How the adoption process works for Edwardsville, IL area families
At any given time, Illinois has close to 14,000 children in foster care. Between 3,000 and 4,000 of them are waiting for adoption by a new permanent family. These kids range in age from infants to older teens, and many of them have special needs that can challenge — and reward — determined adoptive parents. Most adoptive parents in Edwardsville, IL, go through one of the state’s licensed adoption agencies, which is usually the easiest way to ensure compliance with the legal requirements. Though the exact process varies somewhat between agencies and counties, statewide requirements for adopting a child under state guardianship are well established.
Background and Medical Requirements
The state of Illinois has an interest in making sure adopted kids have the best possible home life. To that end, all parents who wish to adopt must pass a criminal background check. Standards for passing this scrutiny are not exceptionally high. As a rule, traffic violations and misdemeanors are not an issue, except for domestic violence convictions. Felonies are taken on a case-by-case basis, with things like the time since conviction and age at the time considered when weighing an applicant. The state has a zero-tolerance policy toward sex-related offenses and other “bad character” crimes. Adoptive parents are also required to pass a physical examination, administered by an approved doctor. This exam is also not terribly demanding. Seizure disorders and major disabilities could be an issue, but short of something that would interfere with care of a child, most people pass with no problem.
Pre-Adoption Training Classes
After approval on the medical and background checks, Illinois parents who wish to adopt must attend training classes. How many classes and subjects covered varies a lot, but it’s almost never less than two classes specifically on caring for an adopted child. Some other classes might include general parenting, special needs children, and how to interact with adoption agencies and state child welfare organizations. If the adoptive parent is married, the spouse must also pass the background check and attend classes. The state suggests allowing three to six months to meet all of the class requirements.
Fees and Other Considerations
Adopting children under Illinois state guardianship is free for state residents. Adopting from out of state might incur some costs, but those might be reimbursable through the child’s home state or the federal government. As always with large, complex life events, adopting a child can be more complicated than it seems on the surface. Consider consulting with a family law specialist before committing to any major decisions like adoption.