Adoption Process

How does the adoption process work? 

Talking With a Counselor

All adoption agencies are slightly different in their adoption processes. Our goal is to help you think through your options and answer your questions. 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.

  • A safe place to talk, vent, cry, and ask questions.
  • Brainstorm ways to talk to your family and friends.
  • Helping connect you to the medical care you need in pregnancy.
  • Helping you learn about community resources available to you.
  • We will talk to YOU alone, and never share your information without your permission.

Creating Your Adoption Plan

Every adoption plan is different.  When working with an adoption agency in Illinois you have the right to create your plan. You decide how and if you want to proceed.

  • Choosing an adoptive family.  If you decide to choose an adoptive family, we can help guide you through the process, including reviewing our waiting family profiles. If you prefer not to choose the adoptive family, that is okay. Our agency has a thoughtful process in selecting a family for your child.
  • Meeting an adoptive family.  You can choose to meet the potential adoptive family before or after the baby is born. These meetings typically occur at a restaurant with your counselor present to help guide conversation and ask questions you may not be comfortable asking. After meeting the potential adoptive family, you are still under no obligation to move forward. You may need more time to think about your decision.
  • Post Placement Communication.  You and the adoptive family decide what feels right for you.  You all might agree a more open adoption feels right. That contact could include: regular planned visits, connecting via phone calls, texts, emails or social media, getting photos, or maybe you would prefer having all contact go through ACI.

Creating Your Birth Plan

We can help you create a plan to prepare for delivery through your hospital stay and discharge.

  • You can identify if there is anyone you wish to have accompany you through labor and delivery (your counselor may be a good resource as a birth coach).
  • Our Hospital Request worksheet helps you to clarify your wishes that will be clearly communicated to hospital staff.
  • While in the hospital, we can help empower you to be your own best advocate to make sure that your birth plan and adoption choices are respected.
  • Once you and baby are cleared for discharge: the baby can go with your choice of adoptive family if they are willing, or with a temporary care family licensed through our agency.

Placement Or Taking More Time

  • If needed, you can and should take more time to make your decision.
  • In the state of Illinois, 72 hours after birth is the first point at which you are able to sign final paperwork for adoption.
  • If after 72 hours you choose to finalize your adoption plan, you will sign a Final and Irrevocable Surrender form. Once this is signed, you can not go back on your decision and the adoption is permanent and legally binding.

*After placement, ACI counselors will continue to support you.

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