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Understanding what rights you have when you adopt in Illinois

Photo of Karen Lavin

During the past decade, more than 15,000 children across Illinois were adopted. As for the profile of the children that have been adopted during this time, they have come from all walks of life, are of all ages and from diverse parts of the state.

Most children waiting to be adopted either live with relatives or foster families as they await being placed in a forever home. Among the families that have decided to take the next step and adopt, the impact of them having done so has had a potentially life-changing impact on the child.

While fostering a child is considered a type of temporary guardianship, adoption, in contrast, is a legal process which, once completed, entitles you to full legal rights and responsibilities for a child. Though the adoption process, non-biological parents are afforded full custodial, care and supervisory rights over the child as would be the case with any biological child.

In committing to adopt a child, the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services relinquishes their direct responsibility for day-to-day management of their child's upkeep and turns it over to the adoptive parents. As such, the adoptive parent gain the right to make important decisions such as decisions related to the medical upkeep of their child.

It's important to note that adoption is seen in the eyes of the law as a permanent act. Thus, parents can only be absolved of their responsibilities in raising their child if they decide to either sign over their parental rights to someone else or have them terminated by a judge.

If you've located a child that you'd like to make a permanent member of your family, a McHenry, Illinois, adoption attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

Source: Illinois.gov, "Adoption," accessed April 14, 2017

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