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What You Need to Know About Adoption in IllinoisMany Illinois couples choose adoption for a variety of reasons: growing a family, infertility, giving a permanent home for a child in need, providing a sibling for an existing child, etc.  Familiarizing prospective parents with the Illinois Adoption Act is a wonderful way to communicate the adoption process and outlines the various laws that protect adoptive families and children. These laws also outline the adoption types available.

Basic Requirements for Adoptive Parents

There are certain requirements in place that all prospective parents must meet before adopting a child. These are put into effect for the child’s safety. The requirements include:

  • Being 21 years old or older
  • Having the financial ability to support the child
  • Having no criminal history (especially violence involving children)

Talk with an attorney if a criminal history may affect your adoption application because having a history may not immediately disqualify you.

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Answering Common Questions About an Adoption Home StudyOne of the requirements for anyone in the U.S. who wishes to adopt a child is to participate in a home study. The purpose of a home study is to evaluate the home environment that the adopted child would be joining and to educate the prospective parents about raising an adopted child. If you are adopting by using a public child welfare agency, the study helps the agency match you with a child. You may have questions about how a home study is conducted and whether it will be a major obstacle to your plans to adopt. The following answers can help you prepare for a home study:

  1. What Happens During a Home Study?: Most home studies include multiple interviews with a social worker, a visit to your home, a background check, and orientation to prepare you for adoption. How your home study is conducted depends on the service you use and the type of adoption you are pursuing. For instance, additional training may be required if you are adopting a child from a foreign country.
  2. What Are They Looking for in the Home Study?: The study is evaluating whether you will be able to provide a good home for the child you wish to adopt. Much of the evaluation will be about your capability as parents, such as your income, health, beliefs, social life, and parenting style if you already have a child. They will also consider your home environment, support system, and neighborhood you are living in.
  3. How Long Does a Home Study Take?: On average, a home study takes three-to-six months, but there are many variables that will determine how long your study takes. One of the variables that you can control is how quickly you are able to provide the personal records that the study requires.
  4. How Much Does a Home Study Cost?: Once again, the cost of your home study will depend upon the service you use and the type of adoption you are pursuing. If you are using a public adoption service, the study could be free or cost a minimal fee. If you are using a private adoption agency, the study could cost thousands of dollars.

Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Adoption Lawyer

Adoption is a long process that involves a lot of paperwork that may seem confusing or overwhelming. You need to work with a Kane County adoption attorney at Goostree Law Group, who has the experience to guide you through the process. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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Posted on in Adoption

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Child in Illinois?Thousands of Illinois residents adopt children each year, providing new homes to those in need of a stable family. If you wish to become an adoptive parent, you should be aware that it is a long and sometimes arduous process. The cost of adopting a child may surprise you. According to Adoptive Families Magazine, the average adoption in the U.S. costs $43,000. However, the cost does not have to be an obstacle in completing the adoption process because there are ways you can be reimbursed.

Adoption Costs

The price of adoption depends on factors such as which adoption agency you use and where you are adopting the child from. Prospective adoptive parents may pay fees for:

  • Adoption agency services, such as home studies, placement, and counseling
  • Legal services and court filings
  • Living and medical expenses for the birth mother if the adoptive parents have arranged to adopt the unborn child
  • International travel if attempting to adopt a child from another country

In Illinois, you can adopt a child through the state’s Department of Children and Family Services or a licensed adoption agency. Illinois requires licensed adoption agencies to be charitable organizations, but the agencies still need to charge fees for the services they provide and their own expenses, such as paying their staff.

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Adoption Preferred When Voluntarily Terminating Parental RightsTerminating a parent’s rights is not a decision that Illinois courts reach easily or without a compelling reason. A court may restrict a parent’s right to see a child if that parent is unfit or a threat. A disinterested parent can waive his or her right to parenting time and decision-making. However, it is rare for a court to grant a request to voluntarily terminate parental rights – even if both parents agree to it – unless there is another adult willing to adopt the child.

Why Voluntary Termination Is Rarely Granted

The legal parents of a child have both rights and responsibilities that cannot be surrendered or taken away without court approval. Child support is a vital financial responsibility that a court cannot eliminate unless it is terminating someone’s legal status as a parent. If it was easy for parents to voluntarily terminate their rights, some would do so in order to avoid continued child support payments. Instead, Illinois believes that it is in the best interest of a child to have two parents to financially support him or her.


A court is more likely to grant a request to terminate parental rights in cases of adoption. The adoptive parent, such as a new spouse, agrees to take on the financial responsibility for the child, which satisfies one of the court’s largest concerns about terminating parental rights. However, the court will not terminate a parent’s rights against his or her wishes. Either the parent must willingly surrender his or her parental rights or the state can petition to terminate a parent’s rights by proving that he or she is unfit in ways such as:

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Reactions to Infertility Can Lead to DivorceLearning that you or your partner is infertile can be one of the most difficult challenges a marriage will face. Your feelings may be similar to how you would react to a death: grief, denial, anger, depression and acceptance. In a way, you are mourning the loss of a biological child you and your partner will never share. Amid the grief and seeking alternative means to have children, it is easy to miss signs that your marriage is in trouble. Infertility can bring a couple closer together but can also cause a division that leads to divorce.

Emotional Reaction

Both people in a marriage may feel shock and sadness at the news that one of them is infertile. The infertile spouse often feels guilty and inadequate, especially in the case of women. The other spouse may feel disappointed and uncertain of the future if having children is one of his or her goals in life. Negative emotions can cause couples to react in unhealthy ways, such as:

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