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IL Adoption Agency to Unveil Sculpture Honoring Birth Parents 

Birth Mother Sculpture

Public invited to view sculpture at upcoming event honoring The Cradle’s Centennial 

EVANSTON, Ill. – Illinois nonprofit adoption agency The Cradle recently commissioned a new sculpture honoring birth parents and their roles at the core of all adoption journeys. The Cradle partnered with local concrete sculptor Carrie Fischer and a group of birth parents on the design. The sculpture will be on display at The Cradle’s upcoming Birthday Bash on June 24, as part of its Centennial Celebration. 

“When our team thought about the different things we wanted to do throughout the year to recognize a century at The Cradle, it became clear very quickly that we needed to have a lasting way to recognize the courage of our expectant and birth parents,” said Jason Friedman, President and CEO of The Cradle. “This sculpture is the living, lasting reflection of [that courage]. We hope that everyone who interacts with the sculpture feels seen and supported, and that they know The Cradle will never forget them.” 

During the creative process, The Cradle worked collaboratively with Fischer to design a piece that would capture the complicated yet central role birth parents play in adoption. Ultimately, The Cradle chose an interactive sculpture depicting a birth mother, children and adoptive families, with a vessel where people can share written notes or other sentimental items. 

“Being a mother myself, the idea of connecting the family through a vessel, The Cradle, was my goal,” Fischer said. “The endless circle of connection in the design is meant to [represent] the everlasting connection between all that The Cradle brings together.” 

The Cradle’s Sandy Holway, Resource and Support Specialist, and Jennifer Rogers, Expectant Parent Counselor, shepherded the project to completion. They said expectant parents and birth parents are honored as the foundation for all that The Cradle celebrates. “Their incredible strength during a time that is harder than most of us will ever experience should be commemorated,” Holway said. “Their courageous and complicated stories should be recognized with a powerful, inspirational, physical tribute,” Rogers added. 

 The Cradle held an intimate unveiling ceremony on June 11 to give Cradle birth parents a first look at the sculpture and create a special moment to acknowledge and honor their experiences. A Cradle birth parent shared that they had made decisions on behalf of their children that were right and necessary, and had put those considerations above the wants of their own hearts. “That really sums up so much of what we are trying to honor,” Friedman said. 

SEE THE SCULPTURE IN PERSON: The Cradle will display the sculpture at its Birthday Bash, a free event to be held at Ingraham Park on Saturday, June 24, in Evanston, Illinois. The sculpture will be on display across the street at The Cradle’s headquarters (2049 Ridge Avenue) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST. Visit cradle.org/100 to register.   

ABOUT THE CRADLE: The Cradle is proud to celebrate 100 years of building families through adoption. Since opening in 1923, The Cradle has facilitated more than 16,000 domestic and international adoptions and has been at the forefront of open adoption, African American infant adoption, and placements with LGBTQ+ families. The Cradle is the only adoption agency in the country with an on-site nursery to care for infants around the clock. Learn more at cradle.org or call 847-475-5800.

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