Adoption in Illinois
AWAA-IL is licensed and Hague accredited in the state of Illinois to provide home study services for adoption. Although our primary role is to provide home study services for families adopting through America World, we are also able to prepare home study and post adoption reports for families using other placement agencies and who meet America World's agency requirements. Our office is located in Northbrook, but we are able to provide services for families living throughout the state.
The Home Study is a major part of the adoption process designed to help you, America World, the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), and the foreign government assess your ability to provide a loving home for an orphan. A home study is an assessment process that provides a written report that is a comprehensive picture of your background, current family life and how this new child will be integrated into your family. It is designed to be a non-judgmental, educational and fruitful process. Some of the topics discussed during the home study process are motivation for adoption, expectations regarding adoption: short-term and long term, attitude towards biological parents, type of child desired: age, sex, medical or emotional concerns, and attitudes of extended family and non-resident siblings. Your home study coordinator will also explore your values related to parenting, marriage, finances, spiritual beliefs, and child-care plans. These discussions will all take place during four face-to-face visits, one of which must be in your home. For residents in the state of Illinois, criminal record checks, child abuse registry checks and references will be obtained. You will need to provide a copy of your birth certificate, marriage license, a financial worksheet (which will be provided to you), and medical statements for all members of the family. Your home may need to be licensed through the Department of Children and Family Services, details will be provided as necessary. All of these items will be collected and reported in the home study.
IL DCFS Annual Report for Licensed Adoption Agencies 2014
IL DCFS Annual Report for Licensed Adoption Agencies 2015
America World's Annual Reports and Audited Financial Statements
Grievance Procedures (Sample Document)
Adoptive Parents Rights & Responsibilities in Illinois
AWAA-IL also provides post adoption services for your adoption. Post adoption visits are vital to help an adoptive family adjust and transition as a new family unit. We will visit your family in your home to assess your transition and write a post adoption report. Each country and even some states have their own post adoption requirements. Additional visits may be required depending on the type of adoption you complete. Your social worker will ensure that all state, agency and country requirements are met in your post adoptive reports. At a minimum you will be required to have at least two post adoption visits. In addition to post adoption visits and reports, we will be available to offer support and referrals for special services, education and/or trainings.
A Note from the IL Director of Social Services – Cristina Schaff, MA, LPC, LDCWSE
Hello from Illinois! My name is Cristina Schaff and I am the Director of Social Services for Illinois. I am a native of the Chicagoland area but also spent some of my life growing up in a small town in Western Michigan. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Calvin College and my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Lewis University. I have been working with children and families through foster care and adoption for over 10 years. I feel incredibly blessed that God has led me to America World. I am passionate about adoption and look forward to working with you as you build your family
How to Begin
If you are adopting through America World, Cristina Schaff will call you to initiate the home study within 48 business hours of getting confirmation that you have been accepted into a program. If you would like to use our social services but are not adopting through our agency, you may fill out the application online and choose "Social Services Only" as the payment option. Once the application is processed, Cristina will contact you within 48 business hours and will work directly with you and your placement agency to ensure all requirements are met in your home study and post adoption reports. If you have any questions, please contact Cristina Schaff.
America World - Illinois
Northbrook, IL 60062
9 AM - 5 PM ET