The Cradle primarily works with prospective adoptive parents who are at least 25 years old, in good health, and are Illinois residents who reside in the greater Chicago area.
We welcome prospective adoptive parents of all religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds. We work with single men and women, heterosexual couples who have been married for at least one year and same gender couples who are in a civil union.
Attend a General Adoption Information at any of our meeting locations. These meetings provide an overview of The Cradle's adoption programs, introduction to open adoption (for domestic adoption), and include an opportunity for questions.
Complete and return preliminary paperwork with registration fee
Meet with your personal adoption counselor who will discuss your interest in adoption.
The home study consists of a series of couple and/or individual interviews with your counselor, selecting the adoption program that is right for you, home visits, paperwork, and a series of educational classes that will prepare you for welcoming a child into your home. Your counselor will work closely with you throughout your preparation process. A home study is the legal document required for licensure as a foster parent in the state of Illinois. It documents the backgrounds, lifestyles, home setting and medical history of an adoptive family. A home study also includes a background check and fingerprinting. When you adopt through an agency, a foster parent license is required.
A home study is made up of the following parts:
• criminal background check
• state child abuse and neglect clearance
• medical history
• a series of interviews with an adoption counselor
• home visit
Create your "Dear Birthparent" letter to introduce your family to potential birthparents You will write a letter to prospective birthparents, including photos of yourselves, family and friends. The letter is your first introduction to birthparents and will help them to understand a little about what it would be like for their child to live with your family. Your "Dear Birthparent" letter (see examples at Meet Cradle Families) will be shown to birthparents who are considering adoption.
Expectant parents looking to place a child and prospective adoptive parents meet to determine if they want to work together toward an open adoption.
The Cradle is a source of support after you bring your baby home. You'll be able maintain your connection to The Cradle and other adoptive families at our many family events and workshops.