In part 1 of this series, we discussed some of the legal aspects of adoption in Illinois. In this post, we outline the process of adoption. The process can take a substantial amount of time and is guided by Illinois adoption laws.
The General Steps:
Orientation – During the orientation stage, individuals and couples seeking to adopt participate in one or more orientation meetings. These meetings may be with an agency social worker. Additionally, or alternatively, these meetings may include group meetings with other families seeking to adopt. The orientation step is a great opportunity to ask questions and receive important information.
Training – Parent who seek to adopt may need to receive training. Social workers and trained adoptive parents act as instructors. Additional information is provided by former foster children, adoptive children, and adoptive parents, as well as specialists such as therapists, physical health clinicians, mental health clinicians, and others.
Application – The application process and forms vary depending on the agency. The social workers can help answer questions during this stage.
Mutual Assessment – This stage involves a home study, which includes visits to the home. During the mutual assessment, parents outline the reasons for wanting to adopt, and social workers discuss the demands of parenting an adopted child. All members of the family are involved in this stage, which includes a series of meetings. At the end of the mutual assessment, the family and the social worker will determine whether adoption is best for all involved.
Selection – The process of selection involves determining which child to adopt. In addition to information provided by the social worker, there are listings of children waiting to be adopted. After selecting a child, the child’s agency will determine whether the family is right for the child, based on information gathered from the the application and the mutual assessment.
Placement – The placement process begins with visits between the family and the child. The number of visits will depend on the amount of time needed for the child to become comfortable with the new family. Once the social worker determines that the child is ready, the child is placed in the adoptive home.
Supervision – After the child is placed in the home, the social worker will visit a number of times to determine how the family and the child are adjusting to the new living situation.
Finalization – The last stage in the process of adopting includes finalizing the adoption. This step requires filing a petition for adoption with an Illinois court, which will request a report from the adoption agency. The finalization process can be complicated, and is best handled by a skilled Illinois adoption attorney.
Illinois Adoption Attorneys
Are you considering an Illinois adoption or in need of help understanding the legal process? If so, we can help. Our legal team works with families throughout northern Illinois. Our adoption attorneys at Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. look forward to working with you on these issues. Contact us at any time to see how we can help.