Father George Clements and Adoption

Fr. George H. Clements giving Holy Communion, 1973. Photo by John H. White.


1932 -


U.S. religious leader and social activist, Father George Clements, is an African American Catholic priest of national renown. He made headlines fighting against the ailments of modern society such as drug addiction, crime, racial discrimination, and inadequate childcare.

Born in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 26, 1932, Clements had by the age of 12 decided to become a priest.

Since Father Clements’ 1957 ordination in his hometown of Chicago, he has tackled social justice issues, beginning with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In 1981, he Clements gained public attention when he became the first Roman Catholic priest to adopt a child.

That adoption was the catalyst for the foundation of an adoption program called “One Church One Child.” Operating in 32 states, the program has placed some 170,000 children in homes over the last 24 years. Altogether, Father Clements has adopted four sons.