Angels’ Cove in Mt. Vernon: Adoption & Foster Care

Domestic Adoptions

Adoption Services by Angels' Cove of Mt. Vernon, IL

Adoptions are typically referred to as being Domestic (adoptions of children within the US) or International (adoptions of children outside the US).

BCHFS strives to place children with loving, Christian parents residing in Illinois. If families are interested in adopting, they should personally contact the Mt. Vernon office to request a pre-application packet or ask questions regarding the adoption process. Applications will only be sent when prospective families have contacted us directly by mail, email or telephone.

Adoption Eligibility Requirements
Angels’ Cove of Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services is licensed to provide adoption services in Illinois. We have established the following eligibility requirements for prospective parents adopting through our domestic adoption program:

For healthy, same race infants:

  • Applicants must have been married at least 3 years.
  • Applicants may have no more than two children in the home and unable to have additional children.
  • Oldest parent may not exceed the age of 50 years.
  • Applicants must be committed Christians and active in the same evangelical church as described in the Adoptive Parent Faith Declaration.
  • Applicants must be Illinois residents.

Domestic special needs (different race, older child, physical/mental handicap):

  • Applicants must have been married at least 3 years.
  • Applicants must be committed Christians and active in the same evangelical church as described in the Adoptive Parent Faith Declaration.
  • Applicants must be Illinois residents.

International Adoption Home Studies and Supervision

BCHFS does not directly coordinate international adoptions. We do provide home study and post-placement services to Illinois families adopting through international agencies outside of Illinois. We also serve as liaison between U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and Illinois Department of Children & Family Services. Click here to view the BCHFS Fee Schedule for International Adoptions.

Private Domestic Adoption Assistance

BCHFS provides domestic and international home study services to Illinois families. The state of Illinois requires that residents of Illinois must utilize a licensed agency to provide the home study investigation when working with an adoption agency outside the state of Illinois. This has proven to be a great opportunity to help families. Post-placement services are conducted once the family has adopted their child and includes information on the progress of the child since the adoptive placement. These services are coordinated by our Mt. Vernon office but may be provided by all area office directors. If a family is interested in this service, they should contact Regina Thompson in the Mt. Vernon office.

Interstate Adoptions

At the present time, BCHFS does not place children for adoption out of the state of Illinois. However, on occasion we are asked to assist other out-of-state agencies with adoptive placements. Our role in this procedure is to provide in-home maternity services to birth mothers planning adoption. We also serve as a liaison between the birth parents and the adoptive parents while they are in Illinois. Adoption and interstate documents are completed and the family is notified when they may return to their home state.


Frequently Asked Questions :: Domestic Adoptions

How long does it take to adopt?
This is difficult to answer because the number of adoptions fluctuates year after year. At this point we estimate the wait from the initial application to placement to be approximately two to three years.

Can I afford to adopt?
BCHFS wants to make adoption affordable to couples who want to be parents. Therefore, the fee is based on income. A fee is required to place a family’s name on the waiting list. Fees associated with adoption can be found by clicking here. Other than the home study fee and travel expenses, there are no other fees due until a child is placed in the home. One half of the adoption fee is due when they receive their child; the balance upon finalization in six months. A portion of medical expenses may be charged to the family. However, adoptive parents have the option to request only birth mothers whose medical expenses are covered through public assistance or insurance.

Do I have to see the birth parents?
Healthy parents raise healthy children. Adoption is a beautiful and normal way to build a family. However, when families choose to deny the existence of the child’s biological family or pretend they don’t exist, the parent-child relationship is off to an unhealthy start. Getting to know the child’s birth parents helps adoptive parents to better know their child. It gives them easy access to additional medical history and leaves the door open to questions the child may have at different points of emotional development.

An unhealthy fear of birth parents is usually due to sensational media coverage, movies, or misinformation. Young women rarely go through 9 months of pregnancy, struggle through the adoption process, only to come back and disrupt their child’s life because of their own needs.

What if we want a closed adoption?
Although we encourage a degree of openness in most adoptions, adoptive parents may still request a closed adoption. This, however, may extend the waiting period considerably as most birth parents prefer some degree of openness and quickly bypass families who are unwilling to consider this.

At what point can the birth mother change her mind?
This amount of time varies from state by state, therefore, you cannot depend on public opinion or media for this information. In Illinois, relinquishment papers may not be signed by the birth mother until at least 72 hours after the child is born. Such papers signed to a licensed adoption agency are permanent and irrevocable. In other words, once a birth mother signs, she cannot change her mind.

Illinois does require a six month post-placement period. However, this is not a period of time for a birth mother to withdraw relinquishment and regain custody. It is a period of supervision to determine that the child is doing well within the adoptive home.

In order to contest an adoption, birth mothers must prove they were forced to sign under duress or fraud. The staff of BCHFS care deeply about our birth parents and do our best not to place them in a situation where they feel forced to relinquish the child.

What about birthfather’s rights in Illinois?
BCHFS staff consider birth father’s rights an important part of the adoption process. Not thoroughly addressing birth father’s rights creates the potential for a tremendous legal loophole in the adoption. Some agencies file adoptions with no or little consideration to properly addressing the rights of the child’s birth father – somewhat of an “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy. This is legally dangerous and ethically wrong.

Although their role is certainly different, the birth father is still a part of the child. Therefore, we feel it is important to attempt to contact the birth father, talk to him about his desires for his child, obtain medical histories and other pertinent information that might be helpful to adoptive families. If we do not know the identity of the birth father, his rights are addressed through publication and the Putative Father Registry.

Birth fathers are frequently misunderstood. They are seen as terrible “dead beat dads.” However, in most cases they just have no idea what they should do in this situation; therefore, they choose to do nothing. We have found that when approached about making a plan based on the best interest of their child, birth fathers tend to be cooperative and emotionally invested in making this decision.

Adoption Services through Angels’ Cove

Adoption services are coordinated through staff at Angels’ Cove. BCHFS works with prospective adoptive parents throughout the licensing and placement process. As a licensed adoption provider in the state of Illinois, we also provide home study services statewide for couples seeking to adopt within the state or internationally. You can contact Angels’ Cove for information on international home studies or placements (ID# 401813). Angels’ Cove is proud to have received the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award.

Regina Thompson, MSW, LCSW
Regina Thompson, MSW, LCSWAngels' Cove Adoption Specialist
Office Tel: (618) 242-4944
Email Regina

ADOPTION FORMS

Home Study Fee Schedule for Domestic Adoptions – Private or Other Agency

Home Study Fee Schedule for International Adoptions

BCHFS Domestic Adoption Process, Fees, and Glossary of Services

Assisted Adoptions – Interstate Fee Schedule