On the surface, the adoption process in Illinois can appear to be complex if you do not have all the necessary information you need. Do not fret; in this article, we discuss the adoption process in Illinois. This will give you what you need to help you navigate the process.
The Adoption Process in Illinois
The following paragraphs explain the typical process for adoption in Illinois
Step 1: Petition for Adoption
A petition is filed before a family-law judge asking for the legal termination of any and every existing parental rights of one or both parents and to specify the new parentage. It is not unnatural for a parent to join in a petition with his or her new spouse asking for adoption in the case of divorce. The process for this is often the same
Step 2: Consent to Adoption by Biological Parents
If applicable, the child’s biological parents will have to give legal consent that they relinquish their rights to the child. This decision once legally pronounced is final and irrevocable.
Step 3: Court Hearing to Determine Adoptive Parents’ Eligibility
Before the adoption process starts, the court has to establish the intending adoptive parents’ eligibility to be a parent. This means the court must ascertain if the person filing for adoption is fit to raise a child. Then, the court appoints an attorney to help investigate and conduct a thorough background check on the adoptive parents — to confirm they are both suitable and have met all the requirements.
Step 4: Final Hearing to Grant Legal Rights to Adoptive Parents
Finally, once all the above steps are concluded, there will be a final and binding hearing to pass on the legal guardian rights to the adoptive parents — marked by a change in the child’s birth records. This hearing finalizes the procedure, and the new adoptive parents can go home with their child.
Adoption Cases in Illinois
If you want to know about the most typical adoption cases in Illinois, continue reading.
This refers to a kind of adoption where the child is adopted by family members — uncle, stepparent, aunt, etc. It is the easiest to navigate because it waives many of the steps needed for regular adoption.
With agencies, the parents of the child would usually have given the child up for adoption, and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or a licensed private adoption agency handles the transfer to a new home. If you are looking to adopt, search for a reputable adoption agency.
In this case, the child is given to the adoptive parents by the biological ones directly. A court-approved adoption process is still applicable here to have legal guardianship of the child.
In some instances, it is possible to set a date or an occurrence clause for adoption, which means that the adoption only takes effect once a specific date or event occurs — this may include the death of a parent or both parents.
While this is a relatively cut-and-dry outlook of the adoption process, it is essential to note that not everyone will experience it the same. The length of your adoption process depends on the type of adoption. Some adoption processes can last up to and even more than six months.
You should prepare yourself emotionally and financially, especially for future costs like court fees and childcare. Do you require more information or need legal assistance with the adoption process? Our family law attorneys have years of experience helping families like yours. Contact us here