US Domestic Adoption Process

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 married couples as well as single men and women.

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.

An Adoptive Mom Describes Meeting Her Daughters Birthmom for the First Time

Video Transcript

Slide: How did you feel about your match meeting?

Adoptive Mom: I always tell people like if Renee and I had met outside of The Cradle, had gone to school together, or somehow had met - we still would’ve been friends. It wasn’t difficult, like any nervousness or apprehension. I mean obviously we wanted to make a good impression, we knew you had options too, but we also knew that this was going to be the only time to really impress her. So we were trying to be on our best behavior, had the nails done, you know all that stuff. But it's just as soon as we met, we hugged immediately, there was no… it was gone. And it really was we were here from 3 o’clock, I think, until like seven.

She asked us a bunch of questions about our profile and we asked her questions about her family, and about the pregnancy. You know, she wrote her name down on a piece of paper with her phone number which is in Joey’s little book. She said let’s stay in touch, and we did.