Adoption Resources

Adoption Resources

Below are resources to assist families interested in adopting or in making an adoption plan for their child.

  • Annual Adoption Mass, an opportunity to celebrate and pray for all those touched by adoption, including adopted children, adoptive families, parents seeking to adopt, and parents who have made an adoption plan for their child 
  • Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Adoption Fund, assisting families financially with the costs associated with adoption
  • Good Shepherd Children & Family Services, a Catholic Charities agency that has worked in the St. Louis area for more than 200 years offering foster and adoptive care assistance along with many other services for families


Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Adoption Fund


Big News!

In December 2017, we awarded Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Adoption Grants to 6 families. The grand total given this year was $35,000! We have given out over $150,000 in grants since 2009. This grant is funded through private donations and our annual raffle of a Suite at a Cardinals Game. The 2018 raffle winner was Bob Sherwood. Congratulations!

Adoption Fund Awards Grants Annually To Couples Seeking Adoption

Since its inception in 2009, the Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Adoption Fund has helped 24 families adopt 27 children with over $150,000 in grant funds. This grant, offered through the Archdiocesan Office of Natural Family Planning, is available to couples who want to build their family through this loving choice. Applications are due in the fall of each year for the following year's grants.

If you know someone who would benefit from a grant, or you would like to donate to this fund, you can find more information throughout this site or call the Office of Natural Family Planning at 314-997-7576 to speak with a representative. For application materials, please click here.


Gajewski Family Adoption PhotoGod Provides: An Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Adoption Grant Story 

Becki and David Gajewski do not have the typical adoption story, fraught with delays, disappointments, and demands. As Becki puts it, they “couldn’t be happier” with their process, which she describes as “smooth” and “seamless”: “It’s been amazing every step of the way.” To top it off, they now have a seven-month-old son to love, hold, and care for.

The longest part of their journey was arriving at the decision to adopt. Like many adoptive couples, they tried to conceive on their own before discovering their infertility. Even after grieving and accepting that loss, they “didn’t feel called [to adoption] for years.” Becki was nervous about the high costs and overwhelmed by the prospect of paperwork. They prayed together and discerned whether God was calling them to a life of generosity and service as a childless couple. click here to continue...

Callen Family Adoption StoryThrough unlikely connection, couple fulfills dream to adopt

By Jennifer Brinker | | twitter: @jenniferbrinker

Originally posted by The St. Louis Review here.

Thirteen-month-old Simon Callen knows how to command attention in a room — his toothy grin and sideways lean instantly charm visitors.

As providence would have it, Simon came into the lives of Steven and Liz Callen through prayer and an unlikely connection through the permanent diaconate program. In a whirlwind of about three months, the Callens went from adoptive candidates to parents. After they got the news they'd been matched, Steven Callen ran to the store to purchase a car seat. "That's when it hit me — wow, we're bringing a baby home," he said. click here to continue...


Four Boys, Endless Joys:  Meet One of Our 2017 Adoption Grant Families

Like many couples, Beth and Eric L. dreamed of marriage and starting a family. Looking back, the road to achieve that dream would have been hard to imagine, but the hand of God is clearly recognizable in their beautiful story.

Today the busy family of six, relies on God’s providence more clearly than ever, as four rambunctious, fun loving boys bring equal measures of fun, love and chaos into their sunny Affton home, “We encounter all the normal issues of family life, but we feel really intensely joyful that our family has grown beyond our wildest dreams,” said Beth about their active brood. click here to continue...

The Crosier Family, August 2015

Waiting for Sabella: An Adoption Story by Grant Recipient Sheryl Crosier

I have been a Christian since childhood, but nothing would test my faith more than losing seven children to miscarriage and our son after his short visit on earth. I prayed that if I did get pregnant, the Lord would allow me to hold our baby in my arms. The Lord answered my prayer on September 7, 2010 when I was able to hold Simon in my arms for 88.5 days until he went to his eternal home at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, December 3, 2010. The Lord used Simon to teach me how to live in the moment, patience, compassion and most importantly, unconditional love.

Simon was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, otherwise known as Edward's Syndrome on his 3rd day of life. Simon had three of the number 18 chromosome which causes heart defects, bilateral cleft lip and other medical complications. The doctors were quick to say that Trisomy 18 means "incompatible with life." click here to continue...


Spiritual Adoption

Spiritual Adoption

Initiated in 1991, this simple yet effective program provides an opportunity for children, teens, adults and senior citizens to prayerfully intercede on behalf of moms and unborn babies threatened by abortion. Participants spiritually adopt a baby known by God to be at risk of abortion by pledging to pray the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen prayer daily for nine months.  Prayer cards are available to offer a daily reminder to offer prayers for their unborn child.

The goal of the program is three fold:

  1. Encourage prayers for babies in danger of abortion and for their parents.
  2. Educate adults and children about the development of babies in the womb.
  3. Provide material assistance to mothers in need through a "baby shower" or "birthday party" at the conclusion of the program.

Schools and Parish School of Religion programs can promote Spiritual Adoption for the nine months of the school year, September through May. It works well for a parish to participate along with the school. Another option is to offer the program from the Feast of the Annunciation through Christmas. Students and parishioners can learn about the milestones of fetal development either through classroom posters, brochures, or bulletin announcements. At the end of the nine months of prayer, schools and/or parishes can hold a baby shower to gather new or gently used items for agencies that provide a home or support for mothers with a crisis pregnancy.

Spiritual Adoption Prayer Cards

Two different styles of Spiritual Adoption prayer cards are offered by the RLA office.  These can be ordered by clicking here.

Spiritual Adoption Prayer Card - Holy Family Spiritual Adoption Prayer Cards - Holy Family        

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to protect the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted.  Mary, our Mother in Heaven, pray for us, and especially for your little ones! Because God loves every baby He creates, I promise to pray for my spiritually adopted baby for nine months.

There is room on the card to note the name of the baby and start date of the nine month period.

OLG Spiritual Adoption Prayer Cards - Our Lady of Guadalupe        

To help stop the anti-life push in the world, the late-Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen encouraged the spiritual adoption of an unborn child.  This is done by praying that one particular but unknown child's life be spared abortion and be allowed to continue to live.  To accomplish this, it was recommended an individual say the following prayer for a period of nine months: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you very much.  I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion." 

Fetal Development Information

Did you know a baby has a heartbeat three weeks after conception?  Did you know that two months after conception, a baby has all five major areas of the adult brain present and can respond to touch?  Did you know that a baby at two months has the lines of their palm print and foot print already engraved in their skin?

The RLA offers the following resources as part of the Spiritual Adoption program to help participants learn about the physical development of the unborn child.  These can be ordered through the RLA Office by clicking here.

Milestones Brochure Milestones of Early Life Brochure        

Provides biological information on the milestones for the nine months a baby is in the womb.  Includes color photos of the development of the baby in utero.

What The Never Told You What They Never Told You Brochure        

Contains a short quiz about what happens after conception.  Provides information about fetal development throughout all nine months a baby is in the womb in a timeline.  

Other fetal development posters and brochures can be purchased through Heritage House 

Bulletin Announcements

Parishes wishing to participate in the Spiritual Adoption program can utilize monthly bulletin announcements to raise awareness of fetal development. Sample monthly announcements can be downloaded here.

Annual Adoption Mass

Annual Adoption Mass

November is National Adoption Month. Every year, the RLA joins with Good Shepherd Children and Family Services to coordinate a celebration for those who have been involved in any way with adoption, a gift twice given.

adoptionmass-logo_small.jpgIn the United States, about 120,000 adoptions occur each year. Many people, directly and indirectly, are affected by adoption:

  • Women seeking options for unplanned or crisis pregnancies
  • People and couples seeking children to complete their families
  • Foster families and agencies involved in the placement and protection of children
  • Children who have been adopted

An annual adoption mass is celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica each November.

2017 Annual Adoption Mass

Celebrating Live and Love Twice Given: Archdiocese of St. Louis Fills Cathedral for 2017 Adoption Mass  

Each November in honor of National Adoption Month, the Archdiocese of St. Louis hosts an Annual Adoption Mass and reception at the Cathedral Basilica.

Birth parents and adopted children, parents, and families are honored in a special way. They are invited to bring up the gifts at Offertory, receive a special blessing by the bishop, the homily reflects the theme of adoption, and a reception is held in their honor after Mass. 

ImageMatt and Lauren Bohnert hold their young daughter who they adopted with the assistance of the Archbishop Carlson Adoption Fund. The Bohnert Family spoke at the 41st Annual Respect Life Convention and brought up the gifts at this year's Adoption Mass on Nov. 19.

This year was no different. To a filled Cathedral, Bishop Mark Rivituso celebrated adoption as the gift of love twice given by speaking to the heroism of both birth and adoptive parents and how the children enrich their lives. 

To continue reading the story, click here.

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