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Understanding Illinois' adoption criteria

At the Law Office of Kerley & Associates in Illinois, we enjoy representing people seeking to adopt a child. Not only is adoption one of the happiest aspects of practicing law, it likewise is one in which everyone wins: you, your adopted child, and the State of Illinois.

If adoption is something you have been thinking about, it will please you to know that Illinois’ adoption laws are very liberal. As FindLaw explains, the two basic requirements are that you must be a reputable person over the age of 18 and that, if married, you and your spouse jointly file for adoption, unless, of course, one of you is seeking to adopt the other’s biological child(ren).

Various adoption options

In addition to adopting your spouse’s biological children via a stepparent adoption, you have several additional options available to you as well when you decide to adopt a child, including the following:

  • An agency adoption wherein you adopt through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
  • An independent adoption wherein you adopt through a private adoption agency
  • A closed adoption wherein you establish little or no contact with your adopted child’s birth parents
  • An open adoption wherein you can choose to establish a relationship with the child’s birth parent(s) and maintain it after the adoption becomes finalized

Public agency versus private agency

If you wish to adopt an Illinois child, you can go through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. However, if you have your heart set on adopting an infant, this may not be your best option. Many of the children eligible for adoption through the IDCFS are older.

A private adoption agency may well offer you greater adoption options, as well as enhanced support such as adoption counseling, etc. In addition, if you desire to adopt a child from another country, going through a private agency is your only choice. Be aware, however, that some private adoption agencies have quite strict guidelines and criteria above and beyond the minimum required by Illinois law.

For additional information, please visit this page on our website. 


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Springfield, IL 62704

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