Catholic Charities USA is a nonprofit organization with 163 locations that provide various services and aid to people struggling with poverty and difficult life situations. The charity alleges to have began with an orphanage established in New Orleans in 1727 by the French Ursuline Sisters. These women weren't helping pregnant women, but were raising the children left without parents due to illness and poverty. Nearly three centuries later, Catholic Charities chooses to promote young pregnant women and teens and see their pregnancy to term in one of its many maternity homes. According to the Catholic Charities USA website, the organization believes mothers are "the heart of the family" and offers pregnancy counseling to any pregnant women who need help working through their situation.
Catholic Charities USA states on its website that it has responded to the recent increase in teen and unplanned pregnancy by implementing more local programs to serve those women. The maternity homes offer educational services to future mothers that include parenting classes and preparing for being a single mother. Counseling is also offered to women who need someone to speak with about pregnancy options.
Occasionally, a woman may wish to see the pregnancy to term but wants to place the child with an adoptive family instead of raising it herself. For adoptive parents on tight budgets, adopting from a charity agency is economic. Rarely will the church charge birth mother counseling fees that agencies may. They also are less likely to ask an adopter to pay before a placement is finalized. Adopters may be expected to donate to the birth mother's maternity home or Catholic Charities USA.