If you are thinking about adopting a child in Illinois, here’s what you need to know from our experts at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet. You must be 21 years old to adopt a child in Illinois. You may be single, married, or divorced. But if you are separated from your spouse, you must have lived apart for 12 months or more. You don’t have to own your home, but must you have enough room for your new child.

One you’re ready to adopt, you need to decide what age and whether you want to adopt here in the United States or go internationally.

If you decide on an international adoption, you will need to find an agency that is specifically licensed to handle international adoptions. Then you will need to decide from what country you would like to adopt a child. Obviously, the laws are different in every country. They have their laws as to the age of the child and the length of time you have to remain in the country before you can go home to Illinois to finish the adoption.

In the United States, children who are currently in foster care but available for adoption can be placed in your home for adoption by the Illinois Department of Human Services. If you would like to get more information on this kind of adoption, contact your local human services office. The Department of Human Services has children of all ages and many sibling groups that need to remain together. You may be required to attend pre-adoption classes before the child can come to your home.

If you want to adopt an infant, you need to find a licensed adoption agency or adoption attorney.

The Adoption.com website reports that in Illinois, no matter what type of adoption you seek, you will need a home study. A home study gathers information about your home, your parenting skills, your background, your financial ability to raise a child, your marriage if you are married, and many other aspects of your life, family and home. Although this can seem overwhelming, it is done so the adoption will have the best chance for success.

The Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange allows birth parents and adoptees to register if they are interested in a reunion. The Illinois Department of Public Health handles the voluntary registration. This information is released only if both parties seek the contact. If one party does not want contact, the other party will be given that information.

If you are thinking about adopting a child in Illinois, O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet is here to assist you through every step. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll get you started on your way to adding a new member to your family and home.

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