Special Needs Adoption

The Cradle places a few special needs infants each year. We have a careful screening process for identifying families for our most precious special needs babies. Our outreach and networking efforts to find loving homes are extensive. You DO NOT need to reside in Illinois or have a Cradle homestudy to be considered.

Below are answers to questions we often hear about adopting a special needs child.

If you reside in Illinois, you may qualify for a non-ward subsidy, depending on the needs of the child you adopt. Only Illinois residents are eligible for a subsidy from Illinois. If you reside out of state, you may or may not be eligible in your state of residence. It is your responsibility to learn your state's rules. There is no guarantee you will qualify for a subsidy.

The placement fee for a special needs placement is $3,500. This includes interstate paperwork but not your home study or legal fees.

To ensure that we always have sufficient options for all expectant parents and families for every child entrusted to our care, The Cradle Foundation's Finding Families for Children initiative financially subsidizes these adoption fees for prospective adoptive parents of medically fragile children. 

If adoption is not right for you at this time, or if this situation is not the right fit, please consider making a donation to our special needs program. Donate here.

You need a home study from a licensed, non-profit, child welfare agency to adopt. You can call agencies in your area to learn about the steps involved in completing a home study and what costs would be involved. The Cradle is only able to do home studies for Illinois residents of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will County. Pursuing a home study does not guarantee that you will take placement of the child you have expressed interest in. You do not need to have a current approved home study to express interest in a child.

The Cradle works with men and women making a voluntary plan of adoption. The children who are adopted through our program are not wards of the state. Surrenders are signed around the time of placement. Surrenders in Illinois are final and irrevocable. A birth mother or father can change their mind at any time up until signing of surrenders.

All interested families must complete a Pre-Application. Please complete the form in its entirety to be considered for screening for our Special Needs Program.

Everyone who completes a pre-application will hear from us. However, please keep in mind that due to the specific needs of each child, review, planning and communication varies. The most expedient way to receive information is to check our site and by liking us on Facebook. Should we need more information from you, we will contact you directly.

Families must be residents of the United States. We will not place children born within 9 months of each other. We will not place a child in a family if they are already in the process of another adoption. Families must ultimately have an approved home study to proceed.

Please consider making a donation to our special needs program. Donate to The Cradle here (select "Special Needs Infant Program" in the drop down menu). 

You can also see some recent special needs placements on our blog