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What You Need to Know If You Are Thinking About Adopting in Illinois

Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County adoption lawyerAdopting a child in Illinois can be an incredibly joyous and rewarding event. However, adoption is also a complex process that requires patience and diligence. Having an experienced adoption attorney will help you navigate adoption law, and understanding the process before you get started will help you set realistic expectations.

Am I Eligible to Adopt?

Illinois adoption law does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or marital status. As long as you are over 18 years of age, you meet Illinois residency requirements, and you are determined to be a reputable person, you may be single, married, divorced, heterosexual, gay, or lesbian. Illinois may even allow a person under the age of 18 to adopt a child depending on the circumstances. If a couple wishes to adopt and they are married, both spouses must join the petition for adoption. If you wish to adopt a child who is over 14 years of age, the child must consent to the adoption.

What Do I Need to File?

If you have established that you are eligible to adopt and the child is available for adoption, you must file a petition. This will include, but is not limited to:

  • Your name, where you live, and how long you have lived in Illinois

  • Information about the child being adopted

  • The date the child is to be adopted

  • Information regarding the child’s current legal guardian, if applicable

  • The nature of the relationship between you and the child, if applicable

  • The name the child will be given

  • Documents proving that the agency or person required to consent to the adoption has done so

What is the Adoption Investigation?

Once you have filed the adoption petition, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or a DCFS affiliate will conduct an investigation to determine whether the information in your petition is accurate. The investigation will check to ensure whether you are eligible to adopt, and will require a background check and fingerprinting.

Order of Adoption

If the investigation concludes that your petition is acceptable, you may receive a temporary order of adoption and custody of your child. You may have to wait six months after receiving the interim order to ask the court for a final judgment of adoption, but this can be waived if it is determined to be in the child’s best interests.

Speak With a DuPage County Adoption Lawyer

If you are considering adoption and want to know more about the process, consider speaking with a skilled Wheaton, IL adoption attorney. The team at Goostree Law Group has more than eight decades of experience with family law and can help you understand your options and next steps. Call 630-364-4046 today for a free, confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

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

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

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