Birthparent Roadmap

For Child Already Born

It is never too late to make an adoption plan for your child


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
    • Strategies for talking with your family about adoption.
    • Community resources available to you, and your other children.
    • 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 a Communication Plan
    • 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.

To see full-sized, click on any image.



3. Temporary Care

When considering placing an older child for adoption, it sometimes helps to have time away from your child in order to make a clear-headed decision. While you are working with your adoption counselor we can help with short-term temporary care.

  1. In home placement
    • You child will receive one-on-one attention in a safe and loving home, with one of our licensed families.
    • Temporary care is usually available for several days to several weeks. Your adoption counselor can make the arrangements.


4. Moving Forward

  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
    Meeting with an adoptive family does not mean you have to choose that family. It is simply an opportunity to get to know each other better.

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.