Unplanned Pregnancy?

Whether you are facing an unplanned pregnancy or considering placing an older child for adoption – we are here for you. Our motto is “Our Help. Your Decisions.” Our adoption counselors are available 24/7 by email, phone, or text to talk you through your options. Ready to talk?

Who We Are

ACI is a licensed Illinois adoption agency that has been providing adoption services throughout Illinois for more than 30 years. Our compassionate and experienced counselors have helped many people facing an unplanned pregnancy or those who have an older child explore the option of adoption. We strive for an inclusive process that takes into account the needs of all involved parties.

Common Myths About Adoption VS Reality

Myth: Parents who are considering adoption are ‘giving up” and don’t care about their children.

Reality: Choosing to place a child for adoption is a selfless act of love. Parents who choose adoption create a thoughtful adoption plan as a way to provide for their child. 

Myth: Anyone can adopt a child.

Reality: Families must go through an extensive home study process.  This includes background checks, references from family and friends, financial records, medical evaluations and a thorough look at their home.  Families are required to complete education training about adoption and parenting.

Myth: Open adoption is too difficult or damaging for all involved.

Reality: Research shows there are many benefits for all involved with open adoption. Those involved with open adoptions report positive experiences and associate greater satisfaction with the adoption process. 

Birth parents who have ongoing contact with their children report less worry, as well as having more peace of mind, than do those who do not have contact. 

Adoptees with ongoing contact identify the following benefits: coming to terms with the reasons for their adoption, physical touchstones to identify where personal traits came from, information that aids in identity formation, positive feelings toward birth parents, and others.

Adoptees in open adoptions also have a better understanding of the meaning of adoption and more active communication about adoption with their adoptive parents. (source: Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute)

What Happens Once You Reach Out

Connecting with a Counselor

The adoption process might look a little different at every adoption agency. Our goal when we first connect is to help you become well informed about all your options.  Part of that process could be helping you think through the option of parenting and answering any of your questions about placing a child for adoption. You are not committed to making an adoption plan just by contacting ACI. You are in control over how and if you decide to move forward with an adoption plan. All communication with ACI is confidential.

How We Can Help You Navigate an Unplanned Pregnancy

Creating Your Adoption Plan

Every adoption plan is different.  When working with an adoption agency in Illinois, you have the right to create a plan that feels right to you. 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.
  • 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.
  • Post Placement Communication  You and the adoptive family decide what feels right for you.   Maybe a more open adoption feels right for you, the child and the adoptive family. That contact could include: regular planned visits, connecting via phone calls, texts, emails or social media, getting photos, or any combination. You can also decide that you prefer having communication through ACI.

Take a Look at Our Waiting Families

If you see a family that resonates with you, click their picture to read more about them.

Creating Your Birth Plan

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

  • You will choose who will 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.
  • If you require financial assistance for pregnancy-related expenses, we will help connect you with the appropriate resources.
  • While in the hospital, we will 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: you will decide if the baby will go with an adoptive family if they are willing, or with a temporary care family licensed through our agency.

Placement Or Taking More Time

  • In the state of Illinois, only after 72 hours after birth are you able to sign final paperwork for adoption.
  • You can and should take more time to make your decision.
  • 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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