We adopted twins through The Cradle 8 years ago. I have only good things to say about The Cradle; our experience was excellent. The classes were mostly very helpful, the counselors we dealt with were thoughtful and responsive, they stayed in touch in the months after the adoption to be sure we were adjusting well, and we felt adequately informed during the whole process. Post-adoption, the agency holds events like holiday parties and summer picnics so that adopted children from different families can mingle together, and even years after the adoption, I am entirely confident the staff there would help us out with counseling or other resources if we asked. We also still get invited to webinars and classes on various topics relevant to raising an adopted child, as sort of a continuing education option.
I believe The Cradle's fees are on the high end, but it offers many more remarkable services (including The Sayers Center and its nursery) than some other agencies, so we felt it was a justified inflation that we were happy to pay. We were also persuaded by our initial research that indicated it offers better counseling and services, both pre-adoption and ongoing, to birth parents than many other agencies do.
The only cautionary note I have for adoptive parents is that you can expect The Cradle to care more about the child than they do about you. They aren't focused on finding a good child for you, they are focused on finding a good family for every child. That means you can expect they will gently but thoroughly scrutinize you, that they will teach you what you need to know but not hold your hand every day, and that they will probably spend more of their energy working with the birth mother/parents than with you. Don't misunderstand. Our adoptive counselor was informative, but she didn't call us weekly unless there was news; she was kind, but didn't sugar coat things when she was setting expectations about The Wait; when our children needed hospitalization immediately after birth, another counselor made sure the medical prognosis still fit within the range of situations we had earlier said we were open to, to make sure we were still an appropriate family for the children. In short, we were the second-class clients, while the children (and their birth parents) were the first-class clients. This is as it should be.
We were very much looking forward to working with the cradle. Upon intial consultation we went to a meeting to give us more information about this agency. Unfortunately we were very much discouraged from adopting with them based on the fact that we had been married 5 yrs( too short in their mind) and that we were an interracial interfaith couple. They still took our money but we're so discouraging and negative about the whole adoption process claiming " adoption is the most painful process" that we chose not to work with this agency. I have done some research and talked with a few other couples who have similar backgrounds to ours and all were told the same exact thing. Shame on this organization for having preconceived notions about loving families who want to extend their homes to others. We were blessed with a natural baby of our own. I'm glad we stopped working with this organization. They are by no means professional
The Cradle is an adoption agency in Evanston, IL. It places babies, given up for adoption, housing them in their nursery and caring for them until a family is approved. They have "cuddlers" to help the nurses by holding and feeding the babies. I am one and adore the "job". It is a non-profit organization which only asks prospective parents to pay what they can afford and the balance comes from contributions.
I am a cuddler in the nursery at the Cradle. I do it selfishly, because I love babies, but more than that, these babies need all the love and attention they can get before they have a family to go to. The nurses and nurse's aides are all great,, but most of the time there are too many babies that need to be cuddled. That's where I and the rest of the volunteers come in.
I found The Cradle through a local place called 1st Midwest Pregnancy. I was approximately 8 weeks pregnant. I worked with them through the next 7 or so months to work out an adoption plan that I was comfortable with. Since I knew who the birthfather was, they were obligated to contact him and let him know that I was in the process of making a plan and he could either fight it, or sign the papers agreeing to an adoption plan. The birthfather chose to fight it. The Cradle sent attorneys into court on my behalf and on the behalf of my unborn son. The court dates kept getting pushed out and pushed out until I was approximately 8 months pregnant. The courts decided against me and went in favor of the birthfather. By this point I had already pretty much chosen a family, all thanks to The Cradle for allowing me to continue looking into families looking to adopt, but I was notified by The Cradle giving me the news of the courts, and then saying that I could not continue in the process unless I could get the birthfather to agree to sign the papers. I immediately called the birthfather to talk with him and see his thought process. The call ended with him agreeing to sign the papers. I called The Cradle, told them the news, they then sent someone to get the papers signed by the birthfather, and I went forward with the family I had chosen earlier. I would do anything I could to help out The Cradle and get their name out there. They are a wonderful agency with many wonderful employees who are there for anything you may need.
11 years ago, I contacted The Cradle when I was barely 8 weeks pregnant and without much support. During the 7 months I worked with The Cradle to make an adoption plan and the months that followed my placement, the counselors and other employees of The Cradle made me feel so comfortable with my decision. When my open adoption had some communication issues, they were quick to help for the sake of our daughter. In the years since placement, I have cherished the relationships I have developed because of The Cradle. I am proud to be apart of the The Cradle family as birthmom to an amazing almost 11 year old girl. Without The Cradle's support and ongoing mentoring, I feel like I would still be as lost and scared as I was at 22.
The Cradle helped us form our family 40 and 37 years ago, and we served on the Board for many years. We are very proud of The Cradle for continuing to practice the highest ethical standards in very difficult times for agencies whose sole priority is the best interests of the child. The Cradle is unquestionably the best adoption agency in the United States.
We adopted two babies form the Cradle. One has sinced passed away. There were not very many "good" adoption agencies in the 1960's. The Cradle was everything we were looking for and was affordable for us. We now have grandchildren by our "Cradle babies". Life has been good to us and to a great extent that is because of the Cradle. They still keep in touch with me, and that is good. James DeLill
I thank God and the Cradle every day for our 2 wonderful children. They complete and fulfill our lives. And now we have grandchildren! What a blessing! The Cradle facilitated our dreams. May they prosper forever! We love you MORE! The McMahon Family:)
The Cradle is one of the most passionate and yet focused non-profit that I have been involved with. The board is professional and thinks about ways to expand the reach of their mission--creating families for children. The work they do to help each birth mom (and dad) make the right decisions for their child is inspiring. Knowing each situation is unique, they give women the resources to make the right choice for their child and themselves.
As part of a couple seeking to adopt, I've quite enjoyed the experience through The Cradle. It's a marathon, but like a great marathon preparation course, they have it very well plotted out and explained. The parent-to-be classes have been terribly informative, the recommended outside readings extreme value-adds, and all of the staff so positive and supportive. There are no guarantees, but we're so happy for how well The Cradle prepares its adoptive parent clients to provide the best possible environments for the children they place.