Close this search box.

Domestic Adoption

Domestic adoption is an adoption that takes place within the United States. The Cradle works with prospective adoption parents in the United States for placement of U.S.-born children in forever families. The Cradle’s Domestic Program (including the Finding Families for Children Initiative) has limited availability, and families need to be accepted into our program which is based on the program’s needs. The Cradle also has an Agency Assisted Program for domestic infant adoption.

Knowing that adoption is a life-changing, lifelong experience, we emphasize preparation and education. Your adoption counselor will serve as your guide.

The Cradle embraces an open adoption philosophy, including contact for domestic adoption placements. With the best interests of the child in mind, birth parents and adoptive parents meet and agree to forge an ongoing relationship. The more you learn about open adoption, the more you will understand it’s benefits for all members of the adoption circle.


The Cradle welcomes prospective adoptive parents of all religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds. We welcome LGBTQ+ families.

We work with married couples as well as single individuals. At the time of registration couples need to be married. The Cradle does not have a marriage length requirement, but the placing agency you choose may have a marriage length requirement.

  • At the time of registration, prospective adoptive parents need to be between the ages of 25-47.
  • We do not accept other agency’s home studies.
  • Prospective adoptive parents must live within one of the following counties in Illinois: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will.

US Domestic Adoption Process

Attend an Adoption Information Meeting for an overview of The Cradle’s adoption programs, an introduction to open adoption and an opportunity to ask questions.

Complete and return registration form with registration fee.

Meet with your adoption counselor for your initial consultation.

Learn more about The Cradle’s home study process.

Create a profile to introduce your family to expectant parents. Your profile will contain information and photos of yourself, family and friends. This is your first introduction to expectant parents to help them understand what it would be like for their child to live with your family.

Expectant parents considering placing a child for adoption meet with prospective adoptive parents and their counselors. A Match Meeting is an opportunity to learn about one another and begin discussing the open adoption relationship.

The Cradle works with expectant parents making a voluntary adoption plan. The children who are adopted through our programs are not wards of the state. Surrenders are signed around the time of placement. Surrenders in Illinois are final and irrevocable. An expectant parent may change their mind at any time up until signing of surrenders. Additionally, you will complete paperwork with your counselor on the day of placement.

Your Counselor will conduct a minimum of three visits within the first six months after placement. The Cradle is a source of lifelong support for your child and your family. We offer support groups, counseling, education and family events.

Adoption FAQs

Click here for frequently asked questions about adopting a child.

Want to speak with someone personally before or after an Info Meeting? Schedule a call with a Cradle Counselor.