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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Cradle

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adoption, Children & Youth

Mission: The Cradle's mission is to benefit children and all others touched by adoption — by compassionately delivering exceptional education, guidance and lifelong support to build, sustain and preserve nurturing families.

Target demographics: build and strengthen families

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1,000 expectant parents and 400 families

Geographic areas served: Child and family services

Programs: options counseling for pregnant women considering adoption, education and support for those looking to adopt and lifelong support to anyone touched by adoption throughout their lifetime.

Community Stories

79 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have worked with The Cradle for many years and am always impressed with the dedication, intelligence, and warmth of everyone on staff. They care deeply about what they do and strive to do it as well as humanly possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The adoption of my daughter has certainly been one of the most fulfilling events of my life. The Cradle's mantra that "the interests of the child must come first" has made me proud to be associated with this child welfare service and adoption agency. As an organization I am often awed by the depth of talent and care that the staff exhibits and the array of skills and knowledge that the volunteer board brings to the table. Being involved with the Cradle has been a series of amazing experiences. --Larry Macy

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am very proud to be associated with The Cradle. Their care and dedication to children is amazing - not just at the adoptive stage, but through all stages of life! They are truly the experts in their field.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Cradle Adoption agency provides all involved in the adoption process with the highest quality service and support. I am proud to be associated with the Cradle.

Joel8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My true role is volunteer/client served/donor/committee member. I am one of the approximately 15,000 adoptees whose lives would not be all that they have become were it not for The Cradle. The professional caring quality of this organization clearly sets the standard for adoption agencies nationally. The Cradle represents a significant interest for my entire family.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be associated with the Cradle because of its commitment to children. The Cradle is focused on finding families for children and each staff member contributes to this mission every day of their lives. The Cradle provides counseling services to pregnant women with no agenda and at no charge to them. The Cradle nursery is able to care for infants, many with severe special needs, for an unlimited amount of time until they are placed into a loving home. I am very proud of all of the great services that the Cradle provides to children, birthparents and adoptive parents and I am committed to helping the Cradle continue to thrive and grow so that it can place another 14,000 babies into loving families over the next 90 years!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Kellogg School of Management, where I currently attend business school, has an experiential learning class on board governance, where students have the opportunity to work with a local non-profit. I was blessed to be placed with The Cradle. I have seen first-hand the impact The Cradle has had in the greater Chicago area and it has made a profound impact on my life.

Julie62

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be associated with The Cradle because this organization has a laser-focus on excellence in serving children, expectant parents and prospective families. Our mission is to find families for children who need them regardless of their race, ethnic background or special needs. Just last week we found a home for a baby with Down Syndrome. Our one-of-a-kind 24/7 newborn nursery provides infants with professional and nurturing care while their needs are assessed and while their mothers consider their options. We are often asked, "What do you do if you can't find a family for a baby?" We are proud to answer, "We have always been able to find a family for each baby." Prospective adoptive parents receive the very best preparation for the experience of parenting through adoption. And, importantly, expectant parents receive help in making a decision that is best for them, whether that decision is to make an adoption plan or to parent their baby. And then we have www.AdoptionLearningPartners.org, an online adoption education community that is bringing help to adoptive families around the world!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have adopted twice through the Cradle, the first time in 2008 and the second time in 2012. Both times were absolutely wonderful. People asked us if we would go back after the first time, and I always said that if I couldn't adopt with the Cradle, I wouldn't do it a second time. Knowing the experiences that friends have had with different agencies, I feel like our experiences were above and beyond. We learned so much in the classes and our counselors were available when we had questions. The Cradle creates a sense of community with the families they serve and we have a large group of families with similarly aged children with whom we get together on a regular basis.

Jill24

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I are in the process of adopting a second child through the Cradle. We had a very good experience with the adoption of our first child. The Cradle's classes were very professional and everything with the process has been focused on what is best for the child (something that seems to get lost in much of the present situation of domestic adoption). The Cradle was and is (if she wants it) a great support to our son's birth mother and to our family as we struggle through the complexities of our open adoption. I recommend the Cradle to all families in the area looking for an adoption agency.

2 Julie61

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am an adoptee from The Cradle. My adoptive parents adopted me at The Cradle 41 years ago and The Cradle still feels like home to me. I spent my first 40 days there, but if it wasn't for The Cradle, I don't know where I would be, since The Cradle when it first opened (more than 40 years ago) it was then, I think it still is the only adoption agency with a nursery, doctors and nurses who are able to care of babies needing medical attenition before being adopted. I had some problems with my hip and had to wear double diapers and be cared for, before my parents were able to pick me up and take me to their home to be their daughter. I am so grateful for the care, love and support of The Cradle. They also have lifelong services; for the adoptee that desires to search, and find their biological parents; which have been very helpful to me as well, although I have not completely pursued a search, the counselors are always there to listen and guide.

1 Jean H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After struggling with infertility issues, my husband and I decided to pursue adoption. We had heard of The Cradle by reputation and after the first Adoption 101 class we never considered any other agency. The Cradle's professionalism and attention to every detail made the process, the paperwork, all of the headaches - bearable for all parties. One of the major reasons we selected The Cradle was the counseling that all parties receive. We know the birth parents were advised of their rights and that counsel enabled them to make the best choice for themselves and their baby. We were recently placed with our beautiful baby girl and we are extremely confident that everyone involved is comfortable with the decision. The Cradle is the BEST!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I are perspective adoptive parents. We've registered wtih The Cradle for our homestudy and as our adoption agency. So far the training and preparation we have received is second to none -- and we looked at two other agencies before selecting the Cradle. The Cradle always emphasize that the children come first before all else. They train us to have compassion for the birthparents, and they stress the importance of open adoption, because it is best for the child. The Cradle doesn't simply just "pass us through" because we pay the required fees for service. They have a very deliberate and rigorous process for training us as parents. Plus, our counselor asked us to rewrite things if she didn't feel we provided enough information. I'm also pleased with the counseling that they offer to expectant mothers; the Cradle really wants to make sure that adoption is the best choice for everyone -- no regrets. The Cradle has been in operation since the late 1920s, and it's clear why they've lasted so long; they are truly a first-class operation.

1 Karen80

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our son through The Cradle in 2008. They helped us navigate the scary world that is open adoption for those unfamiliar with it. Thanks to ours, and our sons birth mothers experience and education about openness we have a very strong and loving open adoption with multiple visits a year, Skype, phone calls, FB contact, etc. Sarah has become like a little sister to me. Being that she also has 2 children she is parenting who are older than our son, I often ask her experiences with preschooler issues! Without the education, counseling and support received at The Cradle I don't know if our relationship would be as strong as it is now. We were inspired by our relationship and experiences to form our own NFP solely for the purpose of raising monies to support open adoption services at The Cradle.