible. The birthparents can choose to be involved in the physical placement of the child into the adoptive family’s arms and a Placement Ceremony can be conducted if all parties have previously agreed to do so.
Catholic Charities staff remain available to birth families for information, counseling, referrals, mediation, and support groups after placement. Postadoption contact in semi-open adoptions is facilitated through the agency.
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There are many different options in making an adoption plan. The initial decision is which agency to use to facilitate the adoption? There are many factors to consider when selecting an agency that’s right for you:
How long has the agency been in existence?
Are they a licensed adoption agency in Nevada?
What types of adoptions do they facilitate?
How many social workers are on staff?
What type of support is available to me?
These are just a few questions to consider when deciding which agency to use.
The second decision to be made is what type of adoption
do I want? Closed, Semi-open, Open
There are positive aspects to each type of adoption depending on the individual circumstances of the birthparent. The birthparent and social worker will discuss each one until the birthparent is able to come to a decision.
Decision number three is whether or not you want to meet the adoptive family? While this is a simple yes or no question, it is a very important question to answer. It depends on the individual making the decision and a social worker will be available to discuss this decision as much as needed.
Other choices of an expectant parent include:
- What type of hospital experience do I want to have?
- Do I want the adoptive parents at the hospital with me? In the delivery room?
- Do I want to place a name on the baby’s original birth certificate? What if I don’t?
- What type of postplacement contact do I want to have with the adoptive parents and child?
- Pictures and letters?
- How frequently do I want to receive them?
- How will I receive them?
These are all choices that an expectant parent has when making an adoption plan which a social worker will discuss with them throughout the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can adoption be a good choice? Isn’t it unnatural?
Making the choice to place a child for adoption is a courageous decision made with the child’s best interests in mind. Birthparents are making a positive parenting decision. For a family facing infertility or desiring to raise a child, adoption can be a fulfilling answer to a lifelong dream. Adopted children are loved by two families and in the best circumstances, grow up with that knowledge.
How can I tell my family that I want to give up my baby for adoption?
First of all, you would not be "giving up your baby" for adoption. You are making a loving choice and a very selfless decision about what would be in your child's best interest. We prefer more positive adoption language like "making an adoption plan" or "placing your baby with an adoptive family." Second, we can help you navigate the sometimes difficult process of including friends and family in your decision. We can help them understand that you are making the best decision possible for your child's future. Those who oppose adoption likely don't understand how it work and many misconceptions about the process. We will support you all along the way, even if it means you decide not to share your decision with your family.
Does it mean that I don’t love my child if I place him for adoption?
Absolutely not! Though motivations for making adoption plans vary, it is never due to a lack of love for the child. The choice of adoption shows a tremendous, selfless love for a child.
Can I choose the adoptive family?
Yes. Many birthparents read letters of introduction or otherwise make their choices known through an adoption agency.
Do I have to choose the adoptive family?
No, birthparents may opt to have the agency select the adoptive family for the child.
How do I know the adoptive family is a good family?
Adoptive families must have State of Nevada, FBI, local criminal clearances, a Child Abuse and Neglect Systems check, five positive references, medical statements, financial statements and many more documents completed which assess their parenting readiness.
Does an agency have to be involved?
In Nevada, all non-relative adoptions must be facilitated by a licensed agency.
I would like my older sister to adopt my child? Does the same process apply?
When an adopting parent is a relative related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity (parent, grandparent, great grandparents, sibling, aunt/uncle, and niece/nephew) agency involvement may not be necessary. Contact an agency or attorney for clarification.
What kind of fees and costs will I be responsible for?
Birthparent services are provided at no cost to the birthparents. In fact, we may be able to help you with basic living expenses and costs of medical care if you do not have insurance.
Must the birthfather be involved in the adoption decision?
If the biological father is known and can be located, his rights are generally equal to the birthmother’s. He must be a party to the adoption plan. In situations where a birthfather is unknown or cannot be located, a termination of parental rights will be sought through legal means. All non-relative adoptions must have the parental rights of the birthmother, birthfather and any legal father (birthmother’s husband) relinquished voluntarily or terminated involuntarily through court. The involvement of the birthfather is sometimes difficult for the birthmother; however, the agency social worker will help guide her through this process.
What if I am under age?
A Nevada birthparent is afforded all legal rights and responsibilities, as an adult, in regard to his/her child. Minor birthparents do not need permission from their parents to make an adoption plan or sign legal documents regarding the child. It is optimal to have family support whenever possible.
Are adoptions confidential? What about open adoptions?
YES! All aspects of adoption are private matters for the birth families, adoptive families and children. All information is highly confidential. In open adoptions, the parties involved have chosen to have a direct relationship and may make their own decisions about confidentiality. When a question arises, it is best to remain confidential until the agency facilitating the adoption is able to clarify the situation with all involved parties.
What will I learn about the adoptive parents?
Birthparents have the opportunity to read the adoptive parents’ introductions letters. Generally the information provided by the agency is in a non-identifying manner unless it is an open adoption.
Can I see the baby while at the hospital? How about the adoptive parents?
It is considered healthier for a birthmother to see and hold her baby prior to the adoptive placement; however, it is her choice. Adoptive parents may have an open relationship with the birthparent(s) and may be welcome to visit. Again, it is the birthmother’s choice in accordance with hospital policy
How do I get the adoption process started?
Call 702-385-3351 and ask to speak to a social worker to schedule an appointment to discuss making an adoption plan.
What if I don’t have transportation?
We can meet expectant parents at their home or a neutral location if transportation is difficult.
Does Catholic Charities have a support group
Yes! We meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at the office. Birthparents and expectant parents are encouraged to attend.
It is a safe place to share your thoughts and feelings about the adoption process or ask questions of others who have placed children in the past.
We can meet expectant parents at their home or a neutral location if transportation is difficult.Back To Top
Jessica was 15 years old when she discovered her pregnancy.
The birthfather of the baby was no longer in the picture. Jessica knew that she could not provide the type of life that she wished for her child. She did not know what to do. On the night she planned to admit the pregnancy to her parents, she went into labor. Early the next morning, six pound, five ounce Michael
With the help of her family and Catholic Charities staff, Jessica made an adoption plan for her beautiful newborn son. She read several introduction letters from hopeful adoptive parents. After meeting Alicia and James, Jessica knew she had chosen the right parents for baby Michael.
James and Alicia had tried unsuccessfully for five years to have a child. They had chosen adoption as a way to build their family, completed the required background assessment and taken the adoptive parenting classes offered by the agency. They had been waiting for almost a year for the right match. Upon meeting Jessica, they knew that at long last they would have a baby to love and they looked forward to a growing relationship with his courageous birthmother.
Jessica chose a semi-open adoption in which she, Alicia and James would communicate through the Catholic Charities office on a regular basis. After a while they all trusted each other enough to communicate directly. Now, they occasionally meet and Jessica receives letters and pictures several times a year. Jessica gets to watch Michael grow up and Michael gets to know the love of two families.
Each adoption is as unique as the people involved. Some birthparents choose an open adoption from the beginning; others are more comfortable with a traditional, closed adoption. Most are somewhere in between.
Through Catholic Charities Adoption Services, any pregnant woman, her partner or her family can receive pressure-free information about adoption as a choice. Approved families are available for consideration. Agency staff can help with all aspects of adoption planning.
Monique was very surprised to discover her pregnancy. The birthfather of the baby was no longer in the picture. Monique knew that she was unable to provide the type of life that she wanted for her child. She struggled to provide for her other children who were staying with family members. She did not know what to do. Monique knew she needed to make a plan for her baby’s future.
Monique called Catholic Charities and met with a social worker. She had help making an adoption plan for her child. She read several introduction letters from hopeful adoptive parents. After reading the letter from Catherine and James, Monique knew she had chosen the right parents for her baby.
James and Catherine tried unsuccessfully for five years to have a child. They chose adoption as a way to build their family, completed the required background assessment and took the adoptive parenting classes offered by the agency. They had been waiting for almost a year for the right match. They were able to meet Monique, they knew that at long last they would have a baby to love and they looked forward to a growing relationship with their child’s courageous birthmother.
Monique chose a semi-open adoption in which she, James and Catherine would communicate through the Catholic Charities office on a regular basis. Monique receives letters and pictures several times a year. She is reassured that her daughter is growing up happy and healthy. Her daughter gets to know the love of two families.
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(702) 385-3351 or submit an email to our contact us form.
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