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How much will it cost to use your services?
Nothing. The Cradle's decision-making counseling services are free. And we can also pay for reasonable medical and living expenses, as needed.
Does the baby’s biological father have to be involved?
The Cradle can work with you, regardless of the relationship you have with the baby's father. There are steps that the father will have to take, or The Cradle can take for you, to ensure a legally secure adoption. While we encourage the father to take part in the decision-making process, if he chooses not to be involved, his parental rights can be terminated by signing a legal document or through termination in the courts.
I'm 6 weeks pregnant. Is it too early to call The Cradle?
No. You can call us anytime during your pregnancy. When you connect with The Cradle, we'll answer any question you may have and give you information on all of your options. You can also set up an appointment with a Cradle counselor.
I'm 9 months pregnant. Is it too late to call The Cradle?
No. You can connect with The Cradle anytime during your pregnancy--even from the hospital after you give birth. We'll give you all the information and support you need to make sure you understand your options at this point and help you explore adoption. You may also take advantage of The Cradle Nursery as a place for your baby to stay while you take time to consider your options.
Do I need my parents' permission to place a child for adoption?
No, you do not need your parents' permission to place a child for adoption. This is your decision to make. Any contact with a Cradle counselor is completely private. However, in many cases we find that the adoption process can be less stressful if you talk about your decision, especially with your family. We can help you plan how to talk to them about adoption, if you'd like some help.
How does the whole process work?
When you first connect with The Cradle, we will answer any question you may have and ask you if you'd like to set up an appointment with one of our Cradle counselors.
When you meet your personal counselor, she will explain all your options and learn more about your background and situation to help you plan for your future. Meeting with a Cradle counselor does not mean that you have to choose adoption. That decision is always yours.
You may meet with your counselor as often as little as you like. Or, if you prefer, you can meet just a couple of times. If you choose to, your counselor with review with you letters and pictures of Cradle families ready to adopt.
Once you select a family, you have the option to meet the family you've chosen. Your counselor will be by your side for support when you meet the family. At this time you may discuss your hopes for the child, learn more about the family and see if you want to move forward with an adoption plan with the family.
After birth, you'll have as much time as you need to revisit your plan for your child. If you wish, your counselor will visit you in the hospital. You are welcome to use The Cradle Nursery for your baby to stay while you take the time you need to make your decision. If you prefer, your baby can go home directly from the hospital with the adoptive parents you've chosen for him.
If you choose adoption, you'll meet with your counselor to sign all the paperwork that makes the adoption permanent and legal. You may continue to meet with your counselor after placement, too. We are here to offer support to you for as long as you need us.
Can I change my mind after placement?
Once you sign the legal document that terminates your legal rights as a parent, your decision is final. The Cradle's goal is to help you reach a decision that you are comfortable with before you take that step.
I'm not sure I want contact with the adoptive family after placement. Can I have a closed adoption?
Yes, of course. If you do not wish to have contact with the child after placement, your choice will be respected. All of our adoptive families are prepared for an open adoption, so if you decide later that you would like to connect with the adoptive family, The Cradle will help.
What kind of families adopt children through The Cradle?
Our adoptive families represent all races, ethnicities and religions. Some families choose to adopt because of infertility and some families want to adopt simply to provide a child a warm and stable home. All Cradle families are thoroughly screened, educated and excited about becoming an adoptive family.
Do you have families for African American and biracial babies?
What if my baby is born with medical problems or has been exposed to drugs and/or alcohol?
The Cradle is committed to finding a loving home for every child in our care. Some waiting families working with The Cradle are prepared to adopt babies with special needs. It is important that you share any concerns in this regard with your counselor so that we can present you with families who are prepared to parent a child who may have special medical needs. Of course, we also encourage practicing good prenatal care throughout pregnancy for the health and well-being of yourself and the baby.
What if I've already chosen an adoptive family?
We can work with you and your chosen adoptive family to complete an adoption. The Cradle can help you get resources and counseling to make the adoption run more smoothly and act as an objective mediator to make sure that everyone involved has the support they need.
What if I don't live in Illinois?
If you would like to place your child with one of The Cradle's adoptive families and you don't live in Illinois, we can still help you. Connect with The Cradle and we can discuss a plan that works best for you.