1000 Hastings Street
Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone: 231.947.8110
Fax: 231.947.3522

About The Agency And Its Adoption Program

Catholic Human Services is an agency of the Diocese of Gaylord and has major offices in Traverse City, Gaylord, Alpena, and Cadillac.  The agency has been serving families of all faiths in the 21 counties of Lower Northern Michigan since 1971. (The area was previously served through Catholic Social Services in Grand Rapids and Saginaw.)  We are supported primarily by the United Way, Catholic Services Appeal, contracts with government sources, and service fees.  The agency responds to a wide variety of needs and offers a range of services including marriage counseling, family therapy, individual counseling, substance abuse counseling, nursing home consultation, employee assistance program, and various other services.

The agency also has a Child Welfare Program.  The heart of the Child Welfare Program is its response to families struggling with the challenges of an untimely pregnancy.  Because a portion of these families believe the best plan for their expected child is adoption, we have an adoption program.  It is important to emphasize that our adoption program exists because of our pregnancy program, not the other way around. We are convinced this is the most ethical model to offer our services in an unbiased manner.

Our adoption program is small but distinguished.  We have been doing open adoption since 1980, and have continuously offered open adoption longer than any other agency in the country.  Over the years we have arranged more than 550 open adoptions, and we are very proud of the outcomes we have witnessed.  We have organized eight extraordinary national conferences on the subject (including the first ever to focus exclusively on open adoption), appeared on national television several times, and provided training to agencies across the country.  Adoption Without Fear, a compilation of open adoption stories written by parents who adopted through our program, was published in the Spring of 1989, and has provided inspiration to countless families mulling over their adoptive options.  The Spirit of Open Adoption (1997), Lifegivers (2000), and Hospitious Adoption (2009) are other significant books written by the program’s founder, Jim Gritter.   Catholic Human Services emerged as a leading national voice for the cause of humanizing the adoption experience.  

Adoption makes clear something that is true in all of life: namely, we are interdependent with others.  That being the case, it is important that you know who you are working with.  We hope this bit of history gives you some sense of where we are coming from.