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DuPage County family law attorneysIndividuals and couples who are interested in adopting children obviously are advised to take the time to familiarize themselves with the Illinois Adoption Act (IAA) However, there are other areas of law in which the IAA can provide valuable input. One of the most common is when a parent or couple’s parental rights are at issue, especially when deciding whether or not a parent or parents should keep their parental rights. The IAA can provide guidance on such issues.

The Concept of Unfitness

Normally, Illinois courts prefer that if one or both of a child’s birth parents is to lose their parental rights, there should be another person able to step into the parental role. The state works very diligently to ensure that children have two parents as often as possible. The one rare occasion in which this does not always happen is when a parent is declared unfit under the Adoption Act. In these unusual instances, it is deemed more important to remove a child from a potentially dangerous situation. Sometimes, however, even if a parent is found unfit, their parental rights will not be terminated unless someone else is willing to adopt the child.

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amendments Illinois adoptionFor over 50 years, the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) has been providing assistance to those choosing to adopt. Remarkably, this organization has placed over 17,000 children over the past decade, and with the recent amendment to the Illinois Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50), many adoptees and their family members are gaining wider access to personal and medical information through the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange IARMIE.

Although many states are still considered "closed states" where all information regarding an adoption is sealed, Illinois has acted to broaden the rights of adoptees and immediate family members by making it easier to request and access information without petitioning the courts.

If you were adopted through the DCFS or are an immediate family member of a deceased adopted adult, the following provides a brief summary of the new amendment.

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