Adoption is the most joyful part of family law. It is a wonderful way for a child to become a part of a loving family—one that has usually wanted a child for years. Some judges refer to adoptions as the “best” thing that ever happens in their courtrooms. While the end result of these proceedings is so extraordinary, getting there is a complicated and sometimes stressful process. Therefore, it is very important that you understand what lies ahead of you if you are considering this road.
What Law Governs Illinois Adoptions??
In Illinois, adoptions are governed by the Adoption Act. This complex law defines when a child may be adopted, who may adopt a child, how adoptions work when various jurisdictions are involved including interstate adoptions and international adoptions, and what the adoption process includes.
Who is Allowed to Adopt?
Unlike some other jurisdictions, Illinois has very few major restrictions on who is allowed to adopt a child. The Adoption Information Center of Illinois has compiled a list issues that you may be concerned would impact your ability to adopt. An adoptive parent:
- Can be single, married or divorced;
- Can be legally separated from his or her spouse so long as the couple has been living apart for 12 months or longer;
- Can be gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and/or transgendered; and
- Can be any age, so long as they are at least 21 years old.
There are two issues that can prevent otherwise qualified parents from adopting. One issue involves whether the parent or parents can show they can financially handle the child. There is financial assistance available for families who choose to adopt older children and special needs children.
The other issue involves having certain criminal convictions in one's background that prevent the person from being considered for adoption. Beyond these restrictions, most prospective parents who can provide a loving stable home are legally allowed to adopt in Illinois.
What Types of Adoption Are Available?
There are four different categories of childhood adoption that you can consider in Illinois. The first two are private placements versus agency placements. With private placements, a biological parent who wants to put his or her child up for adoption does so, whereas agency placements involve state agencies taking custody of children and then eventually putting them up for adoption.
The other dichotomy of adoptions includes related adoptions or unrelated adoptions. Related adoptions include people like stepparents, grandparents, or other relatives adopting a child.
Contact Our Illinois Adoption Attorneys Today
Adoption is a complicated process, and you will need an experienced Illinois adoption attorney if you plan to pursue it. Call the lawyers at Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. at 630-655-7676 to schedule an appointment to discuss the adoption process and how we can be of help. We look forward to helping you build your family.