New Laws Give Illinois Grandparents New Rights

 Posted on February 25, 2016 in Child Custody

grandparent-rights.The bond between a grandparent and their grandchild is special. Grandparents are the ones who bring tasty treats, impart timeless wisdom, and bend their children's rules to make memories with their grandchildren. In some families, grandparents play a much more vital role in their grandchildren's lives.

They might be their substantial, or even primary, caretakers. In its recent rewrite of the laws governing parental rights in Illinois, the state legislature acknowledged the realities that thousands of grandparents face as their grandchildren's caretakers and created new legal rights for them. Grandparents’ rights are an important part of family law. If you are a grandparent who is not sure about your rights to your grandchild, speak with an experienced family attorney to determine these rights.

Adoption Registry Rights for Grandparents

One of the changes to Illinois family law that came with the beginning of 2016 was the set of amendments to the Illinois Adoption Act. In these revisions, biological parents of deceased individuals who placed children for adoption may submit paperwork to become eligible to exchange information with their adult adopted grandchildren. This exchange is facilitated by the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange. It is designed to allow individuals to contact their biological grandchildren to establish contact or exchange information about their medical history. If the grandchild is under the age of 21, a biological grandparent may exchange information with his or her adoptive parent or legal guardian or, if the grandchild is also deceased, his or her adult child or surviving spouse.

DCFS Custody Notice for Relatives

Another important piece of legislation for Illinois grandparents is the revision to the Children and Family Services Act, which requires the Department of Children and Family Services to attempt to locate the adult relatives, including grandparents as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins, of all children in their custody before placing the children in foster care. This is to provide them with notice that the child is in DCFS custody and allow the child's relatives the opportunity to take custody of him or her before placing the child with strangers. For many families, this is the most productive scenario for the child because he or she can remain with an adult that he or she knows, rather than adjusting to a completely new household. This change to the law also requires the department to document all of its attempts to locate a child's relatives.

Work with a Kane County Family Attorney

If you are a grandparent, you have legal rights to your grandchild that you might not realize you had. To learn more about these rights, schedule a legal consultation with our team of family attorneys at our firm today. We are a team of experienced Kane County family attorneys who can give you comprehensive answers to all of your legal questions. Do not wait to begin working with our firm. Contact us today to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our team.





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