If you have been thinking about adopting a child for some time and are ready to start the process, congratulations! The decision to welcome a child into your life is a memorable milestone.
As exciting as your adoption plans are, there are some Illinois laws you should know about before you start the adoption process.
In Illinois, you are eligible to adopt a child if you meet a few basic criteria. You must be 18 or older and free from legal disabilities that prevent you from taking care of yourself and managing your estate. Unless you are adopting a relative or are using an agency, you must be a resident of Illinois for six months before the beginning of adoption proceedings. If you are a military service member, you must reside in the state for just 90 days. You can adopt a child if you are single, married or in a civil union. The law also allows same-sex couples to adopt. However, if you plan to adopt a child with another person, you must file the petition together.
Other domestic adoption laws
In addition to eligibility requirements, there are a few other laws to consider.
- You can advertise in search of birth parents for private adoption, though Illinois private adoptions are sometimes tricky
- If you start the process with an adoption agency, it must be state-approved
- Most adoptions require a background check
Knowing these Illinois adoption laws upfront may help you prepare for a smooth and successful adoption process.