Catholic Charities Of The Diocese Of Arlington ~ Adoption And Pregnancy Services
Review by GonzalezColon submitted on December, 12, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Pros: The waiting can be any where from 4 to five years or more.
Child's Age: 1y 2m
Start Date: Jan 2011
Status: Withdrew voluntarily
Type: Closed, Domestic, Interstate
Special Needs: No
Child from Arlington, Virginia, United States
Cons: Be on top of documents that need to be updated.
Reviews: I do not reccomended the agency for Hispanics seeking to adopt.
Review by ingaborg submitted on July, 24, 2010 at 07:05 AM
Pros: I entered adoption with a naive excitement. I was very happy with the time it took to complete our homestudy and with some of the aspects of the pre-adopt meetings we were required to do. Initially, I appeared like this agency had made strides in certain areas since we had earlier looked into adoption which I was happy about. On paper, they appeared to understand the reality of the grieving process for a woman that has battled infertility. The agency boasts about their counseling opportunities for the birthmother and even post placement for the adoptive family. You are reassured that once a match is made with a birthmom, she has had great amounts of counseling to help her discern the appropriate path for her. I was very comforted by hearing this.
Child's Age: 0y 0m
Start Date: Jan 2000
Status: Homestudy and documentation
Type: Semi-Open, Domestic, Interstate
Special Needs: No
Child from Virginia, United States
Cons: Well, it turned out that once we were matched, poor communication issues arose immediately. Despite bending over backward to attend meetings with the birthmom, we felt very much in the dark during this stressful process. A process that we knew was not finalized yet, but one that was made much more difficult for my husband and I by not being made aware of pivitol decisions during the process. Often we felt we were constantly the last to know things. We would be told one thing, and then later, through a series of events we were not aware of, we would recieve a call with a completely different outcome. Generally a negative outcome.
The agency purposefully does not provide waiting parent support groups and focuses on the reason that their small group of waiting families is in "competition" with one another. Your social worker is supposed to be your greatest support and source of information but we felt we not only received incorrect information over certain issues, we felt ignored. Unless we called or asked the right question, we generally felt left out of the process.
I truly feel that their is a SEVERE lack of understanding or awareness for infertility. If anyone in that agency has personal awareness or compassion for this issue, you would not know it as a waiting family. The impression my husband and I were given during a meeting was, "Here, you seem to be upset, read this book (Adopting after infertility) and get back to us when you have resolved your issues."
However, my husband and I were upset and it had nothing to do with our past struggle with infertility and everything to do with the extremely poor attempt to keep us informed during a match that eventually failed. When it did fail, we also felt very used. As if we were kept in the dark on purpose to keep hanging on... possibly for the birthmothers benefit, but we can't be sure if this was the case or if it was just honestly poor communication.
I could go on and on, but my point in writing this is to alert future potential waiting families. This agency appears to cater to birthmothers more so than waiting families. They do not respect the waiting families personal needs and they are quick to inaccurately assess a reaction of sadness or disappointment or grief over a failed match into a problem with the waiting family's private issues rather than take any responsibility for their poor mishandling of a situation.
Other than the sliding scale, this agency has severely disappointed me and I can honestly say, I am not the first to be disappointed with their services mainly focusing on communication and respect for the waiting family. Adoption is a difficult, though beautiful path to take, but it requires a huge amount of respect, compassion and communication for both the birthmother AND the waiting family. We just did not experience this with this agency.
We are at the awkward point now where we are concerned that we can not trust this agency to put our needs as the waiting family on the same level as the birthmothers. We also are very concerned that we can not expect complete honesty from them at this point. Godbless your decision.
Reviews: I would use this agency as a waiting family ONLY
*if I was prepared to initiate all forms of communication myself
*if I couldn't afford a more expensive agency and saw no other way to begin a family
*if I was prepared to hide any emotion from this agency when matches failed. I feel now that any communication can and will be used against you. Be guarded with your emails and words.
*if I was more fully aware that birthmothers do often change their minds even after you are chosen as a match for her. It can be around 15-20 percent or I've now heard as high as 50 percent. Whatever the case, I'd rather have the facts. I feel that the agency responds to the question about "birthmoms changing their mind" by focusing on how much the birthmother was counseled. In my opinion, it gives the waiting family a false sense of security.
*if I was better informed of rights and realities of all those involved including birthfather's
*if I was prepared to feel left out
*if I was prepared to look past their ignorance toward infertility awareness when they hand out books that are nearly 16 years old.
*if I was prepared to ignore their condescending approach to waiting families
All in all, I am very shocked and surprised that I feel this way about this agency myself. The name is misleading, for a waiting family, this agency is a business, not a charity. And their customer service, in my experience, is poor. My greatest concern is that they do not seem to feel obligated to become more compassionate or aware of the waiting families they are working with. As an involved, lifelong Catholic this was very disappointing.
I am sorry if any of my information is redundant. I only hope to help those trying to determine the best path towards parenthood.