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