Catholic Charities photo
The Ruder family adopted through Catholic Charities’ service.
Catholic Charities photo
The Ruder family adopted through Catholic Charities’ service.
Since 1902, Catholic Charities has been finding loving adoptive homes for children in Oregon.

“Our mission is to help women choose life for their babies, and most women decide to parent their babies, but some women need another option,” said Robin Neal, division manager of Charities’ pregnancy support and adoptions services.

Between six and 10 adoptions are coordinated through the organization each year, and all are open adoptions where a birthmother and adoptive build a relationship and stay in contact after the birth. They share letters and pictures, and birthmothers are encouraged to visit their child.

“We expect the parents to meet and choose the families, and together they have a life based on the theme of hospitality, with lifelong connections and relationships,” Neal said. “It’s based on what’s best for the child.”

The program isn’t about finding babies or children for families, Neal said, but rather finding good families for the children.

Women who come to Catholic Charities are all ages, and from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, religious faiths, educational levels.  They all, however, are facing a pregnancy they feel they can’t prepare for on their own.

Adoptive parents are committed to faith, and they’ve been married at least two years, and are between 21 years of age and their mid- to late-40s.

Catholic Charities also coordinates special needs adoptions, contracting with the state to find qualified, experienced parents who are equipped to respond to the needs of those children.

Catholic Charities recruits, prepares and educates prospective families, but ultimately the child’s caseworker makes the decision as to what’s in the best interest of the child.

“We’re about helping women improve their circumstances, and we make a very strong commitment to parenting support but adoption is an option,” Neal said. “If there is any way possible, we want them to be able to parent, but if she can’t, we do excellent quality, open, hospitable adoptions.  We’re about helping women.”