To mark National Adoption Month, the Catholic social service agencies across Pennsylvania launched www.adoptionpa.org, a website that connects mothers and families with a Catholic adoption agency in their area and also offers encouragement and support to those who experience unintended pregnancies.
Kelly Bolton, the Program Director for Adoption Services and Foster Care for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg, said “A statewide website that features each Catholic diocesan adoption program allows birth parents to have a one-stop shop for assistance. We are here to assist birth mothers considering adoption as a pro-life alternative to parenting. As always, we will coordinate services for any pregnant woman regardless of where she lives in the state—- there is a Catholic agency nearby and ready to help.”
By visiting www.adoptionpa.org and clicking “Find Help Near You,” the website user can enter his or her zip code and be directed to the nearest Catholic social service agency. A phone number, email, driving directions and website link are provided for each facility.
“Recent legislative changes have made open adoption a reality in Pennsylvania, and the website will help connect birth parents with our comprehensive services. Catholics can share this website address with their parish, friends and family. We do not want to be a ‘hidden treasure,’ we want the community to know that we are here to help, and this website will assist us.” Bolton said.
The website is intended to serve as an initial point of contact with pregnant women and their families and friends, says Fr. Sean Code, the moderator of the Social Concerns Department of the PA Catholic Conference. The department, made up of directors of Catholic Social Service agencies in Pennsylvania, oversaw the project.
“This new website acts as a portal to direct women and their families, especially those who may not be familiar with Catholic charities, to the help nearest to them. We hope this website enhances our other outreach efforts and invites more women to consider adoption through our agencies,” said Fr. Code.
The homepage of the www.adoptionpa.org website states “Deciding the best option for you and your unborn or newborn child is difficult. We’re here to help you get the answers you need about adoption and the support to help you make the best decision.”
Visit www.adoptionpa.org for more information.
Joelle Shea is the Director of Outreach for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference – the public affairs agency of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania.