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Understanding the Illinois Adoption Process

Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County family law attorneysAt any given time, there are more than 437,000 U.S. children living in the foster care system, with 125,000 of those children eligible for adoption. Adopting a child is a happy and joyous time for everyone in the family, but it can also be a long and complicated process. This is why children in the foster care system wait on average, four years to be adopted.

If you are thinking of adopting a child in Illinois, you should be aware of the steps in the adoption process and what exactly adopting a child entails. There are many potential legal complications that could arise from an adoption, which is why enlisting the help of a skilled Illinois adoption lawyer is highly recommended.

Filing the Petition for Adoption

As long as you are eligible to adopt a child, you may file a petition to adopt after the child becomes available for adoption. In Illinois, adults over the age of 21 can adopt a child, whether they are single or married, regardless of their sexual orientation. According to the Illinois Adoption Act, the petition should be filed within 30 days of the child becoming available for adoption and should state:

  • The petitioner’s full name
  • The petitioner’s place of residence and the length of their residency in Illinois
  • The date the child was placed into the petitioner’s custody or the date the petitioner plans to acquire custody of the child and the name and address of the person or agency from whom the child is being received from
  • The name, date and place of birth and sex of the child to be adopted
  • The relationship the child has to any petitioner, if any exists
  • The names and places of residence of the parents of the child to be adopted, if they are known
  • The name of the child’s legal guardian, if one exists and the court which granted the guardian
  • The name of a near relative of the child’s if no guardian exists, or an assertion that no near relative exists if that is the case
  • The name to be given to the child
  • That the person or agency required to consent to the adoption has consented

An Adoption Investigation is Conducted

The next step in the adoption process is conducting the investigation. During this stage, the court works with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or a child welfare agency approved by DCFS to ensure that all information contained in the petition is correct and true. The investigation period is also used to verify that the petitioners are qualified to adopt and whether or not the child is able to be adopted. It is also a requirement that each petitioner submit to a criminal background check where their fingerprints will be submitted to the Illinois State Police and FBI databases.

Issuing the Order of Adoption

Once the investigation has taken place and everything is determined to be acceptable, an interim order will be issued by the judge and custody of the child will be given to the petitioner. In many cases, the petitioner then has to wait six months from the date the interim order was issued to petition the court for a judgement of adoption. In some cases, however, the judge does reserve the right to waive the six-month waiting period and issue a judgement of adoption immediately if he or she believes it would be in the child’s best interests.

Speak With a Skilled DuPage County Adoption Lawyer

If you are planning on adding to your family through adoption, you should speak to a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL adoption attorney before you take any action. At the Goostree Law Group, our team has been helping guide families through the adoption process since 2000. We have more than 80 years of combined family law experience and we are confident we can help you with whatever your adoption needs may be. Call 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/public/guide/adoption

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2098&ChapterID=59

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