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Who Can Adopt in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

IL family lawyerAdoption can be a beautiful way to grow your family. However, the adoption process can be complicated, and sometimes take years depending on the circumstances. Not everyone is qualified to adopt a child in Illinois. There are certain requirements that the state sets out limiting who will be permitted to become an adoptive parent. These rules are in place to protect the safety of children who are eligible for adoption. The state has a strong interest in making sure that adopted children are placed in safe homes with capable and caring parents. While many adults will have no trouble qualifying, others may have difficulties for any number of reasons. An attorney can offer assistance if you anticipate any trouble.

What Are the Requirements to Adopt in Illinois?

The requirements to adopt a child may vary depending on the circumstances. If the child to be adopted is already related to the prospective adoptive parents, some requirements can be waivable. Many adoption petitions are very much decided on a case-by-case basis. However, typical requirements to become an adoptive parent include:

  • Age - In Illinois, adoptive parents must typically be 18 years old. Exceptions are only made for good cause. For example, the court may allow an older teenager to adopt her siblings after the loss of their parents if doing so is in everyone’s best interests.
  • Spousal participation - If a married person is seeking to adopt, their spouse must also be a party to the adoption and meet all requirements. Unmarried people can adopt without restriction. However, this may not be necessary for spouses who are separated and have been living apart for at least a year.
  • Residency - Adoptive parents must have resided in Illinois for six months. For those who are in the military, 90 days of residency is sufficient. This requirement may be waived in related adoption or for other appropriate reasons.
  • Reputation - Illinois law states that “reputable” adults can adopt. This requirement may seem a bit strange and is heavily case-specific.
  • Criminal background - Adoptive parents must submit to a criminal background check. Merely having a record will not necessarily prevent you from adopting. A non-violent misdemeanor that is at least a couple of years old is unlikely to get your adoption petition denied. However, more serious convictions or any record involving crimes against children may be a bar to adoption. Courts will not place a child with a person who has a history of harming children, nor will they want to risk exposing children to drug crime or violence. If you have an offense of this nature on your record you will need an attorney.

Many adults have some type of concern about being approved to adopt. Speaking to a qualified attorney may help set your mind at ease, or at least give you a realistic idea of what to expect.

Call an Illinois Adoption Attorney

If you are interested in expanding your family through adoption, Serrano Hanson can help. Our experienced Geneva adoption lawyers are skilled at helping prospective parents navigate the process of adopting. Call us at 630-844-8781 so we can arrange a free consultation for you.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2098&ChapterID=59

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