FAQs For Adoptive Parents

  • What Is Adoption?

Adoption is a means of meeting the developmental needs of a child by legally transferring ongoing parental responsibilities for that child from birth parents to adoptive parents, recognizing that in the process a new kinship network is created that forever links those two families together through the child who is shared by both.

  • Is Adoption Permanent?

Yes. When all the procedures are followed correctly and by the law, an adoption never should be disrupted. We do our best to ensure that all adoptions through St. Mary’s are done ethically and legally.

  • Do You Only Place Newborns?

St. Mary’s Services primarily places newborns, but has placed children up to three years of age St. Mary’s Services works with birth parents of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds; as well as infants relinquished through the Illinois Safe Haven Law.

  • What Is The Waiting Time?

Waiting time is often difficult to predict and differs for every individual or family, therefore we cannot guarantee or state a specific timeframe. Placement depends on your openness, flexibility and how quickly you complete/submit all of the required paperwork. Please remember that St. Mary’s promotes “relationship adoption”, which means that the birth parent(s) ultimately chooses the adoptive individual or family.

  • How Do Potential Birth Parents Come To Work With St. Mary’s Services?

Birth parents come to St. Mary’s through a variety of ways, mainly through referrals, word of mouth and internet searches. Having been around helping women and children for over a century, we pride ourselves on giving compassionate, non-judgmental counseling to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. We can be seen advertising on buses, directories, local papers, as well as television and radio. Our St. Mary’s team regularly participate in outreach visits and presentations to hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, schools, churches and various networking events to provide education and awareness on adoption.

  • Do You Work With Birth Parents Who Live Outside Of Illinois?

Yes. St. Mary’s Services occasionally works with birth parents in neighboring states of Illinois. In this case, an experienced and licensed agency and/or adoption attorney would also get involved. If the infant is born outside the state of Illinois, this becomes an interstate adoption case.

  • Do You Work With Birth Parents Who Live Outside Of Illinois?

Yes. St. Mary’s occasionally works with birth parents in neighboring states of Illinois. However, it is necessary that the baby be born in Illinois.

  • What Is St. Mary’s Services Philosophy Towards Openness?

There are varying degrees of openness in adoption. We work with adoptive individuals or couples and birth parents to achieve a level of openness that is desirable to all. St. Mary’s Services is always looking out for the child’s best interest. Openness between the birth parents and adoptive family is negotiated and agreed upon prior to an adoption taking place. All parties should be comfortable with the agreement and adhere to it for the benefit of the child. St. Mary’s believes an adoptive relationship should meet the needs of the child. We encourage flexibility in our adoptions and will work with our adoptive individuals or couples to better understand openness in adoption and the benefits for the child.

  • What If The Birth Father Is Not Involved With The Birth Mother?

St. Mary’s Services’ first priority is to try to involve the birth father, if identified, in making an adoption plan for his child and to sign legal surrender paperwork. If the birth father is uncooperative, our attorney will serve him legal documents through the sheriff or process server. If the birth father does not comply, then publication is necessary and will be carried out through our attorney. Publication is also necessary in circumstances where the birth father is unknown. The putative father registry is consulted for registration by the birth father as well. Upon completion of these steps, the birth father’s rights can be terminated in court on the grounds of abandonment. We have adoption attorneys available for consultation at all levels of this process to ensure the adoption is safe, legal, and ethical.

  • What Services Are Provided To The Potential Birthparents?

St. Mary’s Services provides options counseling in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment. If a woman (or couple) wants to create an adoption plan, their St. Mary’s Counselor is with them every step of the way. Assisting them with obtaining medical insurance, prenatal care, and public aid benefits are just a few of the resources we can help provide. The client’s counselor becomes a major support role and ally in their life while deciding what the best option is for themselves and their unborn child. If an adoption occurs, post-placement counseling is provided for as long as needed.

“After attending informational meetings with four other agencies, it was a no-brainer that St. Mary’s would provide us with the personal attention and care that a life changing event needs.”

– Pat and Jennifer, St. Mary’s Adoptive Family

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