What's a better way to mark Father's Day than to discuss families with two fathers? And for same-sex couples with two mothers, this information applies to you equally. Illinois is same-sex friendly when it comes to adoption and recent efforts to change that have failed.
Adoption agencies are required to consider only what is best for the child. They cannot take the parents' sexuality into consideration. This is what led to the Catholic Charities litigation, with ended with the Catholic Charities losing in court and closing up shop.
So, for all of you seeking to adopt, here is a summary of the process.
Pick Your Adoption Type
There are a lot of preliminary decisions to make. Will you go with an adoption agency, or choose an independent adoption? Will the child continue to have contact with their biological parents through the “open adoption” process, or will it be a “closed” adoption?
The Home Study
This is the educational phase of the process. A social worker will educate and prepare you for adoption, as well as investigate the family for suitability. It also helps the social worker in matching the parents to a prospective adoptee.
Pick Your Child
Whether it’s through an agency, or adopting from abroad, this is the point where you choose your future son or daughter, or in many cases the mother of your child. If the parents still have rights over the child, they will have to sign over all rights and duties and terminate their legal relationship.
This is the paperwork stage. It mostly consists of biographical information, including addresses, income, and how long you have lived in the state. It should also include the prospective adoptee’s information.
Within ten days, the court will have a child welfare agency commence the investigation stage. The examiner will do a background check, verify your personal information, check with your employer and neighbors, and any other information that has relevance to your ability to be a good dad or mom.
With this overview, you should have a general idea of the process. For more information, you should contact a family law attorney that is familiar with the adoption process and check out the Adoption Information Center of Illinois for more information and profiles of children waiting for a home.
Happy Father’s Day!
- Find a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Adoption (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- Ask A Question About Family Law Now (FindLaw Answers)
- Illinois Adoption Laws: Who May Adopt and be Adopted? (FindLaw’s Chicago Family Law Blog)