ABC Counseling and Family Services, a licensed, non-profit, non-denominational, child welfare agency, specializes in domestic infant adoptions. We work with birth parents that voluntarily make an adoption plan for their baby. We do not work with DCFS to place wards of the state, or place any children through the Illinois foster care system. We have over 25 years of experience in assisting birth parents and adoptive parents through domestic infant adoptions. We are licensed in the entire state of Illinois to provide adoption services and we take our role in your adoption very seriously.
We assist in matching adoptive families with birth families, but also encourage our adoptive families to find an identified placement (find birth family on your own). We also provide Home Studies for private domestic adoptions.
The adoption process for the Domestic Infant Adoption Program begins with a preliminary interview that takes place at ABC Counseling. The adoption processes and procedures that follow are outlined below.
Before a home study is initiated, individuals/couples will be interviewed.
An autobiography, as well as other written exercises, are required during the Home Study process. The handouts and worksheets are distributed during the preliminary interview. ABC and the applicants work cooperatively to assess the applicants’ ability to successfully parent an adoptive child.
All applications and handouts need to be returned to ABC one week prior to the home study visit.
The home visit is the time when ABC will check for safety and preparedness. We tour your home to assure that it is safe for children. Most of the time spent in the home is for interviewing purposes.
Sometimes additional office interviews are needed to complete the home study process. These may be individual or conjoint interviews.
The home study is written and kept in the case files. It is the property of ABC and will be released only to a court at the time of finalizing the adoption. Exceptions are made in certain cases such as interstate adoptions where another agency has requested a copy of the home study.
Applicants are notified of their approval once all of the home study requirements are fulfilled.
Applicants are required to meet the educational requirement of ABC Counseling. In order to do so, applicants are required to complete online adoption classes, available through www.adoptionlearningpartners.org, in addition to educational materials handed out during the Home Study visit.
Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to attend infant care and/or parenting classes if this is their first child.
Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to attend a certified CPR class prior to placement.
Placements may occur at the appropriate hospital, ABC office, or at another designated location. At that time, the couple will sign certain documents acknowledging their responsibility to care for the child and acknowledging receipt of background information on the birth parents and the child.
If foster parents have cared for the child, adoptive parents will have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of the foster parents.
ABC will provide pre-finalization services to the adoptive parents and the child from the date of placement until the issuance of the final decree of adoption. The pre-finalization period shall be no less than six months from the time of placement. Three face-to-face home visits will be made by the supervising adoption caseworker during the six-month period. If finalization does not occur during the six-month period, monthly visits will continue until finalization does occur. The agency will supply the court with the necessary documentation for finalization, such as a copy of the home study, surrenders, and a final progress report.
The agency shall remain available to birth parents, adoptive families, and adoptees to provide counseling, education, or consultation on adoption issues after the final decree of adoption has been issued. ABC believes that adoption is a life-long experience.
Pictures and letters from the adoptive family may continue to be sent from the agency. These will be forwarded on to the birth family for as long as there is mutual consent.