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Who is Eligible to Adopt?

For many people, the most meaningful and exciting time in their life is when they are having a child. Soon-to-be parents spend time choosing their child's name, getting a nursery ready, reading parenting books, and sharing the news with friends and family. For those who grow their family through adoption, before they begin to take all of the steps to get ready for their child, they have to navigate complex adoption processes and legal proceedings.

Eligibility and Licensing

People going through the adoption process with an adoption agency are required to meet the standards for receiving a foster home license. Those standards require potential adopters, or foster parents, to be at least 21 years old, be able to financially manage the addition of a child or children to the family, and have no criminal history that will prevent licensure. There are no income requirements and no requirements regarding any other children in the home (potential adopters may have no children or they may have other biological or adopted children). There is no requirement that adopters be married - eligible adopters can be single, married, divorced, or separated. There is also no limitation based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

choosing their child's name, getting a nursery ready, reading parenting books, and sharing the news with friends and family. For those who grow their family through adoption, before they begin to take all of the steps to get ready for their child, they have to navigate complex adoption processes and legal proceedings.

Eligibility and Licensing

People going through the adoption process with an adoption agency are required to meet the standards for receiving a foster home license. Those standards require potential adopters, or foster parents, to be at least 21 years old, be able to financially manage the addition of a child or children to the family, and have no criminal history that will prevent licensure. There are no income requirements and no requirements regarding any other children in the home (potential adopters may have no children or they may have other biological or adopted children). There is no requirement that adopters be married - eligible adopters can be single, married, divorced, or separated. There is also no limitation based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

People going through the adoption process with an adoption agency are required to meet the standards for receiving a foster home license. In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements above, potential adopters will be required to have a home inspection and social assessment, complete training on foster care, complete a criminal background check, and complete a health screening.

Private or Related Adoptions

Adoptions that are completed without the help of an agency, such as placement directly with the adoptive parents or adoption by relatives, are not subject to the same standards and regulations as agency adoptions. However, Illinois law requires that the adoptive parent be of legal age. There is no requirement based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation. There is also no requirement that the parent be married; however, if the parent is married and is not separated, then both spouses are required to be a party to the adoption proceeding and become the adoptive parents.

While those adoptive parents are not required to adhere to the foster home license standards, Illinois law does require that parties filing a petition for adoption for any child that is not a relative be investigated by a child welfare agency.

While adoption is an emotional process and a personal decision, it is also an administrative and legal process, so it is important to have an attorney who is experienced in adoption law to help guide you through the process. An attorney with experience in adoption can help you understand eligibility requirements and standards, as well as help you file a formal petition for adoption. If you or your loved one has questions about the adoption process, contact the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. for a consultation today.

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Wheaton, IL 60189

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