The choice to adopt a child can feel overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to even begin. If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area and are just beginning the adoption process, there are several local organizations that can help.
Illini Christian Ministries
Illini Christian Ministries in Champaign has been helping local families successfully adopt for many years. Offering resources for both domestic and international adoptions, ICM is a faith-based adoption placement agency.
ICM works with local attorneys, pregnancy resource centers and other adoption agencies to help local families navigate the adoption process. In addition, prospective parents can utilize ICM solely for home study services while still working with another adoptive agency or adoption attorney for placement.
ICM offers adoption several services and resources including:
- Home study services for domestic and international adoption
- A small domestic adoption placement program
- Cooperation with other placement agencies
- Adoption plans and related services for pregnant women in Illinois
- Mandated post-placement supervision
- Ongoing support and resources for adoptive families.
To adopt through ICM, prospective parents must be Illinois residents and at least 21 years old. Married couples must have been married for at least two years, and income must exceed 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Additional criteria is required for individuals adopting internationally set by the foreign government.
For more information, visit the website or call (217) 355-4446.
Center for Youth and Family Solutions
Offering domestic adoption as well as fostering options, the Center for Youth and Family Solutions is another local resource for C-U families.
The Center for Youth and Family Solutions is the largest provider of Foster Care Services in Central Illinois. The primary goal of the CYFS child welfare program is reunification with the child’s biological family. However, if a safe reunification is not an option, an alternative solution is finding a permanent adoptive family.
Adoption Conversion, adopting a child that’s previously been in your foster care, is one of four adoption program options at CYFS. In addition, CYFS offers Infant Adoption, Adopt Waiting Children, and Embryo Adoption.
Adoption requirements at CYFS include being either a single person or a couple who have been together for at least a year, possess adequate support from family, friends, and the community regarding their decision to adopt, and demonstrate a commitment to the mission and core values of The Center for Youth & Family Solutions.
The Baby Fold
The Baby Fold in Normal is a private, not-for-profit child and family welfare agency offering local families the opportunity to temporarily foster or permanently adopt children of all ages and backgrounds.
The children needing foster homes have been removed from their homes by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services due to abuse or neglect. They need a safe, stable home until they can be reunited with their family. If that’s not possible, children can be adopted from foster care.
Contact Cindy Musick at (309) 557-1037 or Brittany Tweedt at (309) 557-1108 to learn more about adopting a child from foster care.
ABC Counseling and Family Services
ABC Counseling, with offices in Savoy and throughout Central Illinois, is a non-denominational child welfare agency specializing in domestic infant adoptions since 1992.
Working with birth parents that voluntarily make an adoption plan for their baby, ABC doesn’t work with DCFS to place wards of the state, or place any children through the Illinois foster care system.
ABC Counseling also provides home studies for private domestic adoptions. The agency doesn’t place any restrictions, such as marital status or age, on prospective adoptive parents.
To connect with ABC Counseling, call the home office in Normal at (309) 451-9495 or in Savoy at (217) 403-0790.
Local Adoption Attorneys
If you’re looking for an adoption attorney to help you begin the process, many local families have sought and highly recommend the help of Ellyn Bullock. With extensive experience, Bullock has finalized the adoptions of more than 1,500 children all over Central Illinois.
To contact Bullock’s office, located at 100 N. Chestnut Street, call (217) 351-6156.
Readers also recommend Kirsten Bays, a family lawyer in Charleston. To contact Bays, call (217) 345-6099.
If you are interested in adopting through the U.S. Foster System, please visit the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services website.