We’re Thinking About Adoption
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?”
Sometimes it’s what you don’t know that is the frightening part. And of course, adopting couples come with so many misgivings at times. Not about the adoption, but about the process. And what we do is to help them understand that process and let that process be so natural that they’re not fearful of it. Prior to the actual adopting of the child, there are many meetings and individual meetings with the social worker and groups so they can express their reservations or their lack of understanding...
And so, there’s comfort here. There’s knowledge here. And there’s understanding that they can pick up the telephone and call and get answers. In today’s adoption community and climate there’s a lot of back and forth between birth parents and the adopting couple which tends to mitigate a lot of the perceived fears when they don’t know what’s going to happen. I think that it’s that little bit of lagniappe that the staff is always available. That there’s a lot of interaction, that adopting couples and birth parents can both be put at ease in their individual needs.
Lillie Petit Gallagher
When did you start thinking about adoption?
After years of infertility, three in vitro fertilizations, several miscarriages, my husband and I thought maybe we would look into the adoption option. My only regret with that is I didn’t do it sooner. But you have to go through all the emotions of wanting your own child. When we finally came to the idea that we would look into adoption, to me, it was just a reminder that God is in control. His answer for you is always better than what you think it should’ve been. I was devastated for not being able to get pregnant and have my own child.
But then I laid eyes on my son. All that just went out the window, because it was no longer important. What was important was that I was a mother. And so that was my journey from going from just sheer devastation to just exhilaration and the whole beauty of being a parent. It really doesn’t matter how you get there. It’s just that you’re there.
You know, birth is a miracle, but adoption is also a miracle. I look at my two children. And I look at them, and of all the places they could be, that’s the miracle that they’re with us.
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.
How would you describe the adoption experience?
The process of making an adoption plan is very much for a birthmom like the process of infertility treatments for an adoptive couple. They have a lot in common. They have ridden the same rollercoaster of emotion. They know grief. They know disappointment. And the miracle of it is when a couple who has known the grief of infertility comes in contact with and is blessed with a child of a woman who’s known the grief of poverty or lack of ability at the time to parent a child. So, it’s kind of a miraculous meeting of two people from different worlds who need each other.
I haven’t met a young woman yet here who didn’t have something she wanted to be. And so our goal becomes to help them get there. Sometimes it’s as little as I want to have a driver’s license. Sometimes it’s as big as I want to have a career. And so we just try to find what she’s hopeful for. And help her to get there.