The process of obtaining legal parental rights over a child that is not your own is known as adoption. Once you have done what is required and successfully completed the process, you will establish a legal family relationship between yourself and the child you are adopting. As an adoptive parent, you will have the same rights, duties, and obligations to the child as the child’s biological parents would have.
Who Can Adopt a Child?
Under Illinois law, basically, anyone of age can adopt a child provided they follow the law and meet the adoption requirements. So, it does not matter whether you are single, married, divorced, or even a same-sex couple; you can adopt—again, assuming you meet all the other requirements.
For example, if you are married, then both you and your spouse must jointly file an adoption petition. This requirement, however, does not apply if you have been separated for more than one year.
Types of Adoptions
Under Illinois law, there are several types of adoption, including:
- Related adoption: Where a child is related to one or both parents seeking the adoption. Typically, this involves situations where a stepparent wishes to become legal parent of a child who the other spouse is the legal parent. This is the easiest and most straightforward of all adoption cases.
- Adoption through an agency: Where either parent of a child gives a licensed public or private agency authority to have the child placed up for adoption. Agency adoption may also result from a court ordering a child to be placed in an agency for adoption after the court has terminated parental responsibilities for one or both parents.
- Private adoption: Where adoption is not done in the above situations, namely, related child or agency adoption, adoption can still take place through other arrangements that are sanctioned by the law. These include, for example, where a birth mother gives up a child under a private arrangement with the adopting parent or parents.
- Standby adoption: Where a terminally ill legal parent agrees in advance to have their child adopted by a specific individual. In this case, the adoption becomes final the date and time when the terminally ill person tells the court it should or after the terminally ill legal parent dies.
Contact a DuPage County Adoption Attorney
At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we have skilled lawyers who understand all aspects of family law, including child adoption. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience representing clients in this area of law and know exactly what needs to be done to protect your rights. If you are thinking about or are in the process of adopting a child, we are here to help you complete the process. Contact one of our experienced Bloomingdale family lawyers who can provide you with accurate information and guide you through what needs to be done. Call us at 630-932-9100 for a free initial consultation.