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Types Of Adoption

Infant Adoption

baby looking up smiling

Our infant adoption program exists to meet the needs of children whose birth parents are making adoption plans for them. We are looking for families to meet children’s needs, not children that meet families’ needs. Adoptive parents are viewed as resources for children in need of permanent homes.

Our infant adoption program at Catholic Charities West Michigan is an open adoption program for biological parents who wish to make a voluntary adoption plan for their child.  The agency educates and studies families wishing to adopt an infant throughout West Michigan. It is our strong belief that an open adoption relationship between biological parents and adoptive families provides the best possible outcome for children as they develop and grow into adulthood

Home Study: All prospective adoptive families must have a preplacement assessment conducted by a licensed child-placing agency in order to adopt a child in the state of Michigan. Our preplacement assessment is done in accordance with the Michigan adoption code and includes aspects like FBI background checks, medicals, home visits, and extensive social history on the prospective adoptive family.

Education: All prospective adoptive families participate in education classes to learn about the legal and emotional aspects of the adoption process as well as support the identity development of an adopted child. Education also focuses on the unique aspects of navigating an open adoption and the benefits of this type of relationship.

Fees: As Infant Adoption is a voluntary program, there is no adoption subsidy provided by the state, therefore, all fees for infant adoption services are paid by the adoptive family. A fee schedule for services can be obtained by contacting our infant adoption specialist.

Contact Stephanie at (616) 356-6293 or to learn more.

Cayla's Story

Foster Care Adoption

Mother and foster child

Although Family Reunification is the primary goal of Catholic Charities West Michigan’s Foster Care Program, there are times when children are unable to return home and biological parents lose their right to be caregivers for

their children. In cases such as these, children are left looking for a “forever home.” Catholic Charities West Michigan works with these children and potential adoptive families in order to help children find a permanent home that they can consider to be their own, forever.

Many children are available for adoption along with their brothers and sisters. Families who are able to provide a permanent and loving home for three or four children are often needed. Adoptive families are also needed for older children or teens.

Applicants are encouraged to become licensed foster parents so that they can be available to take children into their homes as foster-to-adopt placements.

Adoptive parents are required to complete the following items in order to be approved for adoption:

  • Adoption applications
  • Medical clearance
  • Background checks
  • Family assessment

Contact Alix Wanlass at or Elizabeth Labra-Silberzahn at to learn more.

International Adoption

man and adopted son

Catholic Charities West Michigan can complete home studies and provide post-placement supervision for families working with an international adoption agency.

Contact Stephanie at or 616-356-6293 to learn more.