Your Family Matters

Understanding the adoption process

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | family law

Many people choose to add to their family through adoption. There is helpful information about the process in Illinois.

Administrative process

The prospective adoptive parents will first need to submit a petition to the court and pay a court filing fee. A consent to adopt form must be presented to a judge and witnessed. The petitioners will then be assigned a hearing date and time.

The petitioners are required to send a summons to the other parties, including the child who will be adopted. The summons notifies them about the adoption proceedings and when the hearing will be held. He or she then has 30 days to submit an answer.

Hearing and home study

The court will hold a hearing to determine who will have temporary parental responsibilities for the child. The court will also appoint a guardian ad litem, who represents the child’s interests and makes recommendations to the court.

The adoptive parents will be required to submit to background checks and participate in a home study. A home study provides the court with information about the adoptive parents’ home and employment as well as personal recommendations and health checks.

Before the adoptive parents can adopt the child, the birth parents’ rights must be terminated. This can be voluntary if they consent to the adoption or their rights can be involuntarily terminated by the court.

Once the court determines that all of the requirements have been met, it will finalize the adoption and sign a final order. The adoptive parents then have all of the permanent rights and responsibilities for the child’s upbringing.

It’s important that the process is completed correctly and there is help available to do so.