Deciding to bring a child into your life can be an exciting, life changing, and fulfilling decision. There are hundreds of children in the Illinois child welfare system hoping to find a loving parent or family. Having the stability of a strong family life is key to children’s development, and many Illinois residents are qualified and willing to adopt a child in need. Navigating the adoption process in Illinois, however, can be overwhelming. Below are the steps and preparations necessary for an adoption in Illinois.
The state of Illinois requires that a person or family interested in adoption apply for and receive a license prior to adoption. The licensing process helps ensure that children are placed into healthy, nurturing, and prepared homes. Further requirements may be in place depending on the type of adoption the parents seek out. Private adoptions can require the help of an adoption specialized attorney, while adoptions through Illinois state agencies can have lengthy application processes required before being approved for adoption.
Am I Qualified to Adopt?
In general, most people capable of providing a loving home are eligible for adoption. Adoptive parents can be married, single, or separated, and can have any sexual orientation. Parents seeking adoption who already have children of their own are still eligible. Those wishing to adopt must be 21 years old or older and must prove that they can provide financially for a new addition to the family. Illinois does not, however, have any specific requirements on income, and has in place financial assistance available for families who adopt. Parents must also pass a criminal background check.
Your home will also be inspected before an adoption license is issued. While different adoption agencies have varying requirements, parents seeking adoption should ensure their home is clean, warm, well lit, and free of safety hazards. The home must have clean and safe access to water and have access to a working telephone. There must also be room available for the child.
Parents will also most likely be required to complete an orientation or adoption training program. These programs will help them navigate the licensing process, educate them on the challenges of adoption, share strategies for parenting adopted children, and inform them of birth family issues.
Once these steps are completed, a license will be given, and wishful parents may begin looking for a child to adopt. While finding a child may be difficult and take time, there are many different avenues parents can explore for finding a potential adoption. Parents can register with the Adoption Information Center of Illinois, visit adoption sites online, or seek the help of a family worker.
Preparing for and completing the adoption process can be difficult and time consuming. Having the help of an a qualified DuPage County adoption attorney can be extremely beneficial. Contact Mulyk Laho Law, LLC at 630-852-1100 to schedule a free consultation.