The Cradle Blog

Celebrating 97 Years: Your Story is Our History

The Cradle was incorporated on February 26, 1923. Our history is so important to whom we are today, in shaping the work we do to help the community and in introducing us to our extended Cradle family: YOU!

The Cradle began as one woman’s initiative to change access to adoption resources in Evanston, IL. Our founder, Florence Walrath, networked with doctors throughout the area on behalf of her sister, who was interested in adopting. After successfully placing a baby girl with her sister’s family, Florence continued this work as a one-woman adoption agency, housing babies at Evanston Hospital at her own expense.

In 1923, Florence acquired the first official space for The Cradle, purchasing a house at the corner of Ridge and Simpson in Evanston. She talked to five local businessmen who donated $1,000 each to put a down payment of $5,000 on the house.  The next 97 years of The Cradle are marked by innovations in infant healthcare and standard-setting in adoption practices – yet the most important part of our history is your story. 

Join us on Wednesday, February 26, as we celebrate our past, present and future with a 97th Birthday celebration on social media!

Wish The Cradle a Happy Birthday by sharing a photo of your favorite Cradle memory with #TheCradleTurns97. How does the idea that #AdoptionChangesEverything apply to your life? Share your favorite picture from placement day, a Cradle Connections event or of a loved one touched by adoption to add to a tapestry of Cradle memories we’ll share on our pages.

Learn more about The Cradle on our website & social media: We’ll be sharing historic fun facts and information about what’s ahead for The Cradle. Follow our social media accounts here to connect: 

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Consider making a birthday gift of $97 to support your favorite program at The Cradle - Visit to make a 100% tax-deductible charitable contribution.