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What Are My Adoption Options in Illinois? 

 Posted on March 31, 2022 in Adopted Persons

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_205333231.jpgAdding another member to your family through adoption is a life-changing decision. Many considerations are factored into the adoption process to ensure a child is adopted into the right permanent home. Parents in Illinois looking to adopt can do so in various ways, including private adoptions, adopting through an agency, or adopting as a secondary family member. Suppose you are looking to adopt a child into your home. In that case, it is a good idea to hire a family attorney who can help prepare you for the legal investigation and navigate your family through the processes. 

Becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent 

Parents can take two key avenues to bring a child into their home. The first way may be through foster care. Children who have been separated from their families or removed from their homes may be in state custody and placed into foster care. That child's welfare team will look to place a child with a temporary family who can promote that child's best interest while preparing to move the child into a permanent home through adoption. A foster parent is responsible for:

  • Maintaining the child's health and well-being, including shelter, food, clothing, and medical needs

  • Communicating with the state, birth family, or other necessary individuals 

  • Advocating on the child's behalf 

Adoption is the permanent addition of a child into the family. An adoptive parent will obtain all of a parent's legal rights, and the state will no longer be involved in the care of that child and the child's family. 

Private Versus Agency Adoptions

The adoption process can begin in two ways — through a private family adoption or by using an agency. A private adoption occurs by communicating directly with the biological family. For example, a family looking to place their child up for adoption may seek out potential parents and begin the legal process of shifting custody between the two families. Adopting through an agency includes obtaining custody of a child that has been placed in state care. 

There are many requirements that potential adoptive parents must meet to obtain complete, permanent custody of a child. Typically, the state will investigate the prospective family's health, criminal records, financial documents, and other personal information to ensure a child is placed in the right home. The timeline for adoption will be unique to each family. However, this process is almost always lengthy to some degree. Families should consider having a family attorney to guide them through adoption.


Guardianship is another option for the child's family members looking to retain permanent custody. Suppose a child will not be placed back with their nuclear family unit, and other family members would like to obtain custody. In that case, family members can be appointed as that child's primary caretaker. The biological parents will not have to remove their titles as parents, but the state will shift parental responsibilities and custody to another family member such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or sibling. 

Discuss Adoption With a Joliet Adoption Lawyer

Adoption can often be a complicated process. At Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., our Plainfield family attorneys have experience working with families looking to obtain custody of a child through foster care, adoption, or guardianship. Our firm offers a free initial consultation for clients. Please contact us by calling 815-666-1285



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