Free Counseling is available to you virtually or in person. Please call 847-870-8181. We are here to listen.

Our Vision: Every Child Deserves a Good Home.

A Letter from Our Director

Dear Friends,

Thank you for coming to our website to explore the services we offer. Whether you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and need to explore your options, are experiencing postpartum depression or have anxiety in pregnancy, grief/loss issues from a pregnancy, an adjustment to parenthood, or want to expand your family with adoption services, you have come to the right place! We also provide home study services for families working with nationwide agencies.

We are first and foremost a child welfare agency and take our responsibility very seriously. Our counselors are some of the very best in our area and are committed to our clients. The entire staff thinks “out of the box” to provide you with professional services. We are with you every step of the way, will care for you, and nurture you in whatever journey you choose. We walk alongside you!
Please call, text, or email us for more information.

Natalie RodriguezExecutive Director



Our Vision & Mission.
  • Every child deserves a good home.


  • Creating stable families through adoption
  • Supporting women through the challenges of pregnancy and parenting
  • Building communities through counseling and education
A Brief History

Founded in 1887 by the Episcopal Sisters of St. Mary, they began assisting low income women and children in Chicago’s south side.  By 1894, the sisters moved to the west side and began to shelter orphans and children of ill and unemployed working women, soon after, it evolved into foster care and became known as St. Mary’s Home for Children.

Increasing demands for an adoption program in the early 1950’s, a thrust was made in that direction. By 1968, the Agency was asked by the Lakeview-Uptown Mental Health Center of the Chicago Board of Health to accept referrals of children and their parents in this community, who were facing crises-in school, neighborhood and at home, thus adopting the new program name of St. Mary’s Services for Children, while keeping the corporate title of St. Mary’s Home for Children.

By the mid 1970’s services for birth parents in need and families looking to adopt became the primary focus and the name was officially changed to “St. Mary’s Services”.  In 1989, St. Mary’s left Chicago and moved to the Northwest Suburbs of Arlington Heights.  Open Adoption began to surface in the 1990’s and as time went on, it became more evident that this type of adoption was best for the adoption triad.  During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, St. Mary’s also provided home study services to those adopting Internationally, which continued until early 2014.

In 2013, we redefined our vision and clarified our strategic plan to include educating teen mothers so that they may provide the best possible home for their children.  We are more community focused, doing community outreach, and have assessed that due to our program in the high schools, teen pregnancies are on the decline in the six schools that we serve.  In the autumn of 2017, we did a study to determine two things.  What community in the Northwest Suburban Area had the most need and what are the needs in that area.  The community that was identified was Palatine and the needs were hands down:  Counseling for Postpartum depression, Grief and loss of pregnancy, and Adjustment to Motherhood.  We started counseling and then moved to Palatine immediately afterwards.  We continue to provide adoption services for both women experience unplanned pregnancies and families wishing to expand their families, along with providing FREE counseling services with pregnancy and/or parenting issues.

In early 2020, we started doing business as “Hopeful Beginnings of St. Mary’s Services”, and are back to basics as were the founders of our great agency, that is, serving the needs of the community!


Five Primary Focus Areas
  1. Maternity counseling and casework for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies             and considering adoption
  2. Counseling and facilitation for couples pursuing adoption
  3. Education and community awareness of adoption as a positive, loving option
  4. A comprehensive teen parenting program in high schools and community centers
  5. Counseling for women with postpartum depression, grief and loss (miscarriage, stillborn,  post-adoption, post-abortion), and difficulty transitioning into motherhood
Board of Trustees
  • Jill Harris – President
  • Matthew Saleski – Vice President
  • Bob Dickey – Treasurer
  • Rev. Gary Cox – Secretary
  • Laura Aird – Trustee
  • Joanne Bratta – Trustee
  • Rich Casey – Trustee
  • Brett Locascio – Trustee
  • Mike Mulligan – Trustee
The Episcopal nuns, the Sisters of St. Mary’s, began the first home to care for women and their children in the late 1800’s. We are the oldest of the Episcopal Charities to aid the communities of Chicagoland.  We value our legacy partnership with Episcopal Charities as they support our agency with mentoring, financial support, Executive Director, and board development.  We appreciate all the various resources that they have provided us throughout the years.  Hopeful Beginnings of St. Mary’s Services is affiliated with Episcopal Charities and Community Services (Diocese of Chicago).  We are honored to be a Legacy Partner.

Hopeful Beginnings of St. Mary’s is licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services of the State of Illinois, #040234.

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