Birthparent Roadmap

My Child is Already Born

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

1. Talking with a Counselor

Our team of compassionate counselors has worked with women at every point. Our goal is to help you think through your options, answer your questions, and offer support. We are committed to doing this by providing:
  1. True and Complete information
    • Speaking honestly about your options.
    • Providing  information about the adoption process.
  2. Real Support - We can provide:
    • 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.
  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.
  4. Your rights and responsibilities

2. Temporary Care

When considering placing an older child for adoption, we recommend having time away from your child to give you the time and space you need to make a plan and a decision. Our agency can sometimes provide this short-term temporary care while you work with one of our Birth Parent Counselors.
  1. Agency-provided temporary care
    • Transfer of Custody for Purpose of Temporary Care form allows an agency to care for your child in order to help prepare you for adoption. This is temporary and can be revoked if you decide you do not want to move forward in your adoption plan.
    • Our agency has licensed foster families that volunteer to provide temporary care.
    • Temporary care can be for a couple of days or up to several weeks, depending on how you are feeling and when you feel ready to sign final paperwork.
    You will continue to communicate with your counselor for updates and meetings to continue creating your adoption plan.

2. Creating Your Adoption Plan

This is your plan. You decide how and if you want to proceed throughout each step of the adoption process.
  1. Choosing the 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.
  2. Communication
    • 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.


Some birth parents want to meet the potential adoptive family. Your counselor can make arrangements for you to speak with or meet in-person with a potential adoptive family:
  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. 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.
  3. You 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.

5. Placement OR Taking time to make a decision that is right for you

IL Adoption Law
  1. Finalizing your adoption plan
    • In the state of Illinois you must wait 72 hours after giving birth before finalizing your adoption plan.
    • 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.
You have an option to sign a Final and Designated form: surrendering your child to the agency and designating the family with whom you would like your child to be placed. *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.

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.