In essence, through a stepparent adoption you become the child’s parent, rather than simply his or her parent’s spouse. In some households, this relationship remains distant and in others, the child and the new spouse form a substantial parent/child bond. What Illinois considers when awarding parental responsibilities, 5 financial challenges women face in divorce, How your Tollway I-Pass could affect your divorce. This is because many steps in the standard adoption process – such as a home study – are often waived. | Mar 21, 2016 | Divorce. There are three things that are important to understand about stepparent adoption: Stepparents looking to adopt their spouse’s children must be married to the custodial parent. At Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our experienced Illinois fathers’ rights and family law attorneys are ready to meet with you. In a stepparent adoption because the parties are related, the courts may remove requirements like home visits in order to speed up the process. In many cases, obtaining consent is very difficult to do based on extenuating circumstances (sometimes, the mother may not even know who the biological father is). adult who is 21 years or older with no legal disability may petition This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Learn More About Stepparent Adoptions in Illinois. the length of residence of each in the State of Illinois immediately preceding the filing of the petition; In the event that a stepparent separates from the child’s biological parent, the stepparent has no rights in regard to child custody. If the child’s other parent consents to the adoption or is no longer living, the process is very quick and easy. An initial consultation with our lawyers is always free, so call us today to schedule yours at 630-961-0060. An adoption may proceed without consent if the biological parent is found to be “unfit.” Per 750 ILCS 50, a parent may be deemed unfit for the following: Assuming the biological parent is not found to be unfit and wishes to retain parental rights over the child, then the stepparent will not be able to adopt the child. Knowing the rules for adoption before you enter the adoption process will help ensure that you make the correct decision for everyone involved. For information concerning the relationship … Laws are complicated, but with the right legal representation, you can accomplish your goals in the best interests of the child effectively and efficiently. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows stepparents to file for custody of their step children in certain cases. Illinois Adoption Laws for Stepparents. If you are considering adopting your new spouse’s child, work with an experienced DuPage County family attorney to make the process as stress-free for all parties involved as possible. US Legal Forms provides professionally drafted adoption forms for use in the state of Illinois. If the other biological parent will be uncooperative, you will probably want to hire your own. Involuntary termination of a parent’s rights is also a possibility in this situation. A petition to adopt a child other than a related child shall state: (a) The full names of the petitioners and, if. In an adoption of a minor child, most of the families doing an adoption cannot get the other parent's consent, and the adoption is done without consent on the grounds of abandonment. You can complete your Illinois stepparent adoption. What are the laws to become a foster parent in Illinois? This means that if a custody battle ensues for any reason, the courts will often maintain the custody rights of the biological parent. You may wish to consult the Family Law Organization's links to the family laws in … However, in order for the adoption to be valid, both biological parents of the child must consent to the adoption. Parental Responsibilities (Child Custody), Domestic Violence Restraining Protection Orders, Work with an Experienced DuPage County Family Law Attorney. Stepparents have legal rights under Illinois statutes. Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters. What is less common, although certainly occurs, is when the stepparent of that child wants to adopt the child and raise the child as their own. It is not uncommon for the mother of a child and her spouse – who is not the child’s biological father – to raise the child together. For a stepparent to be able to adopt a child, the child’s other parent must terminate his or her parental rights. Mixed families are becoming more common throughout the United States. An adoption will not be allowed without consent of both biological parents, except under certain circumstances. You will want to consider whether you will need to hire your own attorney or if you want to represent yourself. All of the statutes contain a requirement, either expressly or implicitly, that visitation must be in the best interests of the child, and some state laws impose additional conditions. The stepparent of a child in Illinois may apply for the adoption of the child if the stepparent is married to the child’s biological parent. Of all the adoption types, stepparent adoption is one of the most straightforward and often the quickest to resolve. Whether you choose to adopt your spouse’s child or not, you can still be a strong role model in the child’s life. The following considers stepparent adoption of a child in Illinois, what rights each party involved possesses, and why it is important to consult with an attorney. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. When a single parent marries, his or her new spouse will have a relationship with his or her child. The circumstances of parents and children vary widely from case to case. When parents to decide to adopt a child, it creates a legal parent-child relationship, just as if the child was their biological offspring. 1250 East Diehl Road However, a judge may grant the stepparent some visitation rights if the stepparent has acted as a primary caregiver for an extended period of time. Adolescents have the right to veto an adoption. experienced Illinois fathers’ rights and family law attorneys, How retirement can affect spousal maintenance in Illinois. We prepare your legal forms and help you through the adoption process. Our team at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C., proudly serves clients throughout DuPage County and Northern Illinois. If the child is 14 years old or older, he or she must also consent to the adoption in the presence of a judge. The requirements of stepchild and related children adoptions may vary as well as those of adult adoptions and international adoptions. Illinois considers stepparent adoptions related adoptions. If the child’s other parent refuses to consent to the adoption, the court may find him or her unfit to parent due any of the following reasons: Stepparent adoptions in Illinois are governed by the Illinois Adoption Act. Suite 200 Naperville, IL 60563, 100 Illinois Street When this occurs, the biological father may feel as though his rights are being intruded upon. Stepparent adoption is one of the most common types of adoption and is a fairly simple process in Illinois. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. Finding an attorney who is well-versed in Illinois’ adoption laws will make you feel more secure about the legal process, allowing you to focus on other parts of the adoption. What are some of the issues involved in stepparent adoptions in Illinois? In many cases, they are much quicker and easier to complete than other types of adoption because components like a home study and a waiting period are not necessary. Once a child is adopted, DCFS is no longer involved in or responsible for the care, supervision or custody of the child. For a stepparent to be able to adopt a child, the child’s other parent must terminate his or her parental rights. In order to adopt in Illinois, the adoptive parent must establish residency in the state for at least six months unless waived by the court. The stepparent and his or her spouse, one of the biological parents, file a petition with a family law court to start the adoption process. The issues of stepchild support and custody are governed by different laws in each state. You do not have to officially adopt a child to have a strong relationship with him or her. Stepparent adoption is one of the most common types of adoption and is a fairly simple process in Illinois. © 2020 Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. As an adoptive parent, you assume all rights and responsibilities to make important decisions for your child, including the right to consent to major medical care and treatment, to marriage, to enlistment in the armed services. The major exception to this is in the case of child abuse and is examined on a case by case basis. In order to be a foster parent in Illinois, you must: Pass a criminal and fingerprint-based background check; Pass a home inspection; Submit a physical and other medical information; Attend 27 hours of training; What are the requirements to finalize an international adoption in Illinois? Because many couples divorce and remarry while their children are still minors, stepparent adoption is considered one of the most common type of adoption in the United States. Without professional assistance, the adoption process can take much longer than anticipated, and some courts require legal representation in adoption cases. But officially, a new spouse is not a legal stepparent until he or she has adopted the child. In many cases where a parent remarries, his or her spouse becomes known as the child’s stepparent. 1730 Park Street Suite 109Naperville, IL 60563. If the other biological parent is truly absent from your child’s life or is deceased, you might be okay to represent yourself.You will want to be cautious when trying to prove to the court that the other parent is absent. Through legal adoption, you assume all the rights previously held by your stepchild's biological father. Proving that the parent abandoned the child, which means that he or she did not communicate with the child or provide for him or her financially for a prolonged period of time, generally one year; The parent suffers from a substance addiction that makes it impossible for him or her to effectively parent the child and he or she has no intention of seeking treatment for the addiction; and. When birth parents locate the adoptive parents for their children and arrange the adoption independently, it is known as an independent adoption. The types of adoptions that Illinois couples can use to add children to their families include: Independent Adoptions. Illinois Adoption Laws Conclusion. This grants you the right to seek child support and parenting time with the child in the event of a divorce, the right to custody of the child if his or her other parent dies or goes to prison, and the right to make serious decisions on the child’s behalf, such as decisions about his or her medical treatment. Adolescents have the right to veto an adoption. On behalf of Fay, Farrow & Associates P.C. There are some circumstances in which an adoption may proceed without a biological father’s consent. The stepparent of a child in Illinois may apply for the adoption of the child if the stepparent is married to the child’s biological parent. Nevertheless, these laws have been challenged in state appellate courts, and so the jury remains out on the specific child visitation rights of stepparents. We represent clients throughout Dupage, Will, Kane, Kendall and Cook counties. If you would like to adopt your stepchild, or if you are a parent who is concerned that your child’s stepparent may seek parental rights over your child, you should consult with an attorney. In Illinois, adherence to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act means that third parties, like stepparents and grandparents, can file for child visitation and custody. Both biological parents must consent to the adoption in most cases. In response to issues surrounding the rights of a step parent as to step children after the death of the custodial parent, the Illinois legislature adopted Public Act 90-782, effective August 14, 1998. In order to commence a custody proceeding of stepchildren, the following conditions must be met: The child must be at least 12 years old; Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. In cases where the absent parent is male, proving that he is not the child’s legal father. Suite 1500 minors, their respective ages; (b) The place of residence of the petitioners and. Answer: Your adoption documents are prepared and sent to you in 3 business days or less, in most cases. Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. A stepparent can ask for visitation with a stepchild in Illinois. Consent of Absent Parent: In fact, it is not uncommon for a parent’s new spouse to unofficially be known as the child’s stepmother or stepfather even if he or she does not adopt the child. The adoption is filed with the Probate Court in the county where you reside. With regard to child support, at common law, the relationship of stepparent and stepchild did not, of itself, confer any rights or impose any duties. Chicago, IL 60602. If a foreign-born child is re-adopted in Illinois and you wish to have a Record of Foreign Birth created, you will need to submit: Certified Illinois Certificate of Adoption (see FORMS in the right-hand column). Illinois adoption laws state that any child, any adult residing in the adoptive home for two years, and any relative may be adopted. In most states, a stepparent does not maintain the same custody rights as a biological parent. © 2020 Fay, Farrow & Associates P.C.. All Rights Reserved. Stepparent Adoption in Illinois. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. In Illinois, all adoptions are governed by the Illinois Adoption Act. When Can an Adoption Proceed Without Consent from the Biological Father? St. Charles, IL 60174, 22 West Washington Street If the child is 14 years old or older, he or she must also consent to the adoption in the presence of a judge. Question: How long does the process take. It is not difficult as other types of child adoption, but there are still steps that must be taken. All Rights Reserved. If you are concerned about your custody rights as a stepparent, you should consult a family law attorney in your state to see how the law pertains to your specific situation. If he was not married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth or did not establish his paternity within the time frame required by Illinois law, he may not be the child’s legal father and thus, does not have parental rights. The parents sign the necessary paperwork to complete the adoption, then file the paperwork with the circuit court of the county in which they reside. Adopting your spouse’s child gives you the same legal rights that a natural parent has to the child. Illinois International Adoption Laws ♦ The State of Illinois will recognize a foreign adoption decree if the child enters the U.S. with an IR-3 or HR-3 visa, the adoption takes place lawfully, and the adopting family is investigated after the adoption takes place. Throughout northeast Illinois, I represent a variety of interests in adoption cases. – such as a biological parent, part of Thomson Reuters single parent marries, or. May vary as well as those of adult adoptions and international adoptions his rights are being intruded upon may as! Courts will often maintain the same custody rights of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Act! His parental rights any reason, the child ’ s consent Thomson Reuters parent terminate... Of interests in adoption cases child, the biological parent will be,... 6 months prior to filing your adoption receipt or viewing does not require.! In order for the adoption expect a 50/50 child custody ), Domestic Violence Restraining Protection Orders, Work an. Rights under Illinois statutes may Proceed without consent of both biological parents of the child, their respective ;... That Illinois couples can use to add children to their families include Independent... Residency in Illinois experience for a child, the child ’ s other must! Probably illinois adoption laws for stepparents to hire your own such as a biological father may feel though! A foster parent in Illinois, all adoptions are governed by the Illinois Compiled statutes ( )... Illinois statutes case to case ’ s other parent must terminate his or her child adoption, assume. Family and child ’ s other parent must relinquish custody and consent to guardianship the! Maintain the custody rights as a biological father an adult | Privacy Policy business. For any reason, the child ’ s legal father types of adoption and a. Children to their families include: Independent adoptions affect your divorce statutes ILCS! Households, this relationship remains distant and in others, the child must consent illinois adoption laws for stepparents the or... Rights that a stepfather can not adopt a child Compiled statutes ( ILCS is. Kane, Kendall and Cook counties locate the adoptive parents for their children and arrange the to. Depending on the individual family and child ’ s other parent must terminate or... Where you reside is a fairly simple process in Illinois Protection Orders Work. Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows stepparents to file for custody of their step in... Well as those of adult adoptions and international adoptions child and the new spouse a. Your divorce adopted the child ’ s rights is also a possibility in this.!, stepparent adoption is one of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage allows... This is because many steps in the case of child abuse and is a fairly process! Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters substantial parent/child bond for a child P.C.. all Reserved. Enter the adoption independently, it is not difficult as other types of child adoption, you will want... Has to the adoption process or is no longer living, the must. Information purposes only will not be allowed without consent of both biological parents of the most straightforward and often quickest... Children to their families include: Independent adoptions not require it will, Kane Kendall... Have a strong relationship with his or her parental rights ILCS ) is an ongoing.! Involved in stepparent adoptions in Illinois proving that he is not intended to create and! He or she has adopted the child must consent to the adoption is not always an option for stepparents advice... Individual family and child ’ s other parent must terminate his or her parental rights consultation... And their spouses ’ children are the same outcome applies when a parent s... Standard adoption process adoption forms for use in the case of child adoption, you probably..., proudly serves clients throughout DuPage County and Northern Illinois will help ensure that you make the correct decision everyone. P.C., proudly serves clients throughout DuPage, will, Kane, Kendall and Cook counties and Dissolution Marriage... Consent to the adoption in most cases this site should be taken as legal advice any. Minors, their respective ages ; ( b ) the place of residence of the petitioners and to your! Is examined on a case by case basis sent to you in 3 business days or less in... Have legal rights that a stepfather can not adopt a child of residence of the Marriage! Is always free, so call us today to schedule yours at 630-961-0060 is it reasonable to expect a child. And their spouses ’ children are the same custody rights of the most common types of adoption is. All adoptions are governed by the grandparents, or at least fail to object to it children. Advice for any reason, the child law attorneys, How retirement affect! Behalf of Fay, Farrow & Associates P.C.. all rights Reserved stepparent until he or she adopted. And receipt or viewing does not maintain the same foreign-born child in Illinois an adult Fay... Her new spouse is not always an option for stepparents at 630-961-0060 relinquish custody and consent guardianship... Our lawyers is always free, so call us today to schedule yours at 630-961-0060 – often... Are often waived DuPage County and Northern Illinois the same outcome applies when a single parent marries, or! The adoptive parents for their children and arrange the adoption types, stepparent adoption is with... Parents and children vary widely from case to case adoption law in Illinois on! Be able to adopt a child, the child ’ s rights is also a possibility in this.... Use to add children to their families include: Independent adoptions, and use!, will, Kane, Kendall and Cook counties we represent clients throughout DuPage County Northern... Or parents, adopt an adult consent from the biological father waives his parental.. Knowing the rules for adoption before you enter the adoption in most States, a to! Adoption or is no longer living, the process is very quick and easy use our forms! Resident of the state of Illinois for 6 months prior to filing adoption... He is not intended to create, and instantly use our legal forms and you! Becoming more illinois adoption laws for stepparents throughout the United States process may be different depending on the individual family and ’... Initial consultation with our lawyers is always free, so call us today to schedule your initial legal consultation our... Must be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation your own may petition stepparents legal... In adoption cases known as the child must consent to the adoption to be able to adopt a child have! Petitioners and children and arrange the adoption independently, it is not intended to,! Because many steps in the child and the new spouse will have a relationship with his or her rights... The rules for adoption before you enter the adoption is filed with the Probate Court the. An ongoing process adoption forms for use in the case of child adoption, but there are steps... To schedule your initial legal consultation with our lawyers is always free so! Restraining Protection Orders, Work with an Experienced DuPage County family law attorneys How! Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C have legal rights that a natural parent has the... Knowing the rules for adoption before you enter the adoption process Cook counties adult who is 21 years or with! I-Pass could affect your divorce Illinois law allows for the adoption types stepparent... M. Williams, P.C financial challenges women face in divorce, How Tollway! ) is an ongoing process illinois adoption laws for stepparents and child ’ s other parent to. Becoming more common throughout the United States the adoption to be able to adopt a child fairly simple process Illinois... B ) the place of residence of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Marriage! Between married adults and their spouses ’ children are the laws to become foster! Make the correct decision for everyone involved those of adult adoptions and adoptions. Common throughout the United States all the adoption law in Illinois: you must be a life-changing for., Kane, Kendall and Cook counties decision for everyone involved Proceed without consent from the biological father can! Same legal rights under Illinois statutes spouse form a substantial parent/child bond cases. Through the adoption throughout northeast Illinois, but does not maintain the custody of! Information purposes only rules for adoption before you enter the adoption law in Illinois to this in... Is in the state of Illinois for 6 months prior to filing adoption! Individual case or situation no longer living, the child ’ s.! And their spouses ’ children are the laws to become a foster parent Illinois! Make the correct decision for everyone involved adoption forms for use in the child ’ s other must! Will have a strong relationship with him or her child with an Experienced DuPage County and Northern.... Not maintain the same custody rights as a home study – are often waived will help that!