Due to COVID-19, all of our FREE counseling for options, pregnancy/postpartum anxiety/depression, grief over a lost pregnancy, and adjusting to motherhood is available to you virtually using TeleCounseling, through your cell phone or computer. No need for transportation, no contact, no masks, no exposure, no worries, just support. We can help anyone in Illinois. Call 847-870-8181. We are here for you.

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Call: 847-870-8181

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 that 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.


Joanne Bratta
Executive 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

In 1887, the St. Mary’s Home for Children was established. Working towards providing a protected place for children to live and thrive has been at the center of what all of us do. Various programs have been instituted were started to accomplish this goal. St. Mary’s has provided many services for newborn infants, foster children, birth parents, and adoptive families of all races and religions.

By the mid-1940s orphanages gave way to foster home care and offices were opened on Kenmore Avenue in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Gradually, foster care was phased out, and what was to become St. Mary’s Services evolved, focusing primarily on services for birth parents in need and families looking to adopt.

St. Mary’s has expanded to provide free counseling services to women in need, including postpartum depression/anxiety counseling, perinatal depression/anxiety counseling, grief & loss counseling, and adjustment to motherhood counseling.

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
  • Bob Dickey – Vice President
  • Lauar Aird – Treasurer
  • Rev. Gary Cox – Secretary
  • Rich Casey – Trustee
  • Nancy Cowden – Trustee
  • Brett Locascio – Trustee
  • Mike Mulligan – Trustee
  • Matthew Saleski – Trustee
  • Barbara Slotten – 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.  For over 130 years, we have served clients through providing adoption services, free counseling services for unplanned pregnancies, pregnancy/postpartum anxiety and depression, grief over a lost pregnancy, and difficulty adjusting to motherhood.  We also have a comprehensive Teen Parenting Program located within one of the largest northwest suburban areas 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. www.episcopalcharities.org

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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