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Illinois Adoption Basics

Posted on in Adoption
Adoption is when the parental rights of a child are taken from the birth parents or current guardians and given to adoptive parents. In the state of Illinois, all adoptions are governed by the Illinois Adoption Act. Any child who has resided in the state for at least six months may be adopted and if the child is fourteen years or older, they must consent to the adoption in order for it to be approved by the court. There are several types of adoptions. A relative adoption is when an adoption is taking place within a family, such as when a stepparent adopts a spouse’s child. Both natural parents must approve a relative adoption. If the non-custodial parent does not approve the adoption, or is an absentee parent, there are required steps set forth by the law to terminate the parental rights of that parent before the court may approve the adoption. Unrelated adoption is when there is not a relation present between the child and the adoptive parents. An open unrelated adoption is when both the birth parents and adoptive parents are aware of each other’s identity and stay in touch after the adoption. In a closed adoption, they do not. Both single and married couples may petition the court for adoption. However, if a married person is petitioning, the court will only allow the adoption if both spouses are seeking the adoption together. There are private adoptions which involve just the birth parents and the adoptive parents and agency adoptions, where the birth parents have signed over their parental rights to an adoptive agency. The agency is responsible for placing the child and performs a rigorous background check on any prospective adoptive parents. Adopting a child is a joyous time for a family, but if not facilitated by an experienced Kane County family law attorney, it can quickly turn into a nightmare when unforeseen issues arise. If you are planning on adopting, hire a qualified Kane County family lawyer to protect your family.
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