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How Can I Adopt My Grandchild in Illinois? 

Posted on in Family Law

wheaton family lawyerThe Illinois Department of Children and Family Services estimates that roughly 100,000 grandparents in Illinois are raising their grandchildren. For these people, the meaning of the word “grandparent” goes above and beyond the love and care most grandparents give to their grandchildren. 

When grandparents take the place of parents who are unable to care for their children, sometimes the best option is for the grandparent to adopt their grandchild. Any adoption is a long and complex process, but an experienced Illinois adoption attorney can answer any questions you may have and help make the adoption process easier. 

When Can a Grandparent Adopt Their Grandchild? 

Grandparents are often the natural choice when a child needs an adoptive parent because they already have a strong and stable presence in the child’s life. Grandparents may adopt whether they are married, single, or divorced, but certain circumstances must be met before a child can be adopted. Both parents must be unable to care for the child due to: 

  • Death

  • Incarceration

  • Mental illness and/or substance abuse

  • Termination of parental rights

  • Willingness to give up parental rights

  • Any combination of the above

How Can a Grandparent Start the Adoption Process? 

It is important to set clear expectations for the adoption process. It is not uncommon for adoptions to take at least six months, and sometimes much longer. Once grandparents decide to move forward, the adoption process generally goes as follows: 

  • Filing a Petition for Adoption, plus any consent forms that may be required.

  • Hearings and conferences to ensure the fitness of the adoptive parents, and, if applicable, the willingness of the biological parents to consent to the adoption.

  • An investigation by a guardian ad litem or other caseworkers to investigate the case and confirm all requirements have been met. This can include background checks and a home study for the grandparents. 

  • A final judgment hearing and a change to the child's birth record. Once the formal adoption process is complete, a grandparent has full decision-making responsibilities and can remain a permanent presence in their grandchild’s life.

Meet with a DuPage County Adoption Attorney

At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we understand how important it is to protect and care for a child you love. That is why we have helped many people successfully complete the adoption process and legalize their commitment to their loved ones. Our compassionate, experienced Wheaton, IL adoption attorneys will walk you through every step of the process so you can focus on what matters most. Call our offices today at 630-462-9500 to schedule an initial consultation. 




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