We take placing your child in a home very seriously, and want to ensure that any child who is adopted by an ECFA family will be brought up in a safe and loving environment. Below are some of the criteria that pre-adoptive families must meet before creating a profile/scrapbook and being eligible to be adoptive parents.
- All waiting families at our agency are open to, at a minimum, the following openness:
- Meeting before birth
- Pictures and letters at 3, 6, 12 months during the first year
- Visits at 6 months and a year during the first year
- Pictures, letter, and a visit every year thereafter
- Complete a minimum of 10 hours of assessment with an adoption counselor. Throughout the process, it is the job of the adoption counselor to evaluate whether or not the family is mentally, physically, and emotionally able and prepared to care for children and create a safe, loving home environment. Topics included in the assessment are family background, personality, marriage, motivation to adopt, experience with children, and their physical and mental health.
- Complete a criminal background check. This involves checks through the Illinois State Police, FBI, Illinois Sex Offender Registry, National Sex Offender Registry, and the DCFS Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System.
- Complete at least 10 hours of pre-adoptive training. Topics include, but are not limited to the following: attachment, trans-racial parenting, advocating for your child, identity issues, and openness in adoption.
- Housing must meet the state of Illinois minimum licensing standards for safety, sanitation, and space. Examples include: a fire safety plan, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of the home, a fire extinguisher in the home, safety plans in place for any potential water hazards on or near the property, appropriate child locks, and no unsafe products on the premises.
- They must be able to financially provide for the basic needs of all family members in the home by demonstrating a surplus of income each month after all bills are paid.
- ECFA provides Christian adoptions. Pregnancy Support Services clients do not need to be Christian, but if choosing adoption through our agency, the family will be a Christian family. The family must identify themselves as Evangelical Christians and be actively involved in an Evangelical congregation.
- The adoption team also receives up to six references from family, friends, and church community reflecting the adoptive family’s character, faith, and parenting ability.
- The family must live in Illinois and within a 50 mile radius of the Wheaton office.
The age and marital status of families varies. ECFA allows both single and married applicants to apply to the program. There is no minimum or maximum age requirement for adoptive families.