Steps in the Adoption Process

Every year, many Illinois couples choose adoption as a means to grow their families. Under the Illinois Adoption Act, various laws exist to protect adopted children and their families. These laws regulate the five types of adoptions available to Illinois couples and the steps that a family must take to adopt a child.

If you are considering adopting a child, contact an experienced family attorney to learn more about your legal rights as a prospective adoptive parent.

Who May Adopt?

Not every adult is eligible to adopt a child in Illinois. For the child’s safety, the following requirements are in place for all prospective adoptive parents:

  • The parent must prove his or her financial capability to care for the child;
  • The parent must be at least 21 years old; and
  • The parent must not have a criminal history that includes any charges of violence against children. If you have any type of criminal history, talk to an attorney about how it will affect your application to adopt before you begin the application process.

Eligible adults must have their homes licensed to continue with the adoption application. The licensing process is carried out by a state-licensed adoption agency.

Working with a Family Attorney

Under Illinois law, a family must seek legal counsel from an attorney who specializes in adoptions to complete the process.

Matching Children with Families

Once a family has been licensed to adopt and started working with an adoption attorney, the adoption agency matches the parents with an available child. This is the case for any adoption that involves an agency.

This match is based on the data gathered through the home study, the visit early in the application process that determined whether or not a family could be licensed to adopt. During the home study, the prospective parents discuss their personal convictions, values, reasons for choosing adoption, and available resources for any child that they might adopt. They are then matched with a child whose needs fit their profile. Once a match is made, the agency schedules a few preliminary visits between the child and the parents to determine whether or not they are truly a compatible fit. If the match is determined to be a fit, the adoption process is finalized.

After an Adoption

Once an adoption is finalized, the family’s relationship with the adoption agency is not terminated. In most cases, the adoption agency provides resources for children and families such as support groups, mental health services, and preservation assistance services. These resources are all designed to make the family’s transition as comfortable as possible for all parties involved.

Family Attorneys in DuPage County

Contact our compassionate team of Wheaton family law attorneys at Abear Law Offices to discuss your plans to adopt a child and to learn more about your rights and obligations through and beyond the initial process. Adopting a child is a life-altering event that affects your whole family. Let our team be there for you through this process.