We often hear from parents, friends or teachers of someone who is pregnant. They would like to be a source of support to an expectant parent, but aren't sure themselves what kind of advice or information to share about the option of adoption.
Here are answers to some of the questions we hear most often. If your question isn't listed here, please feel free to connect with us directly. We're happy to help. Call anytime to 800-272-3534.
Listen without judging. Talk with them about how their plans and hopes for themselves and their baby. If they ask for your help parenting the child, think carefully about the ways you are able and not able to help, and be honest with them about your ability to contribute. Help them access resources, such as medical care and other services that can support them in exploring their options. We are also here to help. You can call The Cradle at 800-272-3534 to talk through the specific situation with us.
Regardless of age, the baby’s parents are the only people able to make legal decisions for the baby, including a voluntary adoption plan. Our counselors encourage the expectant parents to engage their family and other support people in their decision making.
Fathers are important in the life of the child. They also have legal rights and responsibilities in Illinois and Indiana. The Cradle works to ensure that each adoption is legally secure. We understand that each situation is unique so please discuss any concerns with The Cradle counselor.
We are happy to answer any question a friend or relative may have about our services and the adoption process. When it comes to making an appointment to meet with a counselor, it is important that we are sure the expectant mom is interested in learning more, as The Cradle’s services are voluntary. You can tell her that calling The Cradle or meeting with a counselor does not obligate her to choose adoption. Her counselor will explore all of her options with her and will support whatever decision she makes.
We encourage expectant parents to involve family and other support people as they explore their options. Services at The Cradle are confidential, and therefore we can only share information when the expectant parent has given us permission.
No. We have counselors available to meet where the expectant parents feel comfortable. While our doors are always open to you, we can also meet you at a place that’s convenient to you such as a coffee shop, a library, or a restaurant. We also have offices in Hyde Park and Merrillville, Indiana available for appointments.
The Cradle’s services are free of charge to expectant parents. We offer counseling throughout the decision making process and after placement. The counselor can also help locate resources for health care and associated needs.
Your patient might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what to do. It’s helpful to start by listening to her concerns and letting her know that you can help connect her to resources that may be helpful as she considers her options. You can call The Cradle at 800-272-3534 to refer your patient, or you can give her the information to call herself. You can assure her that her Cradle counselor will talk with her about both parenting and adoption. We can explain The Cradle’s services and answer her questions. If her baby is already born we can have a counselor visit her before she is discharged from the hospital. Illinois moms can utilize The Cradle’s nursery for temporary care while they are exploring their options. Moms living in Indiana also have temporary care options that their counselor will explore with them.
Absolutely. The Cradle offers in-services on adoption topics, and CEUs for social workers and CEs for nurses are available. Click here to learn more.
If you have questions about adoption or The Cradle, please call our Helpline at 800-272-3534 and we would be glad to answer any general questions or consult about a specific situation. We can also send you brochures to keep on hand for patients who express interest in adoption.
Being a support person for someone exploring adoption for their child can be challenging. Listen to Casey, a birth mother and nurse, as she shares about her experience.