Adoption: How it Works
Pregnancy isn’t the same for everyone. Neither is adoption. It may seem intimidating, confusing or just plain difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.
At The Cradle, your counselors guide and assist you through this critical decision-making time with total privacy, completely free of charge. If you decide that adoption isn’t a good choice for you, that’s okay. We are here to help you decide what’s best for you.
You can call, IM, text or email us whenever you'd like. If you are very early on in your pregnancy or even if the baby has already been born, you can start the adoption process at any time.
It's not too early or too late. We will answer your questions and help you create the plan you want.
A Cradle counselor will talk with you and meet to help you explore all your options. She will never pressure you into choosing adoption. Instead her goal is simple: to make sure you understand all your options, rights and responsibilities.
Your counselor will explain the different types of adoption and help you outline an adoption plan that’s right for you.
The Cradle's decision-making counseling services to expectant parents are free. We can also pay for pregnancy-related medical and living expenses, as needed. Please discuss your specific needs with a counselor.
If you'd like, you can pick the parents for your baby from our group of waiting families. Rest assured all Cradle families have been thoroughly screened and are excited about parenting through adoption.
Maybe you would like to have some kind of relationship with the adoptive family or maybe you prefer not to have any contact at all. Either way is fine -- and totally up to you. Cradle families are open to whatever adoption plan works best for you, and if you’d like to meet them, you can.
Adoption is a big decision. The best way to feel confident in any big decision is to fully explore all options and then decide. Adoption is no different. It's very common to go back and forth while about the idea.
In fact, when the baby is born, in many states you can’t even sign the legal paperwork until the baby is a few days old. That’s an important time to make sure you still feel like adoption is the best option for you and the baby. In Illinois, you will need to wait at least three days after the baby is born to sign the legal papers. Laws vary by state. You can find your state’s adoption laws here.
After the baby is born, your counselor will check in with you to make sure that adoption is still your plan. If you need more time to think it over, The Cradle nursery is always available while you make your final decision.
If you don't live in Illinois, The Cradle has temporary care alternatives for your baby. It is important that you take the time you need to make this permanent decision.
If you are ready to proceed with adoption, your Cradle counselor will meet with you to sign all the documents that make it legally secure and permanent.
You may take long as you need to make this decision. Once the papers are signed, however, the adoption is complete.
We encourage you to continue to meet with your Cradle counselor after placement – our door is always open to you. You are not alone and it is important to talk with someone who understands what you are going through.
How much you stay in contact with the adoptive family will depend on the relationship you and the family decide to form. Typically, birth and adoptive families exchange pictures often and even arrange for seasonal visits.
If you've lost touch with the adoptive family, we can help reconnect you as well. Just give us a call or contact our counselors at firstname.lastname@example.org.