Many people who begin using The Cradle's Lifelong Adoption Support have questions about the kind of information we can provide. We hope that the answers below provide a few answers. If you still have a question, feel free to contact us.

No matter how, when or where your adoption occurred, the Cradle can help. Your first step is to schedule an Informational Consultation with our counselor. Your meeting can be in person, or via phone.

Illinois law does not allow The Cradle to release identifying information, including names, of birth relatives without consent from that person. Additionally, The Cradle is unable to confirm, or deny the names of birth parents even if you have adoption paperwork or an Original Birth Certificate that includes such information. For Cradle adoptions, we do offer help connecting with birth relatives.

At the time of the adoption, the Original Birth Certificate is sealed and an amended birth certificate is issued with the adoptive parents' names and the new name of the adopted person. You can obtain this amended document through Vital Records in the county or state in which you were born. www.vitalrec.com For adopted person's born in Illinois and over the age of 21, a non-certified copy of an Original Birth Certificate can be requested through the Illinois Adoption Registry. The ability of an adult adopted person born on or after January 1, 1946, to obtain identifying information listed on their original birth certificate may depend on whether his or her birth parents have filed forms with the Illinois Adoption Registry stating a preference regarding the release of their identity. For more detailed information go to The New Illinois Adoption Law site.

  • Cook County Clerk’s Office of Vital Records 118 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60664-2570 or call (312) 603-7790 (recorded message)
  • Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Vital Records Attn: Illinois Adoption Registry 925 E. Ridgeley Ave., Springfield, IL 62702-2737 217-782-6554

As a non-for-profit organization, The Cradle makes every effort to keep all of our fees manageable. In fact, our fees do not cover the costs we incur; we rely heavily on The Cradle Foundation's fundraising and charitable giving for ongoing support of our services. These fees help cover the professional time required for accessing records, conducting searches, preparing documents in accordance with the law, and providing appropriate social services. Our fees are similar to those of other area agencies offering these services. They are not intended to act as a deterrent to receiving services. If you have questions about the fees, please contact us and include your questions in the comments section.

In the event that the adopted person or birth parent is deceased, you may be able to request a Non Identifying Information report as well as connection services. Your first step is to schedule an Informational Consultation with our counselor. Your meeting can be in person or over the phone.

For those adopted through The Cradle, we will most often have information on birth mothers, however the amount of information varies based on the era in which the adoption occurred. Information on birth fathers may be contained in our records, however the amount of information depends on if he was directly involved with us in planning for your adoption.

On occasion, when a birth relative passes away, another family member will contact The Cradle to share this information. Should the other person contact us and request services, the death of the relative is shared. Should we discover that a birth relative is deceased through a search, we can then search for descendants or closest next of kin of that person. Schedule an Informational Consultation to make sure you are prepared for all of the possible outcomes of a search and to have support along the way.

I've already found my birth parents, do I need your help?

Video Transcript

Slide: I found my birth parent... What's next?

Nina: I get a lot of calls from people who have their original birth certificate and they have information on that document that they've used to search and find their birth parents and they've located them on their own, and their at this stage of "what do I do now?" Do I contact them? Do I show up at their door? Do I call? Or do I have an intermediary? Somebody else that can be that facilitator, be that middle person to help guide me through the process and be sort of a buffer between myself and the other person that we're searching for.
One of the things that I tell people is that sure you can do this on your own, but you never know what your reception is going to be. And often people who have found the person on their own choose to come to The Cradle out of respect for the birth parent, to have that buffer, to have that intermediary, to have somebody who is in a clinical position to help provide support to the other person. My role is to help you as an adoptive person, but to also help the person that I find and facilitate that and manage that contact. To get started, I invite you to register for a informational consultation.

Slide: To get started visit www.Cradle.org and schedule an Informational Consultation with Nina!