Adopting your spouse’s child gives you the same legal rights that a natural parent has to the child. Without professional assistance, the adoption process can take much longer than anticipated, and some courts require legal representation in adoption cases. 1730 Park Street Suite 109Naperville, IL 60563. You do not have to officially adopt a child to have a strong relationship with him or her. 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. 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? 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. However, adoption is not always an option for stepparents. Custody Rights The law protects the rights of a natural parent who has both legal and physical custody above all -- meaning her child lives with her and she makes all important decisions on his behalf. In many cases where a parent remarries, his or her spouse becomes known as the child’s stepparent. Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters. However, adoption is not always an option for stepparents. It is not difficult as other types of child adoption, but there are still steps that must be taken. 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. Stepparent Adoption in Illinois. Order, download, and instantly use our legal forms today! 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. 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. 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. 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. Laws vary from state to state, but rights often come down to a child’s relationships with his stepparent and his biological parents. In a stepparent adoption because the parties are related, the courts may remove requirements like home visits in order to speed up the process. 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). 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. 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. This means that if a custody battle ensues for any reason, the courts will often maintain the custody rights of the biological parent. Illinois Adoption Laws Conclusion. In Illinois, all adoptions are governed by the Illinois Adoption Act. Consent of Absent Parent: It is not uncommon for stepparents […] Adolescents have the right to veto an adoption. Once an adoption is agreed to and finalized, the biological parent forfeits his or her right to visitation, parenting time, custody and allocation of parental responsibilities, as well as all other parental rights. 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. 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. But officially, a new spouse is not a legal stepparent until he or she has adopted the child. The process for adopting a spouse’s child is known as stepparent adoption and in many ways, it is different from the process of adopting a child from another couple or the foster care system. Suite 200 Failure to maintain a reasonable degree of interest in the child. We represent clients throughout Dupage, Will, Kane, Kendall and Cook counties. Nevertheless, these laws have been challenged in state appellate courts, and so the jury remains out on the specific child visitation rights of stepparents. For a stepparent to be able to adopt a child, the child’s other parent must terminate his or her parental rights. All Rights Reserved. Of all the adoption types, stepparent adoption is one of the most straightforward and often the quickest to resolve. Suite 400 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. 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. This means that a stepfather cannot adopt a child unless the biological father waives his parental rights. 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. When Can an Adoption Proceed Without Consent from the Biological Father? When parents to decide to adopt a child, it creates a legal parent-child relationship, just as if the child was their biological offspring. Illinois adoption laws state that any child, any adult residing in the adoptive home for two years, and any relative may be adopted. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. 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. 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. Our team at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C., proudly serves clients throughout DuPage County and Northern Illinois. 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. experienced Illinois fathers’ rights and family law attorneys, How retirement can affect spousal maintenance in Illinois. Learn More About Stepparent Adoptions in Illinois. There are some circumstances in which an adoption may proceed without a biological father’s consent. Both biological parents must consent to the adoption in most cases. The parent must relinquish custody and consent to guardianship by the grandparents, or at least fail to object to it. Knowing the rules for adoption before you enter the adoption process will help ensure that you make the correct decision for everyone involved. While most people think of divorce litigation and heated custody battles when they think of family court, many positive experiences come from family law proceedings in the Metro East area. Whether you choose to adopt your spouse’s child or not, you can still be a strong role model in the child’s life. On behalf of Fay, Farrow & Associates P.C. Mixed families are becoming more common throughout the United States. Another option recognized by Illinois law is guardianship, but the rules are just as stringent in most respects. 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. The adoption law in Illinois focuses on facilitating new family relationships. You can complete your Illinois stepparent adoption. An adoption will not be allowed without consent of both biological parents, except under certain circumstances. In most states, a stepparent does not maintain the same custody rights as a biological parent. 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. Residency in Illinois: You must be a resident of the State of Illinois for 6 months prior to filing your adoption. When birth parents locate the adoptive parents for their children and arrange the adoption independently, it is known as an independent adoption. However, in order for the adoption to be valid, both biological parents of the child must consent to the adoption. Is it reasonable to expect a 50/50 child custody arrangement? What are some of the issues involved in stepparent adoptions in Illinois? 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. A stepparent can ask for visitation with a stepchild in Illinois. To proceed with a stepparent adoption, the following must be true: The stepparent relationship must be legally established; meaning the stepparent’s marriage to the child’s birth parent—usually the custodial parent—is valid; The child consents to the adoption, if he or she is at least 14 years old; and 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. Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Adolescents have the right to veto an adoption. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. In the event that a stepparent separates from the child’s biological parent, the stepparent has no rights in regard to child custody. You will want to consider whether you will need to hire your own attorney or if you want to represent yourself. 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. The major exception to this is in the case of child abuse and is examined on a case by case basis. US Legal Forms provides professionally drafted adoption forms for use in the state of Illinois. © 2020 Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. The issues of stepchild support and custody are governed by different laws in each state. Naperville, IL 60563, 100 Illinois Street When this occurs, the biological father may feel as though his rights are being intruded upon. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. 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. 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. Stepparent adoption is one of the most common types of adoption and is a fairly simple process in Illinois. Once a child is adopted, DCFS is no longer involved in or responsible for the care, supervision or custody of the child. | Mar 21, 2016 | Divorce. What Illinois considers when awarding parental responsibilities, 5 financial challenges women face in divorce, How your Tollway I-Pass could affect your divorce. 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. minors, their respective ages; (b) The place of residence of the petitioners and. At Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our experienced Illinois fathers’ rights and family law attorneys are ready to meet with you. If the child’s other parent consents to the adoption or is no longer living, the process is very quick and easy. 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). The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows stepparents to file for custody of their step children in certain cases. Parental Responsibilities (Child Custody), Domestic Violence Restraining Protection Orders, Work with an Experienced DuPage County Family Law Attorney. For information concerning the relationship … Throughout northeast Illinois, I represent a variety of interests in adoption cases. The adoption process may be different depending on the individual family and child’s situation. It is important that a biological father understand his rights, and the potential limitation of those rights, before consenting to a stepparent adoption. The adoption is filed with the Probate Court in the county where you reside. Adoption can be a life-changing experience for a child. In cases where the absent parent is male, proving that he is not the child’s legal father. We prepare your legal forms and help you through the adoption process. 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. Illinois law allows for the re-adoption of a foreign-born child in Illinois, but does not require it. 1250 East Diehl Road Contact our Naperville law firm today to schedule your initial legal consultation with a qualified member of our team. But not all relationships between married adults and their spouses’ children are the same. This is because many steps in the standard adoption process – such as a home study – are often waived. 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. The types of adoptions that Illinois couples can use to add children to their families include: Independent Adoptions. A petition to adopt a child other than a related child shall state: (a) The full names of the petitioners and, if. Suite 1500 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 same outcome applies when a parent, or parents, adopt an adult. the length of residence of each in the State of Illinois immediately preceding the filing of the petition; 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. 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. “A petition for visitation may be filed under this Section only if there has been an unreasonable denial of visitation by a parent and the denial has caused the child undue mental, physical, or emotional harm” 750 ILCS 5/602.9 The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Illinois Adoption Laws for Stepparents. You may wish to consult the Family Law Organization's links to the family laws in … In order to commence a custody proceeding of stepchildren, the following conditions must be met: The child must be at least 12 years old; The circumstances of parents and children vary widely from case to case. 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. Chicago, IL 60602. Illinois considers stepparent adoptions related adoptions. Stepparent adoption is one of the most common types of adoption and is a fairly simple process in Illinois. Stepparents have legal rights under Illinois statutes. Involuntary termination of a parent’s rights is also a possibility in this situation. Laws are complicated, but with the right legal representation, you can accomplish your goals in the best interests of the child effectively and efficiently. If the other biological parent will be uncooperative, you will probably want to hire your own. St. Charles, IL 60174, 22 West Washington Street The requirements of stepchild and related children adoptions may vary as well as those of adult adoptions and international adoptions. When a single parent marries, his or her new spouse will have a relationship with his or her child. Through legal adoption, you assume all the rights previously held by your stepchild's biological father. On behalf of Fay, Farrow & Associates P.C. Question: How long does the process take. adult who is 21 years or older with no legal disability may petition For a stepparent to be able to adopt a child, the child’s other parent must terminate his or her parental rights. 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. Answer: Your adoption documents are prepared and sent to you in 3 business days or less, in most cases. If the child is 14 years old or older, he or she must also consent to the adoption in the presence of a judge. However, in order for the adoption to be valid, both biological parents of the child must consent to the adoption. An initial consultation with our lawyers is always free, so call us today to schedule yours at 630-961-0060. In some households, this relationship remains distant and in others, the child and the new spouse form a substantial parent/child bond. © 2020 Fay, Farrow & Associates P.C.. All Rights Reserved. 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