“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of [baby’s name] the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.”Prayer of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Why Spiritually Adopt?
The Purpose of the Spiritual Adoption Program is threefold:
- Encourage parishes, schools and other communities to pray for babies in danger of abortion
- Educate adults and children about the development of the pre-born child.
- Provide mothers in need with assistance at a ‘baby shower’ of donated baby gifts, or simply celebrate with a ‘birthday party’ at the conclusion of the program. In some schools, a crib was bought with monetary gifts and the children filled a crib with gifts for expectant mothers.
This is done by encouraging people to “spiritually adopt” an unborn baby and follow their baby along the path to being born.
How Does It Work?
Participants pledge to pray for nine months for a baby in danger of abortion. During each month of the program, the “spiritual parents” are given information about their baby’s development in the womb.
While this child will remain unknown to his or her ‘spiritual parent’, God knows who the child is. Many people have found that naming ‘their child’ helps to keep them focused on the reality that their prayers are helping to save a particular baby from the harm of abortion.
As the program goes along, you can send “Thank-you” notes to the participants from the baby each month. This is especially nice for school and religious education programs, as it helps the participants form a genuine sense of connection with their adopted baby.
At the end of the program, a ‘baby shower’ or ‘birthday party’ can be held and gifts of baby items donated can be given to a local pregnancy center.
Where Can We Get Materials?
We have the following materials available for download:
- An information sheet in English and Spanish giving general instructions about how to conduct the program in your parish or school.
- A letter to teachers explaining the program.
- A certificate of spiritual adoption.
- Sample pulpit announcement/bulletin insert announcing the program.
- Sample bulletin inserts in English and Spanish that describe the development of the spiritually-adopted baby.
- Information about colorful and informative posters you can use to promote the program.
There is also a beautiful brochure showing the unborn baby’s development month-by-month, available in English and Spanish from Little One Publishing.
Who Can Participate?
The Spiritual Adoption program can be used by schools, religious education programs, or the entire parish. Basically, the program is for anyone who is concerned about abortion, and who is willing to pray for babies in danger of abortion, “that they might have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Everyone! While it is not always possible to see the particular effects of prayer, we know through Scripture that God wants us to pray, and we know by faith that He answers all prayers. The educational aspect of the program is beneficial to people of all ages, including children. Churches and schools are encouraged to display the very gentle and appealing full color posters that both depict and describe in words the baby’s development each month. There is no mention of abortion on the posters. Some schools obtain enough sets of posters for each classroom and/or entrance or exit to the school.
Looking for more materials?
Prayer Cards: Arthur Maes prints and distributes cards with a lovely full color image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the front and a brief description of the program and short prayer composed by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on the reverse. Because Mr. Maes prints at his own expense, we suggest that you send him a minimum of six cents per card ordered, plus something for shipping. Mailing address:
11142 Osage Street, Northglenn, CO 80234. Phone: 720-977-9150
Posters: Posters for Spiritual Adoption are available for order online from the Archdiocese of Baltimore Respect Life Office. To order materials, visit their online order form.
Additional Posters and Pins: The posters and precious feet pins (or precious hand pins) can also be ordered through the Heritage House Catalog. Find them at
919 S. Main Street, Snowflake, AZ 85937.