1. Talking with a Counselor

We are here to listen. Our team of compassionate counselors has worked with many women in your situation who are dealing with a newborn or toddler, perhaps while raising other children. We can help you think through your options, answer your questions, and offer support.

Our promise to you is:

  1. Fair and honest information
    • What to expect at every step of the adoption process
    • What community resources are available to you

  2. Real Support
    • Help with pregnancy related expenses, such as healthy food, maternity clothes and a safe place to live.
    • Making sure you receive the medical care that you and your baby need in order to stay healthy and well.
    • Strategies for talking with your family
    • A safe place to vent, cry, question or just talk

  3. Complete confidentiality, with no strings attached
    • We will talk to YOU alone, and never share your information without your permission.
    • When you talk to us, you are not committed to making an adoption plan – you don’t have to decide anything until you are ready.

You can call, text or email anytime - 24/7 – and we will respond as soon as possible; usually within 30 to 90 minutes. Or fill out the form below, and you will get the same quick individual response from one of our counselors.


2. Creating Your Adoption Plan

Just as every fingerprint is different, so is every adoption plan. You decide what you want to see happen. Your counselor will talk with you about:

  1. Open and Closed adoption – What kind of relationship you would like to have with your child and the adoptive family.

    Open adoption means different things to different people. We believe it is having an open mind about what communication will look like now and in the future.

    Adoption contact happens along a continuum. From full contact with the adoptive family to no contact at all. It looks something like this:

    Full Contact -> Moderate Contact -> Limited Contact -> No Contact

    You may want to chose the family, meet with them (sometimes multiple times), and communicate or visit regularly after your child is born. Or you may feel that this is too difficult, and would prefer to have a closed adoption where ACI chooses the family and where your identity is not revealed to them.

    Most people choose a plan that is somewhere between the two. Ongoing contact can be regular planned visits, connecting via phone calls, texts, emails or social media, getting photos , or having all contact go through ACI. YOU and the adoptive family decide what feels right for you! And as the years go by, your relationship may grow and change – and so can the level of communication.

  2. Choosing the Adoptive Family
    We trust that YOU are the best judge of who will be the right family to raise your child. We can help guide you through the process.
    • Every family is carefully screened and vetted though a homestudy process, so you know your child will be well cared for. This includes a criminal background check, medical reports, financial records, face-to-face interviews, and an in-home visit by a social worker.
    • You can view their profiles online. Click here to view Waiting Families
    • We can bring family albums to you
    • We can choose the adoptive family for you if you prefer not to make the decision.

  3. Creating an Adoption Communication Plan We believe that adoption is a life-long journey, and everyone involved in the adoption triad (birth parent(s), adoptive family and the child) have different needs and expectations at different points in that journey.
    • We will help you come to an understanding with adoptive parents about how much communication there will be once the adoption is complete. This can range from regular visits and/or phone calls to having annual photos sent to our agency. You can decide together what you want the relationship to look like.
    • When you have determined what you are both comfortable with, we will record your decisions so that everyone is clear about what to expect.
    • Circumstances change over time, and so can your communication plan. We will always be available to help you navigate and renegotiate changes to your level of communication.

  4. We believe that adoption is a life-long journey, and everyone involved in the adoption triad (birth parent(s), adoptive family and the child) have different needs and expectations at different points in that journey.
    • We will help you come to an understanding with adoptive parents about how much communication there will be once the adoption is complete. This can range from regular visits and/or phone calls to having annual photos sent to our agency. You can decide together what you want the relationship to look like.
    • When you have determined what you are both comfortable with, we will record your decisions so that everyone is clear about what to expect.
    • Circumstances change over time, and so can your communication plan. We will always be available to help you navigate and renegotiate changes to your level of communication.

  5. Your rights and responsibilities
    • We will treat you with respect, and discuss your circumstances and choices without judgment.
    • We will never pressure you or try to change your mind about anything.
    • We will treat everything you tell us as confidential, and never give out information without your permission.
    • We will give you copies of all the documents that you sign and have them provided to you in your preferred language.
    • You have the right to change your mind any time during the process, until you sign the Final and Irrevocable Surrender form.

To see full-sized, click on any image.



3. Moving Forward.

Some birthparents want to meet the potential adoptive family before they make a decision. Others want to meet only after the baby has been born. Your counselor can make arrangements for you to speak with or meet an adoptive family if you wish to.
Meeting with Adoptive Family

  1. Where to Meet
    There are many options for where to meet, ranging from a restaurant or coffee shop, to a conference room at our office. Wherever YOU will feel most comfortable.
  2. What to Expect
    Everyone is nervous at first. But in our experience, most meetings end up with people making a heart-to-heart connection that is truly amazing.
  3. With no obligation

4. Creating Your Birth Plan

We will be with you every step of the way. From preparing for delivery right through until you leave the hospital.
  1. Creating a hospital plan
    • You identify who you would like (your counselor, a family member, a friend or no one) to accompany you through labor and delivery
    • You choose every detail, from whether or not you want to know the sex of the baby, if you want to hold him/her, what visitors you will accept, and any that you do not want to have access to you or your baby.
    • Our worksheet helps you to clarify your wishes so that you can communicate them clearly to hospital staff.

5. Moving Forward with Your Plan

  1. Finalizing your adoption plan
    • In the state of Illinois you must wait 72 hours after giving birth before finalizing your adoption plan.
    • Should you need more time to consider your decision, we can offer temporary care for your baby in a loving and safe environment.
    • If after 72 hours you choose to finalize the adoption plan, you will sign a Final and Irrevocable Surrender form. Once this is signed the adoption is legally binding and cannot be changed.

  2. Post Placement Communication
    • Once the adoption is final, you can begin sharing whatever communication you agreed to while making your adoption plan.
    • If you choose to only receive photos or prefer to handle all contact through the agency, we are happy to take care of the details.
    • As your life and personal circumstances change, you may decide that you want more or less contact with the adoptive family. We can help you and the adoptive family adapt to those changes and adjust your communication plan.