Building a Family

Building a family through adoption can be one of the most satisfying experiences life has to offer.

The process for adoption begins with submitting an application, followed by a home study and home visit. The home study is a requirement for anyone applying for adoption — whether domestic, inter-country, agency or private. We provide support and education for you throughout this process.

While we specialize in domestic adoptions in Louisiana, we also provide home study adoption services for those who have chosen to adopt from another country through the inter-country agency of your choice.

quotes from board members, staff, & adoptive parents


It’s very difficult sometimes for couples who are unable to conceive a child biologically to come to the decision that adoption is a way to build a family. And a lot of couples will say “Am I going to be able to love this child?” Well, any couple that you talk to that has built a family through adoption, the minute they see that baby they wondered “Why was I so foolish to ask that?”

Lillie Petit Gallagher

Director Emerita


Talk about your experience with open and closed adoptions

When we first came to St. Elizabeth, we applied. And we went through the process and getting to know everyone here and getting on the list. And at the time, really, open adoption wasn’t the trend that it is now. We did have, and do have, wonderful non-identifying information that we have used from time to time to answer medical questions.

Four years later, when my daughter came along, that was different. It was an open adoption. That meant we got to meet the birth parents, which was great. I can’t really say that one was better than the other one. But getting to meet, and I think really more importantly, it’s wonderful for the birth parents to meet us and put a face and a name. This was a way for the birth mother to see us, get to know us a little bit. And just rest that, you know, it was her decision. It was her decision that after meeting us, she thought we were the right family to adopt her biological child. So that was a semi-open. I know adoptions vary today from closed, semi-open and then, you know, more openness. And the beauty of it is that the birth parents get to decide.

Terri Leblanc

Board Member


When a birthmother first arrives at St. Elizabeth she’s typically confused, frightened ... looking for someone to help her to make that decision and to do it in a way that gives her hope, that not only will she be able to make this choice and do it, and come out on the other side feeling good about it, but that she will have hope for the future ...

Teri Casso

Foundation Director


Do you think there’s a stigma around adoption?

It seems like adoption doesn't carry the stigma it might have 20, 30, 40 years ago. I have two adoptive daughters. I was surprised. It seems like the majority of the people I talk to know somebody or one of their relatives is connected to the adoptive process somehow. Adoption is much more prevalent than I ever would have imagined.

Bill Avery

Adoptive Father


What was the defining moment when you adopted your child?

The defining moment was when they placed Christina [our daughter] in our arms. And you just know that this baby was meant for you. And it’s just divine intervention that this is how your family is going to be made, with this baby that you’ve just held for the first time that was born just hours before.

Emily Distefano

Board Member