Our Mission

Helping Children Through Adoption


Adoption Center of Illinois is committed to providing innovative, compassionate and ethical services that honor all members of the adoption community. 


Family Resource Center traces its history to the 1980s, when a group of adoption professionals, birth parents, adult adoptees, and adoptive parents came together with a shared vision. They sought an alternative approach to adoption that diverged from the prevailing practices of the time. They believed in empowering women to make informed decisions for themselves. In particular, they advocated for expectant parents to have an active role in selecting the adoptive family for their child: a practice that was unheard of at that time. Motivated by this shared conviction, they embarked on the creation of a new type of agency. 

In the summer of 1988, founder Richard Pearlman and a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors opened the doors of Family Resource Center in the Uptown Bank Building in Chicago, marking the beginning of its mission of helping children through adoption. FRC was established as a non-profit 501c3 Illinois-licensed Child Welfare agency, operating under the supervision of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. From its inception, FRC endeavored to create an atmosphere of understanding and trust, where individuals feel welcomed, heard, and valued. This unwavering commitment has endured, and FRC remains an accessible organization, open to all individuals regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or marital status. 

FRC’s commitment to innovative, compassionate and ethical services is evidenced by the lens through which FRC views the adoption community. Drawing from the philosophy of Family Systems Theory, ACI staff evolved the conversation about adoption and its meaning in people’s lives. A new paradigm was created that moved beyond the idea of “open” or “closed” adoption. This new paradigm, known as the Extended Family Network, acknowledges the many different ways in which families are formed through adoption. In 2013, FRC transitioned to operating under the name Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center (ACI). Guided by their original values, ACI’s volunteer Board of Directors includes individuals representing all facets of the adoption community—birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents.  

To date, Adoption Center of Illinois has helped thousands of families come together through adoption. ACI is proud to provide comprehensive services, including: domestic infant and agency-assisted adoptions; domestic home studies; outgoing adoption services; international home studies; adoption from foster care; and primary provider services. ACI/FRC operated international adoption placing programs for Russia, Guatemala, China and Ukraine from 1993-2014. Over 500 international adoptions were facilitated by ACI/FRC during that time. In 2015, ACI launched its Waiting Child Services Program, which helps families adopt from the foster care system. As of 2023, 42 children have been adopted through this program. 

With the unwavering dedication of our passionate team and the support of our community, ACI will continue to provide innovative, compassionate and ethical adoption services, and help countless more families come together through adoption. 

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