Domestic Adoption

Traditional Adoption Program

Birth father’s identity

Under Illinois law, a woman may choose to refuse to identify the father of the child, and this right is exercised by a significant number of women. Even when a woman identifies the father, there is no way, short of genetic testing, to know that he is actually the father. Because matters pertaining to the rights of fathers are important and of a legal nature, ACI strongly encourages all potential adoptive parents to seek out and obtain competent, independent, and knowledgeable legal counsel

This program serves hopeful adoptive parents and expectant mothers (and women with already born children) who are considering placing their child for adoption. These are individuals who have come to ACI seeking guidance and help with examining adoption. Ultimately between 30% and 50% of the expectant mothers who come to us proceed with and adoption plan. ACI makes no guarantees about the placement of a child for adoption to potential adoptive parents.

The selection process

Potential adoptive parents who are in the Traditional Adoption Program create profiles describing their lives, hopes and dreams. These are shared with women who are considering making an adoption plan.

Expectant mothers are shown all of the profiles of families that match their expectations. This is true regardless of how long someone has been in the program. Expectations may include things like religious background, whether or not the family has other children, sexual orientation, ethnicity, level of education and income. ACI does not attempt to steer or influence women considering placing children for adoption to any one family.

Expectant mothers are encouraged to choose a first, second and third choice family. Frequently they are interested in finding out more about the families they have chosen. It is not unusual for a woman who is considering placing a child for adoption to meet with her first choice family prior to placement.

Post-adoption communications

Frequently part of a woman’s decision to move forward with one family over another has to do with coming to an agreement about post-adoptive placement communication At ACI, to avoid misunderstandings, these agreements are put in writing for all parties to review and confirm. All the women placing children for adoption are informed (see our birth parent rights and responsibilities document) that none of these post-adoption communication agreements are enforceable under Illinois law. Therefore it is of particular concern that everyone agrees to honor their commitments to post-adoption communication.

Medical history

Adoptive parents are entitled to all of the information we have gathered about the medical history and background of a child and the parents who are placing children for adoption. A word of caution however, in almost every adoption situation, much of the medical history and background information comes from a “self-report” and the information cannot be verified. Most expectant mothers come to ACI in middle or latter part of their third trimester. Some come to ACI on a referral from an emergency room at the time the child is born. All medical information that ACI obtains about the expectant mother and her child, up until and through the time of birth, is made available to the hopeful adoptive parents.

After a child is born and/or after the mother of an already born child decides to proceed with her adoption plan, and after legal documents are signed, the designated adoptive parents may begin the legal process of adopting the child.

Want to find out more? Attend one of our monthly Domestic Program Introduction sessions. Click here for the schedule.