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International Adoption

International adoption (intercountry adoption) is a great choice for many families. Since 1985, The Cradle’s International Adoption Program has helped hundreds of children from over 20 countries join their forever families. The Cradle is an IAAME Hague accredited adoption service provider.

Our intercountry pre-adoption training is designed to prepare prospective parents for the unique rewards and challenges of adopting a child internationally. Topics include:

  • Medical issues in intercountry adoption
  • Strengthening attachment
  • Emotional/behavioral regulation in children who have a history of trauma
  • Grief and loss
  • Positive adoption language
  • Birth parents
  • Race and identity
  • Adoption as a lifelong process

You will receive information, guidance and support throughout your adoption journey and after your child is home.

Because intercountry adoption is constantly changing and evolving, The Cradle is proud to have trusted partnerships with well-established, knowledgeable Primary Providers in other countries. International adoption is subject to U.S. Federal and State laws, as well as the laws in the child’s birth country.

Schedule a free 20-minute call with a Cradle Counselor to learn more about intercountry adoption.

Qualifications for Intercountry Adoption

The Cradle welcomes prospective adoptive parents of all religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds. 

  • We work with married couples as well as single men and women. At the time of registration couples need to be married, but we do not have a marriage length requirement.
  • At the time of registration, prospective adoptive parents need to be a minimum of 25 years old. For intercountry adoption, the maximum age will need to comply with each country’s requirements.
  • Prospective adoptive parents must live within one of the six counties in Illinois we serve:
    • Cook
    • DuPage
    • Kane
    • Lake
    • McHenry
    • Will

International Adoption Process

Attend a General Adoption Informational Session at any of our locations throughout the Chicago area. These meetings provide an overview of The Cradle’s adoption programs, introduction to open adoption (for domestic adoption), and include an opportunity for questions.

Complete and return preliminary paperwork with registration fee. A Cradle Counselor will assist you and answer questions. Click here to learn about International Adoption fees.

Meet with your Cradle Counselor who will discuss your interest in adoption.

Learn more about The Cradle’s home study process.

Choose your anticipated child’s country-of-origin while your home study is being completed. Learn about choosing a placement agency. Each country sets their own regulations regarding who is eligible to adopt form their country. Please research the country you are considering to determine if you meet the country’s eligibility requirements.

Visit the Department of State International Adoption for an overview of the intercountry adoption process and country specific information.

Complete and submit a dossier (request for adoption) to your country of choice

Receive a referral of a specific child from that country

Your travel may include two trips to your child’s country of origin (for placement), depending on the country requirements.

Your Cradle Counselor will visit with you at least three times during the first six months after placement. Specific requirements for post-placement visits vary by state and country.

The Cradle is a source of lifelong support for both your baby and for you and your family. We offer support groups, counseling, education and family events.

Additional Resources