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Frequently asked questions

Services for individuals who were in the care of DCFS and never adopted
Midwest Adoption Center (MAC) is under contract to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to provide two important services to former wards who are 18 years of age or older and were not adopted:

  • Information from closed DCFS and Purchase of Service (POS) agencies files, including medical and educational history and details of placements while a ward of DCFS
  • Help in locating and establishing a connection with siblings, birth parents, other birth relatives, including adult siblings who were adopted or the adoptive parents of a minor sibling

MAC also offers service to youths who are still in the care of the Department.

Information from DCFS files
After you are no longer a ward of the Department, and you are 18 years of age or older, you may request information from your own DCFS file through the MAC program.  For some, it is important to know more about the period of time in the care of the Department.  Some files contain a great deal of information while in other situations, only a small amount of information is located. The file may contain important medical or educational information as well as details concerning various institutional and foster care placements.  DCFS policy allows MAC to provide a copy of all file information about you and your time in care; however, all information about other people must be removed, including information about other family members such as siblings.
Search service
We are not able to give you names, address or other kinds of contact information about others, even if they are related to you.  However, if you want to locate a birth parent, sibling or other relative, you can request ‘search service’ through this program. The program is designed to recognize the importance of past connections (even connections between birth relatives who have not previously met) while maintaining each person’s privacy and confidentiality. 

You may only want information from a biological relative, may want to communicate with the relative by letter through a caseworker, or may be seeking a face-to-face meeting.  Using information found in the files along with various search resources, the MAC caseworker attempts to identify and locate the relative you want to find.  Once that person is located, the MAC caseworker explains the purpose of the outreach and attempts to facilitate whatever agreement is desired by both you and your relative. In instances when both parties do not want to have direct contact, MAC facilitates an exchange of anonymous letters, medical information and even photographs.  This anonymous ‘on-going communication’ service can continue as long as both parties so desire.  

Services for current wards of DCFS who want to connect with a birth relative
Beginning on July 1, 2008, the DCFS Search program (provided by Midwest Adoption Center) was expanded to serve youth who are still in the care of the Department. This program can help locate a birth relative of the child or other person with whom a connection could be beneficial.
For example:

  • Even if there had been contact in the past, the connection with a birth parent, grandparent or other relative who was important to the child. may have been lost. Your MAC caseworker will attempt to locate that person and explain the kinds of connection that are possible.
  • The child might want contact with a brother or sister who is now an adult. The MAC caseworker will attempt to locate a sibling who was in foster care, was adopted or who was never in the care of DCFS.
  • The child may want to contact a sibling who is still a minor.  The MAC caseworker will contact his parent or guardian and attempt to facilitate a connection. 

If you are interested in locating a relative or other person important to a child who is a ward of DCFS, please complete a Service Request form and return it Midwest Adoption Center.   For more information or if you have questions about how this service could be helpful to a child in your care, please contact MAC staff person LaKisha at 847-298-9096, ext 29 or by email at lakishaw@macadopt.org.