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Whose Consent Is Needed to Proceed With an Illinois Adoption?

Posted on in Adoption

Naperville adoption attorneyMany families in the United States have found growing their family through adoption rewarding. According to the Adoption Network, 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. However, many adoptive families have also discovered that the adoption process is not as easy as it may seem. There are various requirements that must be met and legal processes that must be completed, both of which require patience and money. One of the steps that can be difficult to complete is gaining consent from the appropriate parties so that the adoption can be finalized.

Who Must Consent to an Adoption?

Before the adoption process can even begin, there are two instrumental people who must consent to the legal adoption - the child’s biological mother and father (if the child’s paternity has been established). In cases when a child is not in the care or custody of his or her biological parents, consent to the adoption can be provided by:

  • An adoption agency who has custody of the child

  • The legal guardian of the child or the child’s guardian ad litem

  • A close relative who has legal custody of the child

  • The court which has jurisdiction over the child

  • Any other person who has been given custody of the child

According to Illinois law, a child must also give his or her consent to the adoption before it can proceed if he or she is at least 14 years old. If the child has an intellectual disability or mental health issues, the court may not place as much weight on the child’s consent, or it may eliminate the need for the child’s consent altogether.

How Is Consent Given?

According to Illinois law, mothers cannot give consent to adoption until at least 72 hours have passed since the birth of their child. Fathers are permitted to give consent to the adoption at any time before or after the child’s birth. To do so, both parents must appear in court before a judge to confirm that they are in fact relinquishing their parental rights to the child. If the child is in the custody of an adoption agency, a representative of the agency can appear before the judge to relinquish custody rights.

Can Consent Be Revoked?

Unless the consent to the adoption was given under duress or fraud, consent cannot be revoked once it has been given. One exception to that rule concerns fathers. If the child’s biological father gave his consent before the birth of the child, he is permitted to revoke such consent within 72 hours of the child’s birth.

A Naperville, IL Family Law Attorney Can Help You Complete Your Adoption

If you have been thinking of adopting a child or are in the midst of the adoption process, help from a DuPage County adoption lawyer can ease the stress of the legal process, allowing you to focus on the other details that go along with an adoption. Navigating the Illinois adoption process can be difficult and tedious, but the Goostree Law Group knows the finer details of the process. Our trained staff will assist you from start to finish. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-statistics

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/consent.pdf

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

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