Intercountry Adoption Process

The Cradle primarily works with prospective adoptive parents who are at least 25 years old, 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 singles and married couples who have been married for at least one year. There may be additional requirements which are specific to the country. You can view these on our country information page

Attend an Adoption Information meeting at any of our meeting locations. These meetings provide an overview of The Cradle's adoption programs, introduction to international adoption, and include an opportunity for questions.

Complete and return preliminary paperwork and 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. We also can put you in touch with a mentoring adoptive family, someone who has been through the process before who can answer your questions and speak to any concerns you may have.

A home study is made up of the following parts:
•  fingerprints
•  criminal background check
•  state child abuse and neglect clearance
•  medical history
•  a series of interviews with an adoption counselor 
•  autobiography
•  references
•  home visit


Choose your anticipated child's country-of-origin while your home study is being completed. Learn about choosing a placement agency.

Complete and submit dossier (request for adoption) to your country of choice


Receive a referral of a specific child from that country

Your travel may include 2 trips, depending on the country requirements.

Your adoption counselor will visit with you at least three times during the first year after placement. Specific requirements for post-placement visits vary by country. You'll be able maintain your connection to The Cradle and other adoptive families at our many family events and workshops.