The Chicago Family Law Blog

Woman Adopts Her Own Children Under New Illinois Adoption Law

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Yolanda Miller is the first woman to utilize a new Illinois adoption law that allows parents who have had their children taken from them due to personal problems to adopt their own children.

According to ABC, Miller, a mother of eleven, had ten of her children taken from her fourteen years ago due to her crack cocaine addiction.

Miller’s mother, the children’s grandmother, adopted the children. During this time, Miller sobered up and got her life back on track, reports ABC.

When Miller's mother died in 2005, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) determined that Miller was well enough to appoint her legal guardian of her children.

But as there was no process in place to restore parental rights to a former parent like Miller, she could not legally become the children's parent.

Generally, a legal guardian is charged with responsibility to oversee the children's best interests. But the guardian is not a parent under the law and does not enjoy full parental rights. Additionally, being a guardian does not have the same symbolic significance as being a child's parent.

Now, with the passage of the new adoption law, former parents like Miller can petition the DCFS to regain their parental rights when adoptive parents die. The DCFS can restore parental rights if they believe that the parents have rehabilitated themselves and deserve a second chance.

Under new Illinois adoption law, a parent like Yolanda Miller can adopt her own children and regain full parental rights. So far Miller has been reunited with four of her children, and the adoptions of five other children are pending.

Related Resources:

  • Find a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
  • Mother Adopts Her Own Children (NBC)
  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
  • Guardianship (FindLaw)

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