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Bishop Burbidge's Statement on National Adoption Month

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National Adoption Month, which we observe in November, is a time to celebrate adoption and pay tribute to the birth parents and adoptive families whose selfless gifts have allowed infants and children to be placed in stable homes where they can grow and be nurtured.

Our Catholic faith has always upheld the special role of adoption: Our Lord himself was raised and protected by his loving mother Mary and foster father, St. Joseph. Adoption continues to be an integral part of our Gospel witness. Seventy-four years ago, prior to the founding of our diocese, Catholic Charities in our area established an adoption program for the most vulnerable. It has helped thousands of children and families ever since. Last year alone, we provided pregnancy and adoption-related services to 400 families.

Today, we continue to serve expectant mothers and fathers who have discerned they can best provide for their children by making adoption plans. Likewise, Catholic Charities serves prospective parents, uniting them with infants and older children, including some who have siblings or special needs. Many parents choose Catholic Charities for their adoption plans because they want to engage this process in a manner consistent with their Catholic faith.

Brothers and sisters, we also need to pray for the sustainability of this critical ministry. The right of faith-based child placement organizations to provide services consistent with their deeply held religious beliefs — and the beliefs of those they serve — has repeatedly been jeopardized by the Virginia General Assembly. We must speak up whenever religious freedoms are under attack, as it threatens our ability to protect the most vulnerable and serve according to our faith. Please pray that we can continue to safeguard our faith-based charitable services for children and families.

We ask the intercession of Mary our Mother and St. Joseph as we work to ensure that children find the homes that God provides them. To parents who lovingly place their children for adoption and the families who generously open their homes to these children, may Our Lord continue to offer his blessings upon you.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021