Can Priests Adopt Children?


Hey, I know for sure I’ll be entering seminary in 2 years and like 99.9% sure the priesthood is what God is calling me to. But, I really love children! My uncles and aunts just had kids, and my baby cousins are really adorable and funny. Is it possible? To adopt a baby or something even if I am priest? Im also a musician so I’ve always wanted to raise a little mozart, or just like the Bach family, raise generations of talented musicians.


Priests can be married in the eastern rites of the Church, I am no expert on that as I am Latin Rite.

Your enthusiasm is fantastic. But, remember marriage is a vocation, just as the priesthood is. :thumbsup:

Hope someone from another rite will guide you here.
this should go into the vocations forum really, I think…?:confused:

Oh, you said adopt. Caught that at the end there.

Well, if you know you want to be a father, yet deny the child a Mother, I would say you need to pray harder about this.


I have heard of a few, very rare, situations where clergy or religious were allowed to adopt orphans. I do not remember any of the circumstances including Father wanting to raise a little Mozart, but instead usually an identified need. It seems in one circumstance in particular that I recall, the priest was also a direct relative to the children.

In short, I’d say don’t bank on it. You’ll most likely be sorely dissapointed. Priests may be godparents. You might look into that avenue in the future.


That was my concern, as well, to intentionally deprive a child of a mother. Maestro, you are obviously so full of life, loving, and a caring person… If you become a priest, you will have a whole flock of children (with plenty of Mozarts in the mix, I’m sure). :thumbsup:


The priest who founded my church, Monsignor Gleisner (sp?) adopted I think 3 boys. Of course this was a hundred years ago. I don’t know the particulars like if the parents died or whatever, I just know back then it wasn’t against cannon law.


You will find when you are ordained that you will not have time to be a good priest to a parish and a good father. The priesthood is not a 9-5 job. Plus, in this day and age, it would just look bad. Too many scandals, sorry to say.

I’m with the poster who says you’re about to get hundreds of children.


ya, but, there are a lot of orphans who are never even adopted, so they’re never really even given a chance to really experience what having a father or mother is. I personally think it is better to allow single responsible truly sincere adults who can provide a loving and God-filled environment to adopt orphans. But, this question just popped into my head because I just visited my baby cousin and she’s really funny n peculiar. She wont let anyone hold her except her grandma (who takes care of her during the week days), her mom n dad, n me. But, I really love babies, n it just makes me sad how there can be so many “doctor’s” who’ve taken oaths to heal and do good, but are involved in performing abortions, that’s why I joined the university pro-life group…(we’re a small minority at Berkeley :smiley: ), but thats another topic


Our current pastor has a son whom he adopted. I’m not sure at all of the particulars, but he was a troubled teen and had health problems requiring a transplant. I’m positive that he had the bishop’s approval. Monsignor is a diocesan priest, so I’m not sure if that matters.

I do think that it requires a very special person to parent a single child and run a parish at the same time. OTOH, being a parent has added a different dimension to his priesthood. He understands first hand the problems faced by parents.

I’ll admit that when we first heard him speaking of his son, we were really confused! :confused: This is the ONLY time in all my 30 years that I’ve heard of a priest having a child.


A priest in a parish not too far from where I am adopted 3 orphaned boys.


Go to an order with an orphanage or at least a school to teach music. Or if your in a parish, go to a rural area, where you can help as a music teacher, then you can have a lot of the same kids for a long time.


Father Pfledger of Chicago has adopted sons.


I had a priest at a duty location a few years ago that had adopted three children. Two boys and one girl. The boys lived with him and the girl lived with another relative. He adopted them because apparently he was really close friends to their mother and she died of cancer and he made a promise to raise them if she died. So she changed her will and put the children in his care. Whether or not he had special permission to do this is beyond me. He was a rather liberal priest (always complained about priests not allowed to get married, complained about women not being allowed to be priests, etc) so I do have reservations as to the purity of the “it was a simple adoption because a friend died” story. But these children are grown adults now and have families of their own, so I can’t tell you how easy or hard it was for him to raise them while being a priest.

The only other priest I knew that had children also had a wife. (How’s that for a “do-wha?”) He was an Episcopalian priest before he converted to Catholicism and he petitioned Rome to become a Catholic Priest. And he was blessed with being ordained. He and his wife have three boys and that is one awesome family. (The boys are now all grown with families of their own).

So outside of a more obvious reason for having children (the latter story), I only know of one priest that adopted children and some of the vague circumstances. So I guess it could happen… but to outright adopt, I don’t know.


When my dad was a kid (in a very poor part of Southern Indiana) a family had a house fire. The parents both died and perhaps one of the children too. The local priest adopted the kids. One of them was in my dad’s class.


I think most of this has to do with when the discernment for family/priesthood comes into play, but I am not sure.
For instance, in the eastern rite I believe they must be married prior to ordination, after ordination the door shuts closed on that possibility (if I am correct on this) so, with your desires being both to have kids and be a priest



You need to talk to a spritual director.

It sounds like you need more discernment on your vocation in general.If you have a desire for a child then maybe god is calling you to the married life and not the priesthood.

P.S. there is a difference between loving childern in general and feeling the calling to be a parent.



sorry about the broken posting, now my thought is gone.

:shrug: :eek:

I will be thinking about you and praying!:thumbsup:


The diocesan priest in my hometown (archdiocese of Syracuse, NY) adopted 2 orphan boys from china many years ago. He adopted them both as toddlers, and the diocese has accommodated him by allowing him to stay at the same parish until the boys have graduated from highschool. Although it is obviously uncommon, I think it is possible under certain circumstances for a priest to adopt.


I have heard of nuns adopting children but not of any priests doing so.:eek: :shrug:


I must agree with this.

It is certainly possible that a priest could adopt children. But (at least in the case of latin rite priests) it usually involves extraordinary circumstances with children who are older.

Most priests would probably find raising a child to be too difficult. And (with the possible exception of relatives of the priest) most very young children are better placed in a two parent family.

As for raising a Mozart… Any child can (and I think ought to be) taught music. But I’m not so sure that everychild comes pre-wired to be an exceptional musician. I’ve known families where both parents were musicians and composers. Some of the kids followed in the parents footsteps but others wanted nothing to do with music.


Mozart didn’t even raise a little Mozart. I wouldn’t choose a vocation based on that either. I think the other poster is right.

What you are proposing is to be a single parent and work a 24/7 job. I don’t know of any diocese that would ordain you with that career goal in mind.

The first thing you learn as a parent is that you cannot put your life goals on your child.

But I’m sure some parish would love to have a pastor with an appreciation of good church music.

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