The Cradle is a nonprofit, licensed child welfare agency providing infant adoption services, counseling and educational support. Since opening in 1923, The Cradle has facilitated over 16,000 domestic and international adoptions and has been at the forefront of open adoption, African American infant adoption and LGBTQ+ placements. Learn more about our 100-year history.
The Cradle is non-sectarian, working with clients from all religious affiliations as well as all races and ethnicities.
Many of our staff have worked at The Cradle for more than 20 years and have personal adoption stories of their own. Our CEO adopted a child at The Cradle and 16 of our board members have a personal connection to adoption.
Expectant Parent services are free of charge. If expectant parents need support beyond counseling, we can also provide resources and referrals (such as help finding a pediatrician, linkage to housing or transportation, etc.).
We have a reputation for ethical adoption practices. To maintain our 501(c)3 nonprofit status, we undergo regular scrutiny to ensure our goal is never to make a profit. Our licensure indicates oversight and regulation by the states in which we operate (Illinois and Indiana).
The Cradle supports adoption clients throughout their lives—not just during the placement process. Learn about our post adoption support and counseling services.
The Cradle is the only adoption agency in the country with an on-site nursery, a safe, neutral place for infants to stay while their parents take the time they need to decide if adoption will be the plan for this child.
The Cradle has been providing child welfare services since 1923 (for 100 years) and was among the first adoption agencies in the United States.
The Cradle has been an advocate for open adoption since the 1980s. All expectant and adoptive parents receive education about open adoption at The Cradle.
Recognizing the need to give expectant women of color a greater choice of adoptive families, The Cradle was at the forefront of driving awareness and placements among African American families. Learn about our Sayers Center for African American Adoption.
The Cradle has long been a leader in adoption-related education and counseling. Learn about our education platform Adoption Learning Partners and our adoption-competent counseling services.
Contact the Cradle
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.