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Wheaton Adoption Lawyer

Guiding You Through The Adoption Process

Adoption can be an emotionally fulfilling process for prospective parents and an opportunity for a child to belong to a loving family. However, the legal requirements of adoption can be complicated, and navigating the process can be challenging. In Illinois, adoption proceedings are governed by the Illinois Adoption Act and other statutes. There are several options for adopting a child in Illinois, with each option providing unique legal requirements and procedures to follow. A parent over the age of 18 can adopt a child, whether they are single or married. It is also important to note that unlike with guardianships, when a child is adopted, the legal rights of their biological parents will be terminated. The court's primary role is to ensure that all adoptions comply with the child's best interests and provide reasonable legal protections for all parties involved. For anyone getting ready to embark on the adoption process, it is essential to work with a family attorney who can provide guidance and legal representation during the exciting journey of adopting a child.

At Fawell & Fawell, we understand how magical it can be to adopt a child and how all parties involved in these situations may be affected. We proudly serve as legal counsel for adults looking to adopt and start or expand their families. Our firm has the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that the adoption process can be completed correctly, which is why so many families choose us to serve as their legal guide throughout the adoption process in Illinois.

What Are the Adoption Requirements in Illinois?

In Illinois, you are eligible to adopt a child as long you do not have a legal disability, are 18 years old, have lived in Illinois for at least six months (or 90 days if the prospective parent is a member of the armed forces) and have an upstanding reputation.

What Types of Adoptions Are Available in Illinois?

There are a number of different options for adoption, including:

  1. Private adoption - This form of adoption usually happens through agreements made directly between prospective parents and the birth parents, often through attorney mediation.
  2. Agency adoption - This adoption occurs via a licensed agency or the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). Agency adoptions may include orphans or children who have been left under state care. In some cases, people who serve as foster parents for children under the care of DCFS may choose to formally adopt these children and become their legal parents.
  3. Related adoption - A cousin, uncle, aunt, grandparent, or stepparent can become a child's legal parent through this type of adoption as long as they provide a safe and secure home for the child and the parental rights of one or both of the child's birth parents have been terminated.
  4. International adoption - Adoptive parents may choose to adopt a foreign-born child. In these cases, parents will need to meet requirements put in place in the child's home country, and they will need to complete immigration requirements to ensure that their child will be recognized as a citizen of the United States after the adoption is completed.
  5. Standby adoption - This type of adoption allows the parent of a child to agree in advance to have the child adopted by a particular person once a certain event occurs. This option may be used by a terminally ill parent to allow a family member or other party to become the child's legal parent after the biological parent passes away.

What Does the Adoption Process in Illinois Involve?

The process is initiated by filing a petition for adoption in the court where the petitioner, the child, or the child's biological parents reside. In most cases, the petition must be filed within 30 days after the child becomes available to be adopted. In international adoption cases, a petition for adoption must usually be filed within 30 days after the child entered the United States. The 30-day time limit will not apply in related adoption cases.

After an adoption petition is filed, court officials will take steps to determine whether the prospective parents are suitable to provide the necessary care for the child. This will include conducting a home and background check. A Guardian ad Litem may be retained to ensure that all requirements regarding the adoption have been met. After all adoption procedures are complete, a final hearing will be held in which the adoptive parent(s) will be named the legal parent(s) of the child.

Contact a DuPage County Adoption Attorney

While the adoption process may seem daunting, it can be made significantly more manageable by working with a skilled Wheaton family law attorney who has robust experience in the area of adoption law in Illinois. At Fawell & Fawell, our lawyer knows the intricacies of adoption cases in Illinois, and we can help ensure that the adoption process can be completed quickly and efficiently. Contact us at 630-871-2400 for a free consultation today.

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