The Gift of a Child – New Orleans Adoption Services

As staff members of CCANO’s Adoption Services, Danna Cousins and Cindy Falgoust juggle a fine line. They are with some clients on possibly the most difficult day of their lives as a child is placed for adoption, which leads to other clients’ happiest day as they receive a child. The common denominator in all of their clients’ experiences is LOVE. No matter the case, the Adoption Services team goes above and beyond for clients, making themselves available for a lifetime of service beyond normal working hours. Unique to CCANO’s Adoption Services, the agency has adoption records that date back to the early 1900’s. Staff consistently provide post adoption services to birth parents, individuals that were adopted, and extended family members navigating reunions from past adoptions over the decades.

2019 has been a memorable year in Danna and Cindy’s twenty years of work in this field. For the past three years, the “Smith” family had been waiting to welcome a child into their home, becoming discouraged and questioning why a birth mother had not yet chosen them. Despite this difficult time, they regularly checked in with the program and held out hope. This year, the Smiths received the blessing of a son and understood why they needed to wait; this was the child that God had planned for their family.  

“We wish that the general community had a better understanding of adoption for birth parents, adopted parents, and for individuals who were adopted,” shares Danna Cousins, Program Director of CCANO’s Adoption Services. “With fewer mothers choosing adoption, families can wait as long as 3 years before a child is placed in their home, but adoption can be a beautiful experience full of love – the birthparent’s love for their child as they consider adoption; the adoptive parent’s love when they provide a nurturing home; and the adoptee’s love for their birth parent who made a selfless decision and for their adoptive parents who provided them with a home. The more love our child can have in his or her life, the better!”  

Parents consider adoption for many reasons including financial stressors and a lack of physical support from their partner. Birth mothers are often judged for choosing adoption, but many are unaware that a mother chooses adoption because she loves her child and wants her child to have more than she can provide. Adoption Services offers case management, counseling, and education to expectant parents considering adoption to address these issues.

In an open adoption, birth mothers have the opportunity to watch the child’s growth and have an on-going relationship with the adoptive family. Open adoptions also allow the adoptive family to become a part of the child’s life before he or she is born. “Most importantly, an open adoption provides the child to know that they have been so loved and cared for by both the birth and adoptive families,” says Danna. Birth parents can even chose the families their child will be a part of so that they can ensure that he or she will be cared for and appreciated.

CCANO is proud of the ethical services Danna and Cindy provide families considering placing their child for adoption. They ensure their clients’ rights to determine what is best for their child and family, whether that means parenting or adoption, without judgment. Even if a client choses to parent their child after planning on adoption, Danna and Cindy deliver case management and referrals to support this choice. With CCANO’s Adoption Services, clients know that both adoption and parenting are loving, life affirming options and leave assured by the staff’s dedication.

Learn more about CCANO’s Adoption Services here.