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Agency Adoptions
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DuPage County Agency Adoption Attorney

How Agency Adoptions Work in Illinois

Lombard agency adoption lawyers

An agency adoption refers to the process by which individuals or couples adopt a child through an established, licensed adoption agency. In the state of Illinois, agency adoptions are governed by the Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50/) and specific procedures must be followed to ensure that the best interests of adoptive children will be protected. At A. Traub & Associates, our attorneys are well-versed in the laws that apply when parents adopt children through adoption agencies. We can provide representation throughout the adoption process, guiding you through each step and making sure you are well-informed and prepared to address any challenges you may encounter.

The Agency Adoption Process

Adopting a child through an agency will usually involve the following steps:

  • Selecting an adoption agency: The first step in pursuing an agency adoption is to find a reputable, licensed adoption agency that meets your needs. It is important to research different agencies, consider their track record, review client testimonials, and assess their compatibility with your preferences and values.
  • Attend orientation sessions: Once you have selected an adoption agency, you will usually be required to attend pre-adoption classes. These sessions are designed to provide prospective adoptive parents with valuable information about the children available for adoption, the legal processes that will be followed, the support services offered after adoption, and potential challenges that may arise during the process.
  • Complete a home study: An evaluation is required for prospective parents who plan to adopt through an agency. This comprehensive evaluation includes interviews with each person in the household, verification of personal references provided by applicants, background checks that include reviews of criminal records and child abuse registry checks, and an evaluation of the home environment.
  • Placement matching: Upon approval by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) following a home study, you will be placed on a waiting list. The length of time spent on the waiting list depends on several factors, including the desired characteristics of the adoptive child (age range, gender, etc.), openness to adopting siblings, or your ability to provide for the needs of children with certain medical conditions or special needs. Once a suitable match has been identified by the agency's adoption staff in collaboration with DCFS caseworkers, you will be able to review information about the child before deciding whether to proceed with placement.
  • Pre-placement visits: Prior to finalizing an adoption through an agency in Illinois, visits are typically arranged between prospective adoptive parents and the child with whom they have been matched. These visits can help parents and children begin to develop a connection and give them a chance to bond as they work to finalize the adoption process.
  • File an adoption petition: With the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney, you can file a petition in the local court seeking to be named as the adoptive parent of the child you have been matched with. Our lawyers can make sure all required information is provided in a petition for adoption, and we can also submit documentation of a home study, background checks, or any other information that demonstrates that you will be able to provide for the child's best interests.
  • Obtain consent: If the birth parents' parental rights have not been terminated prior to the agency adoption process, they will be required to consent to the adoption. Parents may voluntarily relinquish their parental rights, but if they refuse to do so, steps may need to be taken to show that a parent's rights should be involuntarily terminated by the court due to abuse, neglect, or other reasons deemed sufficient under Illinois law.
  • Adoption hearing: The final adoption hearing is a significant milestone in the adoption process. This hearing will be held after all requirements have been met. A judge will review the documents provided and any other information that may help determine whether you can provide for the child's best interests. If they choose to grant the adoption, you will be named the child's legal parent. At this point, you will assume full legal responsibility for the child's support and care until they reach adulthood.

Contact Our DuPage County Agency Adoption Attorneys

Pursuing an agency adoption can be overwhelming without proper guidance from an experienced lawyer. At A. Traub & Associates, our dedicated team understands that each family's situation is unique, and we are well-versed in the relevant laws and regulations. We can provide compassionate support and effective legal counsel throughout every step of the adoption process. Schedule a consultation by contacting us at 630-426-0196. We are here to help you grow your family successfully.

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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