What Are My Adoption Options in Illinois?
Bringing a child into your family through adoption is life changing for everyone involved. Your family not only gains a cherished loved one, you also give a child in need the loving home that he or she deserves. The adoption process is very involved - both emotionally and legally. It is important for anyone considering adoption to thoroughly research the available avenues for adopting a child in order to determine what course of action is right for them.
Illinois Adoption Laws
Illinois law states that an individual may adopt a child if he or she:
- Has lived in the state of Illinois for a minimum of six months or is a member of the Armed Forces and has lived in Illinois for at least 90 days
- Does not have a legal disability
- Has a good reputation
Typically, adoptive parents must be over 18 years of age. However, the court may make exceptions to this rule in certain cases. Prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a non-relative will be subject to a state and federal criminal background check as part of the adoption investigation. If the potential adoptive child is over 13 years old, he or she must consent to the adoption.
Types of Adoption
In an agency adoption, the prospective parents work with a licensed adoption agency to adopt a child. The child’s biological parents may have passed away or voluntarily given the child up for adoption. The child may also be eligible for adoption if the court terminated the biological parents’ parental rights because of neglect, abandonment, abuse, or another reason. During a private adoption, the adoptive parents work directly with the birth mother to adopt her child. The biological parents have up to 72 hours after the child’s birth to change their minds about the adoption. If you want to pursue a private adoption, you will not have any protection or guidance from an adoption agency so it is crucial to gain legal counsel from an adoption attorney. A related adoption involves the adoption of a stepchild or other relative and may present special legal challenges as well.
Contact a Kane County Adoption Lawyer
Adopting a child is a major legal undertaking. Parents who wish to adopt should work with a qualified family law attorney to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken and the adoption process goes as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, adoption scams are not uncommon and many families have been taken advantage of. Retaining the services of an experienced St. Charles adoption attorney will ensure that your rights are fully protected. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 today and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your adoption-related needs.