Some private agencies work through religious affiliation. These agencies may insist that only adopters and birth mothers believe in the faith the agency propagates but that isn't always the case. One of the largest Catholic adoption agencies is Catholic Charities USA. This agency funds maternity homes for pregnant women and teens. At these homes, women can continue their education, take parenting classes and prepare for life as a single mother, if she so chooses. Catholic Charities may also provide counseling services to these women. This counseling may help a woman decide to place the child in adoption.
The benefit of working with a religious agency is that the woman will likely to have a strong support system and will have talked about her decision with church members or volunteers and staff at the agency. She is more likely to have conviction in her decision, when and if she makes it, to place. Because a lot of the services associated with infant adoption are covered by those offered through the church, the adoption expenses in Catholic adoption are generally lower than other private agencies'. Religious adoptions are also less likely to ask for any money up-front, instead asking for any birth mother expenses post-placement. Catholic adoption processes may also include the request of a donation to either the church or the program through which the birth mother placed the adoptee.