Adoption & Specialized Foster Care

Adoption Services

Catholic Charities Adoption Services is a non-profit agency serving the Diocese of Harrisburg, which includes 15 counties in Central Pennsylvania. We’ve been providing adoption services since 1938 and believe that every child is entitled to unconditional love and acceptance.

Catholic Charities provides adoption services to children in Pennsylvania through the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN). There are many children waiting for adoption in Pennsylvania and each of these children deserves a permanent family. Catholic Charities can assist you in becoming approved to adopt a child from the foster care system.

We are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.

Specialized Foster Care

Catholic Charities Specialized Foster Care provides temporary, safe, nurturing homes for children who have been separated from their families by the court. If a child cannot be returned home, we develop a plan for permanent placement.

For children who cannot live at home or with relatives, our staff helps match available families with children in need.

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Special Needs Children

Persons interested in becoming foster parents or adoptive parents for special needs children should contact our Adoption & Specialized Foster Care Program. “Special Needs” children may be those who are older, of minority heritage, part of a sibling group placed together, or have medical, physical, cognitive, or emotional challenges. A foster family for special needs adoption is called a “Resource Family.” A per diem is available to help meet the needs of these children.



Catholic Charities Adoption Services and Specialized Foster Care not only provides foster care and adoption services, but it also helps adoptees and their birth families to connect with one other through Search services. Nearly 50 years ago, Tina was an accomplished athlete who found herself pregnant while pursuing an advanced degree. With housing and supportive services from Catholic Charities, Tina made the difficult decision to place her daughter for adoption. Following the adoption, Tina pursued her career as an athlete, coach, and business administrator. While she was confident that she had made the right decision, Tina constantly thought about the daughter she had placed for adoption and wondered about her well-being. She eventually made attempts to find her daughter through various sources and by updating her online information in the event that her only child might someday want to meet her. After several years, Tina had come to the conclusion that meeting her daughter was just not meant to be.
This past year, Tina’s daughter, Beth, contacted Catholic Charities with a request for information about her birth parents. After talking with Beth and encouraging her to pursue the search, Catholic Charities was able to connect Beth with her birth mother. The two later traveled to meet each other, and Tina was given the opportunity to meet Beth’s husband and daughters. Tina was thrilled to learn that she was a grandmother, but she was most happy to hear that her daughter had loving adoptive parents who had given her a good life. Tina later wrote to Catholic Charities that “I think someone did a lot of praying and the prayers were answered.”

- Anonymous
Council on Accrediation Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations United Way

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