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 taking the time to view our website and consider all the wonderful services that Hopeful Beginnings offers women and families. Since its conception, Hopeful Beginnings vision has been that all children deserve a loving home. Hopeful Beginnings acknowledges that caring for those who care for children is the best way to ensure that little ones have all they need to grow and thrive in the world. In order to achieve this, the agency provides a plethora of services including adoption services, case management and access to free baby essentials, as well as free maternal mental health counseling for birthing persons experiencing postpartum depression/anxiety, grief and loss of a pregnancy and or difficulty transitioning to motherhood.

Hopeful Beginnings takes its responsibility to the community and to children very seriously, and is committed to providing quality services. As a 501c3, Hopeful Beginnings is committed to serving all families without prejudice. This means we are proud of our history of being founded in 1887 by Sisters of the Episcopal Church, and we are still supported in small part by a grant by Episcopal Charities, but as a public agency we are bound to our duty to serve children and families of all religions, income levels, races and orientations.

Hopeful Beginnings staff is second to none in their wide range of experience and expertise. I encourage you to please contact us if there is any way we can be of service to you and your family or if there are any questions about our work.


Natalie RodriguezExecutive Director



Music used Purpose – by Jonny Easton Link:

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
  • Sandra Valino Stock (Doyle), DO – President
  • Matthew Saleski – Vice President
  • Bob Dickey – Treasurer
  • Rev. Gary Cox – Secretary
  • Kimberly Bianchini – Trustee
  • Henry A. Dominicis – M.D. Trustee
  • Candace Green – 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.

Call St. Mary's Services

Sign Up For Our Mailing List

Sign Up