It all began in the mid ‘80s with a group of people whose lives were touched by adoption — men and women who had placed children for adoption, adults who were adopted as children, adoptive parents, and community members interested in the field of adoption. Together they shared a common interest in an approach to adoption that differed from then current practices. Embracing the belief that people are capable of making informed decisions for themselves rather than being told what to do, and that birth parents have the right to take an active role in choosing the family that would adopt their child, they set out to create a new kind of agency. It was out of these innovative ideas that Family Resource Center was founded in the summer of 1988 and opened its first office in the Uptown Bank Building on Broadway in Chicago.
By creating an oasis of understanding and providing a safe environment that engendered trust, FRC built a reputation for being welcoming, responsive and accessible. Its volunteer board of directors continued to include birth parents, adoptive parents and people whose lives had been touched by adoption.
Through the years under the FRC banner, the agency placed more than 1000 children for adoption, including many with complex medical issues. In addition it participated in another 1,600 adoptions by providing professional guidance and home study services.
In 2013, in conjunction with its 25th anniversary, FRC began operating under the name Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center. The organization’s leaders felt that in an era when social media and Internet communication was increasingly important, that the agency’s name should say what it does to remain aligned with its mission and vision.
Today, the agency continues to embrace its founding belief that people can, and should, make informed decisions for themselves. What’s more, Adoption Center of Illinois continues to evolve the conversation about adoption and its meaning in people’s lives.
- Incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit organization – April 1987
- Granted tax-exempt status – December 1987
- Opened Broadway Avenue office in Chicago – August 1988
- Granted an Illinois Child Welfare Agency License – September 1988
- Began conducting home studies and interviewing families – September 1988
- First children placed for adoption through domestic program – March 1989
- Introduced Russia program – January 1994
- Purchased building to house offices and provide birth mother accommodations – September 1994
- Approved by China Center for Adoption Affairs to work with Chinese orphans – November 1994
- Move into Clark Street offices – February 1995
- First group of FRC families travels to China to adopt their daughters – May 1995
- Introduces Guatemala program – July 1996
- FRC introduces its Ukraine Program – January 2002
- Accredited by Council on Accreditation (COA) – June 2003
- Hague Accreditation – February 29, 2008
- Reaccredited COA – June, 2008
- Hague reaccreditation – March 2012
- FRC is rebranded as Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center – October 2013