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Illinois Senate Sends Unanimous Adoption Bill to Governor Pritzker

Posted on in Family Law

wheaton adoption lawyerPursuing an adoption in Illinois is a wonderful way to expand your family, but it can also be  a lengthy and expensive process. Whether you adopt through a private arrangement with a biological parent, an agency adoption, or a related adoption such as a stepparent adopting a stepchild, the adoption process can have many complications and emotional pitfalls. Recognizing this, the Illinois State Legislature recently passed a bill designed to streamline the adoption process. Senate Bill 107 was passed unanimously and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Pritzker. Among other issues, the bill addresses the following: 

Eliminates Residency Requirements 

Senate Bill 107 eliminates the residency requirements for adoption of a child placed by an Illinois State-licensed child welfare agency, adults adopted by former stepparents, and adoption of a child born in Illinois or has lived in Illinois for at least six months before the beginning of the adoption proceedings. This will make it easier for parents who just moved to Illinois, or for couples or individuals who may not be Illinois residents, to adopt a child in Illinois. 

Waives the Six-Month Interim Waiting Period

Previously, parents wanting to adopt a child have had to receive an interim order giving temporary parental responsibilities for the child being adopted. Only after six months and any necessary investigations, a final adoption hearing could take place. Senate Bill 107 eliminates this waiting period in cases where the State or an authorized person has the right to consent to the adoption of the adoptee. 

For example, if an adult consents to be adopted by a stepparent, the judgment of adoption may be granted at any time after the petition is filed. Likewise, a State-licensed welfare agency may consent to the adoption of a child at any time after the completion of the adoption investigation and the placement of the child in the adoptive home. 

Gives Courts Discretion Regarding Guardians ad Litem

Senate Bill 107 allows Illinois courts discretion when deciding whether to appoint a guardian ad litem for adoptions concerning a child who is not a “youth in care” and who is being adopted by a relative. Previously, appointing a guardian ad litem had been mandatory in these cases. During the adoption process, a guardian ad litem represents the child’s best interests and performs an investigation, including an interview with the petitioner, to determine whether the adoption is in the best interest of the child. 

Contact a DuPage County Adoption Attorney

An experienced family lawyer can help you navigate adoption while avoiding costly errors. If you are considering adoption, this law may have just made the process easier. The Wheaton, Illinois family law attorneys at Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., are familiar with the adoption process and can counsel you throughout the adoption with skill and compassion. Contact our firm today at 630-492-9500 for a confidential consultation. 

 

Sources:

 

https://legiscan.com/IL/text/SB0107/2021 

https://legiscan.com/IL/bill/SB0107/2021

https://www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/caucus-news/65-senator-sara-feigenholtz-news/2820-feigenholtz-law-aims-to-streamline-adoption-process

 

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