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FAQs About Adoption

Unplanned Pregnancy?

Call our 24-hour toll-free number to speak to a Cradle counselor:

800-CRADLE4 (800-272-3534)

Text CRADLE to 66746

Or, fill out our online form  and we’ll email you back.

Your information will be kept confidential.

At The Cradle, our counselors can support you through this critical time with privacy and respect.

Learn how adoption works.

The Cradle’s decision-making counseling services are free. The Cradle may also be able to help with certain pregnancy-related expenses; please talk with your counselor for more information.

You can call us any time during your pregnancy – it is never too early or too late.

When you connect with The Cradle, we’ll answer any questions you may have and give you information on all of your options. You can also set up an appointment with a Cradle counselor.

No, you can call The Cradle after you give birth, whether you’re at the hospital or at home. We’ll give you the information and support you need to make sure you understand your options at this point and help you explore adoption. If you live in Illinois, your baby may be able to stay at The Cradle Nursery while you take time to consider your options.

No, your Cradle Counselor can meet you where you are 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, Illinois, and Merrillville, Indiana, which are available for appointments.

If you would like to place your child with one of The Cradle’s adoptive families and you don’t live in Illinois or Indiana, we can still help you. Connect with The Cradle and we can discuss a plan that works best for you.

The Cradle has an extensive and diverse list of wonderful people ready and excited to welcome a new baby into their home. Among our families are hopeful couples, single individuals, LGBTQ+-identifying couples and hopeful families of various ethnic and racial backgrounds. Choose an adoptive family here.

The Cradle can work with you, regardless of the relationship you have with the baby’s father. While we encourage the father to take part in the decision-making with you, if he is not available or chooses not to be involved, your counselor will talk with you about how to ensure a legally secure adoption.

No, you do not need permission to place a child for adoption. This is your decision to make. Many people find that talking with family makes the situation less stressful. If you decide to, your counselor can help you plan how to talk to them about adoption

If a parenting plan is made, your counselor will support the decision. Your counselor will talk with you about your plan and can help connect you to community resources, if needed.

Once you sign the document that terminates your legal rights as a parent, your decision is final.

It is important to feel confident about your decision before you take that step.

If you do not wish to have contact after placement, your choice will be respected. All of our adoptive families are prepared for an open adoption, so if you decide later that you would like to connect, The Cradle will help.

The Cradle is committed to finding a family that can meet the needs of every child in our care. Some waiting families working with The Cradle are prepared to adopt babies with a higher level of needs. It is important that you share your concerns with your counselor, so The Cradle can identify families who will be able to meet your child’s needs.

Your adoption resource should respect your choices at all times, encourage you to explore all of your options, and should not pressure you to choose adoption. It’s a good idea to learn more about how your adoption resource screens and prepares prospective adoptive parents, including the types of background checks they complete, the types of education the families receive, and the requirements families must meet to be ready to adopt.

Find out whether the organization provides post adoption support to all members of the adoption circle.

Look for a resource that is a licensed child welfare organization, as this indicates regulation by the state. Also, look for a resource that has 501(c)3 federally tax exempt status, as this requires regulatory scrutiny to be sure that the organization’s goal is not to make a profit. You may also have a preference about whether your adoption resource has a religious affiliation or is non-sectarian.

The Cradle is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, non-sectarian, licensed child welfare agency with a reputation for ethical adoption practices. Learn more

The Cradle can continue to provide counseling to you after you’ve made your adoption decision final. It is very normal to feel sadness or a sense of loss. You can continue to meet with your Cradle Counselor to get support regarding these feelings of grief and loss. She can also help connect you to other resources that may be helpful to you.

The Cradle can also support you as you build your relationship with the adoptive family, whether you are in regular communication or if you have never had contact.

It doesn’t matter how long ago your placement was, our door is always open to you. Contact The Cradle at 800-CRADLE4 (800-272-3534) or email us at helpline@cradle.org.

Contact the Cradle

We’re available 24/7. All of your information is confidential

To speak to someone now, call our 24-hour hotline: (800) 272-3534 or text us at (312) 800-1559 (answered 8:30am-8pm).

If you’d like us to contact you, please use the form .

If you are looking to adopt a child, please schedule a call with an Adoptive Parent Counselor.

If you are an adopted person looking for information, please schedule an informational consultation with our post adoption department.

Learn about ways to give

The Cradle’s support for all those touched by adoption is made possible by our community.


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