Understanding Illinois adoption criteria
At the Law Offices of Dwayne Douglas, PC, in Illinois, we understand how excited you feel about the prospect of adopting a child. This likely is something that you have thought about and wished to accomplish for a long time, especially if you cannot have biological children.
Illinois has very liberal adoption laws. Per Section 750 of the Illinois Code, all you need be in order to adopt a child is a “reputable person” 18 years or older who has lived in Illinois for at least six months. In some situations, the court will waive the residency requirement. If married, your spouse must petition for adoption with you.
You have several options when adopting a child in Illinois. You can choose any of the following:
- Agency adoption through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
- Independent adoption through a private adoption agency
- Open adoption where you can establish a relationship with the child’s birth parent(s) and maintain it after you adopt if you wish to do so
- Closed adoption where you have little or no contact with your adopted child’s birth parents
- Stepparent adoption where you adopt the child(ren) of your spouse
Private versus public agency
If you wish to adopt a child from another country, you must go through a private adoption agency. You also may find that a private agency offers you enhanced support, including adoption counseling, regardless of where your soon-to-be adopted child resides. Conversely, many private agencies have very strict adoption guidelines which may limit your ability to adopt through them.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services places only Illinois children, many of whom are older. You may find it difficult to adopt an infant this way.
For more information on this subject, please visit this page on our website.