The Chicago Family Law Blog

Illinois Adoption Laws: Who May Adopt and be Adopted?

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You'd be surprised at how open Illinois adoption laws are. Pretty much anyone can file a petition to adopt just about anyone. In other words, there are very few legal restrictions over who can adopt, and who can be adopted.

Generally, any person who has lived in the state continuously for at least six months preceding an action to adopt a child can seek to adopt. And any member of the armed services who has been domiciled in the state for 90 days can also institute a proceeding to adopt.

A person of either sex can seek to adopt. And single or married people can also adopt. But if someone is married, the spouse usually has to be a part of the adoption proceedings as well.

In fact, even minors can seek to adopt. This usually occurs with older siblings adopting younger brothers and sisters.

And who can be adopted in Illinois? Anyone. Male or female children can be adopted and even grown men and women may be adopted. For an adult, the adult adoptee must have lived in the home for more than two years continuously unless there is already a familial relationship.

But just because almost anyone can file a petition to adopt, this does not mean random people can simply show up and pick up a child. What the law means is that there are few restrictions on who can file a petition to adopt. But a court will still have to review the petition to determine if the adoption is appropriate.

So under Illinois adoption laws, you are unlikely to be ruled out automatically to adopt. But if you want to make sure that a court gives the most positive review to your adoption petition, you may want to talk to a family attorney first.

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