Andy and Laura Kaye, who adopted daughter Stella from Volunteers of America, discuss our Adoption Program and the 2012 GolfStar Classic, our annual fundraiser, with WWL's Sally-Ann Roberts and Program Director Lori Arceneaux-North.
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As a licensed adoption agency and a respected pioneer in issues such as open adoption, our Adoption Program has united thousands of families over many decades. We place infants in adoptive homes, counsel birth parents and adoptive parents and reach out to both groups with a variety of helping services that range from crisis counseling for pregnant women to home studies for adoptive couples. Adoption and Maternity is a full-service agency. The program also places children in state custody with permanent families. We work with Wendy's Wonderful Kids, a national initiative that finds adoptive parents for youngsters in foster care.
We serve birth parents, adoptive parents and their extended families. Services can continue for a minimum of five years after a child is placed for adoption. About 86 percent of expectant mothers who contact us choose to parent their child. Of these, approximately 50 percent have a gross annual household income below $10,000, 59 percent are unemployed, 53 percent reside in a female household with no husband, and 16 percent are ages 10-17.
In 1915, a Magazine Street home was donated to Volunteers of America to help indigent women and children. No one was turned away. Due to increased demand, the property became a maternity home in 1942, providing proper medical care, residential care, and counseling.
Eventually, Volunteers of America operated two other maternity homes — on St. Charles Avenue and in Mandeville. We became a licensed adoption agency in 1948. As times changed, there was no longer a need for maternity homes, yet we continue to serve birth parents and adoptive couples with services that help them make decisions that are right for their individual situations.
Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans is
a non-profit human service organization that helps more than 63,000
people in need each year throughout 16 parishes in southeast Louisiana.
You can help by donating your vehicle, stocks and mutual funds, and insurance, or making a planned gift or volunteering your time. Sign up today to learn more about our programs and services.