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Illinois Adoption Laws

Adopting a child can be a complex process. The adoption process, including rules for who may adopt, is governed by state laws. Read on to learn more about Illinois adoption law including who may be adopted, who may adopt them, and other important statutory requirements for adopting a child in the state of Illinois.

Changes in Illinois Adoption Law

In 2015, a law was passed that made it easier for adoptees to get access to birth certificates and thus find out the identities of their biological parents. Before the change, adoptees often would have to get a court order to view their birth certificate that provides such information as the time and place a person was born.

Under the new statute, anyone adopted before 1946 can gain immediate access to their birth certificates by filing a written request with the vital records division of the Illinois Department of Public Health via the state's adoption registry.

While the law allows access to birth records, it does not guarantee that those adopted will find out who their biological parents are. That's because a privacy provision allows parents to decide if they want their identity to remain secret. If one parent opts out and the other does not, the adoptee would still be able to find out the name of one of their birth parents. If both parents opt out, the adoptee may still get a redacted version of their birth record, albeit one without any parent names.

Illinois Adoption Laws

Learn more about Illinois adoption laws in the table below. See FindLaw's extensive Adoption section for more articles and resources.

Code Section

750 ILCS 50/1 to 50/24

Who May Be Adopted

Any child; any adult residing in the home for 2 years; or a relative.

Age that Child's Consent Needed

14 years and older

Who May Adopt

Any reputable person of legal age who has resided continually in Illinois for at least 6 months. Residency requirement waived in the adoption of a related child; the adoption of a child through an IL-licensed adoption agency; the adoption of a child born in IL and who lived in IL continuously since birth. If the petitioner is married or in a civil union, the spouse must join in the petition. Minor may also petition by leave of court upon good cause shown.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

6 months unless waived by the court

State Agency/Court

Department of Children and Family Services/Circuit Court

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

1 year after entry of an order

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Illinois adoption attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Illinois Adoption Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Help From an Adoption Attorney

Adoption is a complex legal process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An experienced adoption attorney can help you navigate this complicated process. They will help review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

Speak to an Illinois adoption attorney today.

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