Rachel’s Open Adoption Story

Rachel had apprehensions about having an open adoption at first. But after learning about the adoption process and open adoption, and being able to select her child’s adoptive family, she realized she had nothing to fear.

When I found out I was pregnant, it was not a happy moment for me. I was already a mom to three young children and I was no longer with the baby’s father. Added to that, I had a full time job and was working towards my Masters degree in social work. I knew that I was not in a position to parent another child.

Once the shock wore off, I started researching options. I was intent on keeping the pregnancy and baby a secret from my friends and family; I just didn’t want to have to deal with going public with my situation.

Dispelling Adoption Myths

A social worker suggested that I consider working with The Cradle and called them for me. My Cradle counselor met with me and quickly dispelled the myths I had surrounding working with an agency. You see, I was afraid working with an agency would be too public for me. I was afraid that I would be forced into an open adoption and I didn’t want that. I learned during that first conversation with my counselor that I was wrong. Adoption could be as private as I wanted it to be.

After that meeting, I went home and researched The Cradle’s website and paperwork. While I didn’t think I would want to have anything to do with the adoptive family, the more I looked at the profiles and considered prospective parents from The Cradle, the more I liked the idea of selecting the family and, maybe, even staying in touch. I chose a great couple with whom I had a lot in common. They are traditional and artsy, just like me. When we met, it just felt so natural to talk with them. They even chose a name for the baby — Harper — that has special significance to me. It felt like fate. I knew then that my daughter will have a good life with them and it will be easy for me to stay connected to that family.

Coming Around to Open Adoption

I realized that I didn’t need to fear open adoption. Once I learned how it actually worked, I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. I now see Harper and her adoptive parents four times a year, and we communicate monthly via text or email. Even though this regular contact is grounded in my love for her, it’s strengthened by my friendship with her adoptive parents. We all live in Chicago, and we all share a love of art, music, culture and travel.

Looking at the two of them now, I’ve never seen a couple so genuinely pleased to be parents. They used to have a carefree lifestyle, and now their house is stocked to the brim with bins full of toys and books. They’ve raised Harper to be an extremely happy, well-adjusted child. She has friends from all walks of life — all genders, races and sexual orientations. She has a family who adore her. She has uncles and two sets of grandparents who fly more than 1,000 miles regularly to see her. She has the household stability that I couldn’t give her, and I couldn’t be happier.

For 100 years and counting, The Cradle has built nurturing families and provided lifelong support to people whose lives have been touched by adoption. Faces of The Cradle is a celebration of their stories. Meet more of the people who make what we do possible and all the more meaningful.

More Real Stories

Centennial Celebration

The Cradle is 100 years old in 2023! You can get involved with our Centennial Celebration by sharing your story to be part of Faces of The Cradle, attending an event, learning more about our history or making a donation.


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.