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Spiritual Adoption

Spiritual Adoption is an age-appropriate family-friendly program based on an idea by Archbishop Fulton Sheen in which participants pray for a specific, but unknown, unborn child for nine months, learn about fetal development during the "pregnancy", and celebrate with either a "baby shower" in which baby items are donated to a local pregnancy resource center, or a "birthday party".  

The program materials are available free of charge and consist of promotional brochures and flyers for parishes and schools, pledge cards, prayer cards, ideas for providing updates and education, and announcements for baby showers and birthday parties.     

What is the Spiritual Adoption program?
Participants in the Spiritual Adoption Program pledge to pray for nine months for an unborn baby.  Since the child is adopted "spiritually", it is not necessary to identify an actual unborn child. This can be done in a parish or school setting, with age appropriate materials.  At the end of the nine months of prayer, a baby shower is held to gather items for a local pregnancy resource center or other organization that  provides support for mothers and babies.

The Spiritual Adoption Program has three goals…

  • Encourage prayer for parents who are expecting a child; that they will respond to God's grace and welcome their child into life.

  • Educate adults and children about the development of the pre-born child.

  • Provide mothers in need with a 'baby shower' of donated baby gifts, or simply celebrate with a 'birthday party' at the conclusion of the program.

Who may participate?
Church members, students, prayer groups and anyone who is concerned about the unborn, and who is willing to pray "that they might have life and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

As faithful Catholics we must understand how truly precious the gift of human life is.  All too often in our efforts to share this beautiful message we find ourselves in discussions that require an understanding of theology, a knowledge of science, or a level of life experience which is exclusive of younger members of our faith.  
For this reason the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph 
Life & Justice Office sponsors this Spiritual Adoption program that can be enjoyed by all members of our Catholic family whether it is in our parishes, in our schools, or in our homes. 

How can my school, parish, or family participate in the Spiritual Adoption program?
At the beginning of the program a pledge card or prayer card is completed with your name and the name you have decided to give to your adopted child.  The prayer is recited at regular intervals throughout the nine months and a regular update on the development of the unborn child is provided in the form of a poster, a card, a bulletin announcement, etc. 

There are a number of options for promoting and implementing your Spiritual Adoption Program.  A variety of prayer and pledge cards, progress update  cards and posters, and program completion materials may be downloading from the list below.  

You may also customize your own program with additional merchandise available from website links below.


Program Materials


          Flyer--Bulletin board/meeting invitation
          Flyer--Mass bulletin insert
          Announcements--Mass bulletin and pulpit
          Letter--Parish priests or school principals
          Letter--Parents or teachers
          Presentation (Powerpoint)

Pledge & Prayer Cards

          Pledge cards--KC-StJ Respect Life (for bulletin boards, church trees, etc.)
          Prayer cards--KC-StJ Respect Life
          Prayer cards--Holy Family
          Prayer cards--Patroness of the Unborn

Monthly Updates

          Announcements--Mass bulletin

Program Completion  (Coming soon!)

          Birthday party announcements
          Baby shower announcements 
          Certificates of program completion

Personalize Your Spiritual Adoption Program!

           Heritage House
           The Rosary of the Unborn


Leadership & Volunteer Opportunities

It does not matter how effective we may be at providing pastoral care if we do not also have volunteers helping with such things as promoting and organizing events, managing supplies, and most importantly, praying both inside and outside of our parishes.  Every person must have the opportunity to share his or her unique gifts, limited only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit!  

Below are the current volunteer opportunities for the Spiritual Adoption program. 

Leadership & Planning

  • Create or join a Respect Life Committee in your parish or local faith organization

  • Assist parishes and schools with planning and organizing Spiritual Adoption programs

Pastoral Care

  • Host a Spiritual Adoption program in  your parish or school and then share your ideas with the Life & Justice Office and other groups

Fundraising & Promotion

  • Participate as a member of a diocesan program fundraising or promotional committee

  • Assist the Life & Justice Office with development of promotional materials (e.g. brochures, flyers, posters, etc.) for the Spiritual Adoption program

Prayer & Worship

  • Start or join a parish prayer group.  Pastoral care leaders will periodically email or text updates and requests for prayers to parish prayer group leader(s).  These communications can then be sent to individual parish email/text list or shared at regularly-scheduled parish prayer group meetings.  

To learn more about these opportunities, or to sign-up today, please contact the Life & Justice Office.

Please prayerfully consider making a donation to the Spiritual Adoption program.  This will be used for items such as prayer cards, pledge cards and other program materials, as well as training and travel for team members.  You may donate online or by sending a check made payable to:

          Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph
          Life & Justice Office
          20 West Ninth Street
          Kansas City, MO  64105

Please note “Spiritual Adoption” on the memo line of your check.  Thank you!

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