In 2014, Catholic Charities placed 23 children with loving families and provided counseling and support to 744 people.

In 2014, Catholic Charities placed 23 children with loving families and provided counseling and support to 744 people touched by adoption or a crisis pregnancy.

Did you know that our Pregnancy and Adoption Support office offers Post Adoptive Counseling?

The program offers professional counseling for anyone seeking help for an adoption-related issue, whether it is a birth parent, adoptive parent or an adoptee.

It includes individual counseling, family counseling or family education and is led by our licensed therapists and social workers who all have experience working in adoption.

“This aligns with Catholic Charities’ mission to serve the whole person,” said Kim Harrell, Pregnancy and Adoption Support program director. “Since we are adoption experts with so many cumulative years of experience, it makes sense for us to offer this counseling as well.”

Pregnancy and Adoption Support can help adoptees and families facing identity issues, birth parents who sometimes struggle with grief issues, or other emotional issues experienced by those whose lives are touched by adoption.

“Not everyone touched by adoption will need counseling, but some do,” said Harrell, who is a licensed professional counselor. “I see a birth parent who placed a child 30 years ago. Sometimes life gets hard and complicated, and we want to be there when it does.”

Today, Harrell shares a story of a family she recently led through Post Adoptive Counseling:

This newly-formed family was experiencing attachment issues as the adoptee, a teenage girl from Ethiopia, continued to communicate with her biological family. The adoptive parents were confused and hurt. They fearfully questioned whether this adoption would ultimately work.

I counseled both the young woman and the adoptive parents to understand the hurt behind their actions, alter their expectations and strengthen their relationships. Now, she still talks to family and friends in Ethiopia without weakening the relationship she has with her family here.

Post Adoptive Counseling helped this family to flourish into the new family they want to be. While their challenge may have been unique, the result was not. We are here to help any family experiencing challenges related to an adoption.

If you or someone you know may benefit from Post Adoptive Counseling, please call our Pregnancy and Adoption Support office at 703-425-0100 or email Kim Harrell at

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