Adoption is a positive and brave choice.

Supporting your choices

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, LCFS can provide compassionate, respectful and confidential assistance. You will be provided with a caseworker who will be your support person and advocate; she will meet with you privately and confidentially to help you sort out feelings, examine your options and reach an informed, positive decision concerning your baby’s future. There is no fee to you for this service, and no one at LCFS will pressure you as you examine your choices. Talking about an adoption plan does not mean you have made your decision. You have control and the choice is always yours. Birth parent services are provided to persons of any age, race, sexual orientation, marital status or religion.

If you choose to explore an adoption plan for your child, your LCFS caseworker will meet with you privately in your home, in our office or any place that is comfortable for you. Your conversations with your LCFS caseworker are always confidential. Your caseworker will never talk to others about you or your situation without your permission. If you are a minor, you do not need parental permission to place a child for adoption. Control of the decision-making process is always in your hands, and you can choose to include others important to you in the process.

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Selecting adoptive parents

If you choose to parent your baby, follow-up services are available, including referrals to resources for parents and children. plan, we can work with you toward placement with parents you have already chosen or assist you in selecting adoptive parents. Placement of the baby can be directly from the hospital to the adoptive parents. LCFS can also arrange for assistance with pregnancy-related expenses, as needed and as allowed by Illinois law.

Your caseworker can provide you with profiles of adoptive parents who have completed in-depth interviews with an adoption professional, have passed background clearances and have provided references and documentation supporting their health, stability and ability to be good parents. LCFS has adoptive families of various ethnic and racial backgrounds and religious affiliations, including single parents and same-sex couples.

You can decide to meet the family you select, and you have choices regarding the level of openness you will have with an adoptive family. LCFS encourages contact between the birth family and the adoptive family for the benefit of everyone. Your caseworker can explain all of your options, which range from a confidential adoption to an open adoption that can include contact and visits throughout your lifetime.

Placement

Even if you are planning adoption, you have the right to change your mind at any time during the process. After a baby is born, Illinois law requires the birth mother to wait at least 72 hours before relinquishing parental rights. Once you sign the surrender papers, your decision is irrevocable. Your LCFS caseworker will work with you to ensure that you are secure in your decision. After your baby is born, you can choose for your baby to go home from the hospital with the adoptive parents. If you decide to sign a surrender of parental rights and place your child for adoption, in most cases you do not need to go to court. Your caseworker can meet with you wherever you are most comfortable to complete the paperwork. After you place your child for adoption, LCFS will continue to support and assist you. Some women who come to LCFS for assistance ultimately decide to parent their babies. If you choose to parent your baby, follow-up services are available, including referrals to resources for parents and children.

Father’s rights

Illinois law allows you choices regarding identifying the father of the baby. If the father of the baby is identified, LCFS can provide services to him including talking with him about a surrender of his parental rights and meeting with him to sign the paperwork. If the birth father does not wish to be involved, there are other legal options for termination of his rights.

Interstate adoption

If you do not live in Illinois, LCFS can assist you in completing an interstate adoption. We can help you find the right Illinois adoptive family for your baby and give you referrals for a resource in your state to assist you with your adoption plan.

LCFS is licensed by the state of Illinois. (Agency license # 012998)

Birth Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities in Illinois

LCFS’ Adoption Grievance Procedure