Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption in Illinois
Are you looking to bring someone new into your family through adoption? If so, you probably have many questions about the process, the qualification requirements, the costs involved, and the paperwork, etc. Read the FAQ below for important information on adoption, and then contact the dedicated Chicago adoption attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP for further assistance. You can schedule a consultation by calling (312) 332-2915.
A: The following categories of adoption are available to Illinois residents:
- Private/Direct/Independent – In this type of adoption, the birth parents work with an attorney to place their child in the care of an adopting family. The identities of all involved parties are kept confidential.
- Agency – Birth parents "surrender" their parental rights over a child to an agency, which then selects a qualifying family to adopt the child.
- Agency-Assisted/Identified/Designated – This type of adoption is like a combination of private and agency adoption. Here, an agency is selected by the birth parents to check the qualifications of prospective adopting families and to carry out arrangements when a family is approved. Parental rights are then surrendered to the agency, and the child is placed with his/her new family.
- Interstate and Intercountry – In both types of adoption, the adopting family must complete a home study and get approval from the appropriate state/country agencies. Some Intercountry adoptions require the adoption to be completed in the child's country of origin.
A: Adoptions are guided primarily by state law, although certain federal laws, such as the Constitution, the Immigration and Naturalization Act, and the Indian Child Welfare Act, can come into play.
A: Only if you are adopting through an agency, or across states or countries. Private adoptions in the state of Illinois are exempt. If your case required a home study, you will most likely undergo criminal background checks and home visits, and be required to disclose financial and medical information.
A: Under state law, adopting parents must receive Court approval before paying for a birth parent's costs of living or attorney fees for any amount exceeding $1,000. Gifts are allowable as long as the value does not exceed $200. Unless the law decrees otherwise, it is considered a felony to pay, or receive, compensation for the placement of a child.
A: In an agency adoption, the adopting parents are entitled to information about the child's mental, medical, and social history, whereas in a private adoption, the birth parents must consent to the release of the child's information in writing before the adoption parents can access it.
A: Generally, the adoption process takes around six months to complete.
A: The knowledgeable Chicago family law lawyers at Nottage and Ward, LLP can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of all your options and protect your interests in court and with adoption agencies and birth parents as you seek to complete your family. Call Nottage and Ward, LLP at (312) 332-2915 to get started on the process.
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