BRIDGEPORT—For 102 years, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County (CCFC) has provided services for expectant parents and adoptive families. Over the last century the program’s core focus has remained the same: to help those who choose to build their family through adoption, and to help the expectant mothers as well.

Family Directions offers a broad spectrum of services in the pregnancy counseling and adoption area. For example, if an expectant mother who is considering adoption has concerns about being able to parent effectively or being capable of affording the cost of raising a child, the Family Directions staff helps her feel supported and not alone. Whatever the mother’s choice is—keeping the baby or going the adoption route—they are there to help her. In the circumstance where she keeps the baby, the agency provides counseling and guidance for as long as the mother needs it and also assists her in obtaining as many supportive services as possible. If however, she decides on an adoption plan, a coordinator is by her side to make sure she understands all of the legal and emotional elements of her decision.

For the families who are adopting, Family Directions helps them prepare to welcome the child into their home and supports them during the entire process. “When you are adopting a child, there is some anxiety because you are dealing with the unknown,” explained Chris, who is an adoptive parent along with his wife Louise. “You wonder if you are going to be capable of this responsibility, which of course biological parents do too. But the difference is, you do not know exactly when you will be taking your child home because you have to wait for the agency to tell you that they have found a match for your family. For biological parents, there is a known due date so that uncertainty is eliminated. Catholic Charities was great at putting our minds at ease while simultaneously guiding us every step of the way.”

Chris and Louise now have five children, four of whom were adopted through Catholic Charities. Although there were many agencies to choose from, the couple chose CCFC for a few reasons. As Catholics, they were naturally attracted to the agency. They were also incredibly impressed by CCFC’s absolute commitment to the well-being of everyone involved: the child, the expectant mother and the adoptive family. Lastly, because CCFC is a nonprofit, they knew the agency had no ulterior motive that could have been driven by financial gain.

“We are extremely proud to offer services that center on adoption,” said Al Barber, the president of Catholic Charities. “Our staff truly cares about everyone involved and keeps in touch with them long after the adoption process is completed.”

For Chris and Louise, the four experiences of taking the leap into adoption with Catholic Charities by their side was nothing short of incredible. As Chris summarized, “It’s like winning the Powerball…but four times over.”

CCFC is licensed by the Department of Children and Families as a child-placing agency and is COA Accredited.

Written by Ellen McGinness
As seen in Fairfield County Catholic