My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Cradle, Evanston, IL, USA
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.