Same Sex Marriage and Adoption in Illinois
The State of Illinois has since celebrated the legalization of same sex marriage, and have perceived many same sex couples to be great parents. Unfortunately, not enough same sex couples have stepped forward in considering fostering or adopting a child because of how they think they could be perceived by the child or children.
Across the state, there have been many agencies, including Let It Be Us, who have collaborated with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to encourage same sex couples to consider adopting a child.
How Many Children are Waitlisted to be Adopted?
Over 17,000 Illinois children are in foster care, with about 6,100 of them being cared for by people who are not related to them. Every day, there are approximately 1,000 children available for adoption. The LGBT community makes up as much as 2 to 4 percent of the American adult population and are six times more likely than heterosexual couples to successfully raise foster youth, and as much as four times more likely to adopt children. More people are starting to consider stepping in to adopt, since there are over 410,000 children in the American foster care system.
How can Children Learn from Same Sex Adoptive Parents?
The perception of children who live with same sex adoptive parents could be different from those who live with heterosexual adoptive parents. Living with an LGBT couple can give a child or children the opportunity to identify his or her sexuality and gender identity while feeling comfortable enough to do so.
Since each spouse in the same sex marriage has come out and identified as part of the LGBT community, they may be able to help the adopted child come out of his or her shell and feel more comfortable about the decision to officially identify as a member of the LGBT community.
Same Sex Adoption and the Law
Anyone in a same sex relationship or marriage must be at least 18 years old to adopt. If married or in a civil union, then both spouses must adopt together. If same sex couples want to adopt internationally, then there is a requirement to adopt as single parents, as no countries are active in international adoption who will place a child with a same sex couple.
A second-parent adoption will be required for the other parent when back in Illinois. The process for same sex married couples in a second parent adoption is typically less expensive than if they were not married or in a civil union. In this process, a criminal background check, fingerprinting, legal publications, and a search for the alleged father will not be required.
Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney
Adoption can be an exciting way to bring onboard a new member in the household. However, if the parents are members of the LGBT community, then they may have several questions or concerns. At Abear Law Offices, we understand that you may be concerned with the process. Therefore, if you would like more information on the adoption process, we are available to assist you. To schedule your free initial consultation, call an experienced DuPage County family law attorney at 630-904-3033 to get the help you deserve.