Domestic Adoption
Call Us (800) 272-3534

Knowing that adoption is a life-changing, lifelong experience, we stress preparation and education for everyone involved. Your domestic adoption counselor will serve as your guide and assist in your home study assessment.

The Cradle embraces an open adoption philosophy for domestic adoption placements. With the best interests of the child in mind, birthparents and adoptive parents meet and agree to forge an ongoing relationship. The more you learn about all the benefits of open adoption, the more you may find it's right for you.

We are accepting applications for our Agency Assisted Program (Domestic Infant Program) and Intercountry Program. At this time our General Domestic Program and our Finding Families Initiative/Sayers Program is full.


The Cradle welcomes prospective adoptive parents of all religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Marriage Status:

We work with married couples as well as single men and women.

At the time of registration couples do need to be married, but we do not have a marriage length requirement.

Age Requirements:

At the time of registration, prospective adoptive parents need to be between the ages of 25 to 47.

Location Requirements:

Prospective adoptive parents must live within one of the six counties in Illinois we serve:

⬤  Cook

⬤  DuPage

⬤  Kane

⬤  Lake

⬤  McHenry

⬤  Will

We do not accept other agency’s home studies for our General Domestic Program.

US Domestic Adoption Process

Attend a General Adoption Information Meeting at any of our locations throughout the Chicago, Illinois area. 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 which outlines the backgrounds, lifestyles, home setting and medical history of an adoptive family. A home study also includes a background check and fingerprinting. 

A home study consists of the following components:

  • fingerprints
  • criminal background check
  • state child abuse and neglect clearance
  • medical history
  • a series of interviews with an adoption counselor 
  • autobiography
  • references
  • home visit

Create your Profile to introduce your family to potential birthparents. Your Profile will contain information and photos of yourselves, family and friends. This is your first introduction to potential birthparents and will help them to understand a little about what it would be like for their child to live with your family. Your Profile (see some examples) will be shown to birthparents who are considering adoption.

Expectant parents who are considering placing 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 to maintain your connection to The Cradle and other adoptive families at our many family events and workshops.