Before you can begin an adoption process, there are several decisions to be made. Do you want to adopt and infant or an older child? Do you want to adopt in Illinois or internationally?
In Illinois you may adopt a child if you are at least 21 years old. You may be married, divorced or single. If you are separated, you must have lived apart from your spouse for 12 months or more. It is not necessary for you to own your own home, only that you have enough space for your new child.
If you are interested in an international adoption, you must work with an agency that is specifically licensed to do international adoptions. First decide what country you are interested in adopting from. Each country has its own criteria such as age limits, and the length of time you must remain in the country before you can return to Illinois to complete the adoption.
Children who are currently in foster care but available for adoption, or children with special needs, are placed for adoption by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Contact your local social services office to gain information on beginning the process. Special needs adoption does not necessarily mean that a child has a physical or mental disorder. For the purposes of adoption special needs may mean that the child is older, is part of a sibling group that needs to remain together, or is a member of a racial minority.
Pre-adoption classes are required before taking placement of a child. This is to help prepare families for situations they might face with a special needs child.
If you are interested in adopting an infant you can do so through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Make sure that the agency or attorney is reputable and licensed in Illinois for adoption.
If you are planning to place your child for adoption, you may make an adoption plan with an agency or adoption attorney.
If you are unable to care for your child, or unable to make and adoption plan the Safe Haven Law in Illinois allows you to leave your unharmed infant under 72 hours old with Hospitals, Staffed Fire Stations, police departments and Emergency Care facilities.
Not matter what type of adoption you pursue in Illinois, you will need a home study. What does a home study involve? It is an inspection, for lack of a better word, of your home, your background, your financial ability to raise a child, your parenting skills or tools, your marriage (if applicable) and many other aspects of your life. To some people it feels intrusive, but you will go through the same types of questions, no matter which avenue of adoption you choose to pursue.
The Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange allows adoptees and birth parents to indicate if they are interested in a reunion. The Registry and Exchange are voluntary, and are handled by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Information is only released if both parties wish to be contacted. If one party has indicated no contact, the other party will be notified.
Are you ready to be a parent? There are tens of thousands of children in the United States foster system and many more available children worldwide. There are many children in Illinois who are hoping to be adopted.
We're sorry, Illinois does not currently feature children in The Adoption.com Photolisting. Contact your state officials if you'd like to see children waiting for adoption in the Adoption.com photolisting.
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.