1. Talking with a Counselor
Our team of compassionate counselors has worked with women at every point in their pregnancy. Our goal is to help you think through your options, answer your questions, and offer support.
We are committed to doing this by providing:
- True and Complete Information
- Speaking honestly about your options.
- Providing information about the adoption process.
- Real Support
- A safe place to vent, cry, question or just talk.
- Strategies for talking 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.
- 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.
- Your rights and responsibilities
- Rights and Responsibilities link
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
Every adoption plan is different. We strive to support each birth parent with your own individualized plan. This is your plan. You decide how and if you want to proceed throughout each step of the adoption process.
- Choosing an adoptive family
If you decide to choose an adoptive family, we can help guide you through the process.
- Every family is carefully screened and vetted through a home study process.
- This includes a criminal background check, medical reports, financial records, face-to-face interviews, and an in-home visit by a home study worker. You can view some of our families’ profiles online. Click here to view our Waiting Families.
- Or, you can view the albums that match your preferences in person with a counselor.
*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.
- Open, semi-open, and closed adoptions can mean different things to different people.
- You and the adoptive family decide what feels right for you.
- Contact could include: regular planned visits, connecting via phone calls, texts, emails or social media, getting photos, or having all contact go through ACI.
- A post-placement communication plan is made to reflect your decisions and expectations for the future so that everyone is clear on what to expect.
- Life happens. Everyone involved has different needs and expectations at different points in this journey. Circumstances may change over time, and so can your communication plan. We will always be available to help you adjust your level of communication.
To see full-sized, click on any image.
3. Meeting an Adoptive Family
Some birth parents want to meet the potential adoptive family before or after the baby is born. Your counselor can make arrangements for you to speak with or meet in-person with a potential adoptive family.
- Where to MeetThere 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.
- What to ExpectEveryone is nervous at first. This meeting offers a neutral place to get to know each other. This allows for open communication and can build a foundation for whatever future relationship you may build together.
- No obligationYou are under no obligation to make a decision or continue with your plan just by meeting a family. You may need more time to think and make a decision about moving forward and that’s okay.
4. Creating Your Birth PlanWe will be with you every step of the way. From preparing for delivery right through until you leave the hospital.
- 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. Placement Or Taking time to make a decision that is right for you
- IL Adoption Law
- 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 needed, 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 legally binding.
*After placement, ACI counselors will continue to support you. We can connect you to other birth parents and help you get connected to counseling if needed.
Click here to find out more about post-placement support.