Building a Family
Building a family through adoption can be one of the most satisfying experiences life has to offer.
The process for adoption begins with submitting an application, followed by a home study and home visit. The home study is a requirement for anyone applying for adoption — whether domestic, inter-country, agency or private. We provide support and education for you throughout this process.
While we specialize in domestic adoptions in Louisiana, we also provide home study adoption services for those who have chosen to adopt from another country through the inter-country agency of your choice.
quotes from board members, staff, & adoptive parents
Sometimes it’s what you don’t know that is the frightening part. And of course, adopting couples come with so many misgivings at times. Not about the adoption, but about the process. And what we do is to help them understand that process and let that process be so natural that they’re not fearful of it. Prior to the actual adopting of the child, there are many meetings and individual meetings with the social worker and groups so they can express their reservations or their lack of understanding...
And so, there’s comfort here. There’s knowledge here. And there’s understanding that they can pick up the telephone and call and get answers. In today’s adoption community and climate there’s a lot of back and forth between birth parents and the adopting couple which tends to mitigate a lot of the perceived fears when they don’t know what’s going to happen. I think that it’s that little bit of lagniappe that the staff is always available. That there’s a lot of interaction, that adopting couples and birth parents can both be put at ease in their individual needs.
Lillie Petit Gallagher
When did you start thinking about adoption?
After years of infertility, three in vitro fertilizations, several miscarriages, my husband and I thought maybe we would look into the adoption option. My only regret with that is I didn’t do it sooner. But you have to go through all the emotions of wanting your own child. When we finally came to the idea that we would look into adoption, to me, it was just a reminder that God is in control. His answer for you is always better than what you think it should’ve been. I was devastated for not being able to get pregnant and have my own child.
But then I laid eyes on my son. All that just went out the window, because it was no longer important. What was important was that I was a mother. And so that was my journey from going from just sheer devastation to just exhilaration and the whole beauty of being a parent. It really doesn’t matter how you get there. It’s just that you’re there.
You know, birth is a miracle, but adoption is also a miracle. I look at my two children. And I look at them, and of all the places they could be, that’s the miracle that they’re with us.
How would you describe the adoption experience?
The process of making an adoption plan is very much for a birthmom like the process of infertility treatments for an adoptive couple. They have a lot in common. They have ridden the same rollercoaster of emotion. They know grief. They know disappointment. And the miracle of it is when a couple who has known the grief of infertility comes in contact with and is blessed with a child of a woman who’s known the grief of poverty or lack of ability at the time to parent a child. So, it’s kind of a miraculous meeting of two people from different worlds who need each other.
Describe the benefits of working with St. Elizabeth.
Well, working with St. Elizabeth's gives you a real sense of everything's going to be taken care of properly. You don't have that queasy feeling of what if something goes wrong or something's not handled correctly. I never felt that.
And I'm amazed at how blessed we were working through St. Elizabeth's because you tell your story to people you come in contact with and you hear stories about people that had to go to China or to South America or wherever to adopt and for whatever reason we were blessed just to be able to do it here locally. Our oldest was born here in town and we were actually there for the birth. Our youngest was born in Hammond and we didn't quite make the birth, but we were there 30 minutes later.
What was the defining moment when you adopted your child?
The defining moment was when they placed Christina [our daughter] in our arms. And you just know that this baby was meant for you. And it’s just divine intervention that this is how your family is going to be made, with this baby that you’ve just held for the first time that was born just hours before.