Many Illinois couples choose adoption for a variety of reasons: growing a family, infertility, giving a permanent home for a child in need, providing a sibling for an existing child, etc. Familiarizing prospective parents with the Illinois Adoption Act is a wonderful way to communicate the adoption process and outlines the various laws that protect adoptive families and children. These laws also outline the adoption types available.
Basic Requirements for Adoptive Parents
There are certain requirements in place that all prospective parents must meet before adopting a child. These are put into effect for the child’s safety. The requirements include:
- Being 21 years old or older
- Having the financial ability to support the child
- Having no criminal history (especially violence involving children)
Talk with an attorney if a criminal history may affect your adoption application because having a history may not immediately disqualify you.
Household Approval Process
Adults that meet all of the above requirements also need to have their household approved to continue the adoption process. The approval process is conducted by an adoption agency that is licensed by the state. After the family has been qualified to adopt and worked with an attorney, an adoption agency connects the family with a suitable child.
The match is based upon data gathered during a home study. This home study is a preliminary visit during the adoption application and determines a family’s appropriateness and licensing for adoption. Also during this time, personal values of the parents, reasons for adoption, and available resources for any child they may adopt are discussed.
Keep in mind that the home study requirement may be waived in related adoptions, which are adoptions in which the prospective adoptive parent is already related to the child. Stepparents, grandparents, or aunts and uncles can pursue a related adoption to obtain full parental rights regarding a child, depending on the situation.
Continuing Resources for Parents and Children
If a match is made, the adoption agency plans a few initial home visits with the child and parent to decide whether the family is really well-matched. The process is settled if the match is a good fit. The agency continues to work with the family even after the adoption is finalized to provide additional outlets for the new family and the child such as therapy and mental health recommendations. These resources help the family’s shift be as smooth and easy as possible.
Contact a St. Charles Adoption Lawyer
Under Illinois law, a family wishing to adopt must seek legal guidance from an attorney who practices adoption law in order to complete the adoption process. Before beginning the adoption process, consulting with an experienced Kane County family law attorney is an important step to learn about the process and the legal rights of adoptive parents. Contact Goostree Law Group by calling 630-584-4800 to schedule your free consultation.