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Frequently asked questions

What is unique about the Adoption Center for Family Building and what services do you offer?

Adoption Center for Family Building is a small, non-profit, open adoption agency licensed in llinois and Indiana. Our goal is to empower birth and adoptive families to make sound choices for themselves. The majority of our placements occur when an expectant mother contacts this agency about making an adoption plan for her unborn baby.  We also offer agency-assisted adoptions for families connecting with an expectant mother through their own networking. When needed, we provide home study services only for interstate and/or private adoptions.  We're a full service adoption agency offering:

             Adoptive Families in Illinois and Indiana

  • ·         home study, placement and post placement services
  • ·         support and counseling 
  • ·         written reports to the court
  • ·         interstate services
  • ·         agency assisted placements
  •           education and training

Birth parents in Illinois and Indiana:

  • ·         options counseling
  • ·         adoption information and support
  • ·         open, semi-open and closed adoptions
  • ·         choice of adoptive families
  • ·         assistance with living expenses
  • ·         transportation to doctors/clinics
  • ·         hospital arrangements and planning
  • ·         post placement support and counseling
  • ·         assistance applying for government programs

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Who are the children available to adopt?

Mostly newborns of many different races and ethnic backgrounds. Many of the children we place for adoption are Caucasian, others are biracial, African American, Latino, Asian and multiracial.

Do you have babies available for adoption now?

We have an active list of families waiting to adopt. We share the profiles of waiting families with expectant mothers (and birth fathers) who choose the adoptive family for their baby. When an expectant mother has chosen a family, we provide the family with all the relevant information that is available. The adoptive family may speak with the expectant mother, and a "match" meeting would be arranged that includes the birth mother’s counselor.  When both sides agree to move forward, we consider them “matched”.

How long is the wait to adopt a baby?

From 1996 through 2014, the average wait to adopt was about one year. The average wait time in 2016 was 14 months.

Do you offer birth mother counseling services?  

Yes, we offer adoption counseling services to birth parents throughout Illinois and Indiana. Case management and counseling services are available to birth mothers before, during and following an adoptive placement. All services are tailored to the individual needs of the client.  The counselor may help the expectant mother find a doctor or clinic, apply for community and government assistance programs, and deal with issues of grief and loss. We are also able help her with living expenses during the pregnancy and for a few weeks following the placement. Our counselors meet with expectant mothers in their home, at the hospital or in other convenient locations.

How many children have you placed for adoption?

Over the years, we have been involved in over a thousand placements. In 2016, the agency was involved in the placement of 36 newborns. 

Where do most of the birth mothers reside?

In 2016. 88% of the birth mothers resided in either Illinois or Indiana. The Adoption Center for Family Building offers free, confidential services to expectant mothers in Illinois and Indiana. If an expectant mother resides in another state, we work with her through the pregnancy, but the placement would be facilitated by agency and/or an attorney in her home state.

Who is eligible to adopt?

The minimum age to adopt a child through this agency is 25 years old.  Adopting parents must be emotionally and financially stable, and able to meet all home study criteria.  Adoption Center for Family Building has fewer restrictions than traditional adoption agencies. We work with married couples and singles, ranging in age from 25 to 50. Our clients represent many different ethnic and religious groups, including Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical Christian and Jewish. Many of the couples we work with already have at least one other child.

Do you place children with families who reside in states other than Illinois and Indiana?

Yes, every year we place a few babies for adoption with families who are not residents of Illinois or Indiana. Families residing outside of Illinois and Indiana must be ready to adopt, as demonstrated by a valid home study completed in their home state.

Do you work with birth mothers outside of Illinois or Indiana?

Yes. When a birth mother does not reside in Illinois or Indiana, we assist her in finding an adoptive family for her baby, and we identify service providers in her home state to insure that she receives counseling and legal representation.

What will we know about the baby's health before the placement

The Adoption Center obtains family social and medical history from both birth parents whenever possible. Pre-natal records are typically requested from the physician or clinic. The baby's medical records are usually available at discharge from the hospital. The Adoption Center requires HIV testing on either the birth mother or baby prior to placement.

What is a home study?

A home study is a written report that gives a current snapshot of the life of a prospective adoptive family. It is conducted by a social worker who meets with the applicants several times and gathers relevant information. The home study process typically takes 9-12 weeks to complete and includes in-person interviews, reference checks, background clearances, and at least one visit to the home, as well as education and counseling designed to prepare the family for adoption.

Why is a home study needed?

A home study is required for every agency, interstate, and international adoption, and it is prepared to help the courts determine if a stable environment exists for a family to receive an adoptive placement. A home study must be completed in the adoptive parents' home state. For international adoptions, home study requirements must be met for the child's country of origin, the placing agency, and the United States government.

Will we need a home study in order to adopt through this agency?   

Yes, the home study must be completed by  Adoption Center for Family Building or another licensed adoption agency, for families who reside outside of Illinois or Indiana.

What is the policy regarding open adoption?

Adoption Center for Family Building supports open adoption, but does not dictate the degree of openness in any adoption. Those decisions are made by birth parents and adopting parents.

How old is the baby when you take him/her home?

The baby typically goes home from the hospital with the adopting parents on the second or third day after birth. Final surrenders in Illinois are taken no sooner than 72 hours after birth.  Although it is common practice, adoptive parents are not required to take the baby home prior to final surrenders. In Indiana, consents for adoption are typically signed when the birth mother is ready to be discharged from the hospital.

What about the birth father's rights?

When a birth father is identified in an adoption, we contact him to inform him of the pending placement.  We also attempt to meet with him to obtain medical and social history, and have him sign the necessary paperwork. Counseling is available to birth fathers who choose to be involved the adoptive placement.

In Illinois, a father may sign an unborn surrender prior to the birth.  If a birth father does not sign, the attorney for the adopting parents arranges to have him served papers by a sheriff or process server. If the biological father is not identified, the attorney is required to publish notice on an unnamed father following the birth. The Putative Father Registry is also consulted for any registration by a birth father. Following these steps, the father's rights are terminated in adoption court.

In Indiana, a putative father may be served with a pre-birth notice and he may waive his rights to any further notice. Once served, he has thirty days to file a paternity action in court.  An unnamed father has 30 days (after the birth of the baby) to file with the Indiana Putative Father Registry. There is also a requirement in Indiana to publish on an unnamed father.

What happens after the placement?

You will go to court with your adoption attorney and receive an interim order giving you temporary legal custody. The adoption will be finalized three to six months after the placement (depending on the state in which you file the adoption).  Adoption Center for Family Building will provide post-placement services prior to finalization. We will meet with you at least once in your home, and Illinois families are expected to participate in a total of three meetings during a 6 month post placement period.  Indiana families usually have 1-2 post placement visits. 

Can we be assured of confidentiality?

Yes.  Adoption Center for Family Building staff will give birth parents your first names and other non-identifying information. It is your choice whether to disclose last names and other identifying information. Last year, most of our clients chose to participate in an open adoption. If the adoption is not fully disclosed, Adoption Center for Family Building is able to act as the intermediary for the exchange of information, letters and pictures. 

What happens during the initial  consultation?

You will meet with either Tobi or Maggie (our Executive and Clinical Directors) to discuss your options and you will learn about the process so that you are able to determine the right path for yourself. The initial consultation typically takes between two and three hours and the fee is $350. If you decide to proceed with an adoption following the initial consultation, you would submit an application to begin the home study, and start down the path to adopting a child.  

What does an adoption cost?

Agency fees vary depending on services rendered.  We can simply do your homestudy or provide you with a full range of services. If you join our full program, we provide everything from home study through placement and post placement.  In 2016, most of the adoptions cost between $25,000 and $29,000.  This cost included all agency fees, agency expenses and birth parent living expenses. This agency offers a reduced placement fee to families whose annual income is below $110,000. The fee for an agency-assisted adoption is $7,500, plus expenses. The agency also offers a subsidy to African American adoptive families. The average fee for a subsidized placement in 2016 was $23,000.

What does a home study cost?

The application fee is $375. The Illinois domestic home study fee is $2,700 including all post placement services. The fee for an international home study for Illinois residents is $3,125 and includes four post placement meetings.  The fee for an Indiana domestic or international home study is $1,800 and post placement services are billed separately.

How do we begin the adoption process?    

  • If you would like to schedule an initial consultation or attend a free information session, please call our office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • If you need home study services only, please download our agency application and mail it to our Illinois address along with the $375 application fee.
  • If you have already connected with a birth mother in Illinois or Indiana, please call us to discuss our Designated/Identified Adoption Program.  There is a different fee schedule for this program which offers counseling and placment services for birth parents in Illinois and Indiana.
  • To reach us call: (847) 674-3231 (Illinois) or (219) 795-9900 (Indiana) or send us an email: info@centerforfamily.com. Birth parents may call our Expectant Mother Helpline 365/days at 800-869-1005. On-call counselors are available evenings and weekends.

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Adoption Center for Family Building is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We provide valuable resources, financial assistance, and professional counseling to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Please support our mission.