Woodridge Adoption Lawyer

Our Adoption Attorney in Woodridge Can Make the Process Easier

Adoption is a process that brings families together. While this process is detailed and at times invasive, it can be easier and go more smoothly if you work with an experienced attorney. At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., we represent parents adopting children throughout Illinois and have significant experience handling adoption, contested adoptions, stepparent adoptions and more.

Our adoption attorneys are compassionate and assertive and offer frank advice to our clients. Whether your family law issue is complex or straightforward, we will give you the attention you deserve and take a direct and thorough approach to preparing your case. We will analyze your specific situation and provide careful planning and professional guidance through Illinois adoption law, based on your individual needs. We will be there for you throughout every step of the legal process, answering your questions and addressing your concerns.

We represent clients throughout the entire Chicagoland area. Call today at 630-305-0222 to schedule a free initial consultation and determine the best way to proceed.

Adoption Lawyer in Woodridge Handles All Types of Adoptions

Adoption occurs when an adult who is not the biological parent becomes the legal parent of the child, with all the rights and responsibilities a natural parent. Adoption in Illinois is governed by the Illinois Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50/0.01, et seq.). The Act lays out the different types of adoption in Illinois, who is eligible to adopt and be adopted, the process for terminating the biological parents’ parental rights, and the process of petitioning for adoption.

According to the adoption laws, any child, any adult residing in the adoptive home for two years, and any relative may be adopted. The adoptive parent typically must be over the age of 18, have a good reputation, and establish residency in Illinois for at least six months (unless this requirement is waived by the court).

Illinois has five types of adoption:

  • Agency Adoption occurs through a licensed agency when the biological parents either voluntarily give the child to the agency for adoption or when the biological parents’ parental rights are terminated by a court.
  • Related Adoption occurs when at least one adopting parent is related to the person being adopted, and includes step-parent adoption of a spouse’s biological child. Both the step-parent and the biological parent are listed on the adoption petition. Step-parent adoption can involve undergoing background checks required by Illinois law and addressing any objections by the biological parent.
  • Private Adoption occurs in situations where neither adopting parent is related to the child and no agency is involved. In this case, the biological parents have 72 hours after the child is born in which to revoke the adoption.
  • Adoption of an Adultoccurs when a child aged 18 years or older is adopted.
  • Standby Adoption occurs when a legal parent who is terminally ill agrees in advance to have the child adopted by a specific person at the time the sick parent no longer can do so or dies.

Some adoption situations, such as an uncontested adoption of a relative or through an agency, may be relatively simple, while others, such as a step-parent adoption where there are objections by the biological parent, can involve complex legal processes. Our compassionate Wolfe Stec adoption lawyers understand how important adoption is for every member of the family, and we will do everything possible to fight for your rights and make the process go smoothly and quickly.

Adoption Attorneys Handle the Adoption Process

‍There are several steps to the adoption process in Illinois, and our adoption attorneys will be there to handle all of them.

1. Filing the Adoption Petition

‍This involves filing a petition for adoption along with a consent to adoption in the circuit court where the petitioners, the child, or the biological parents reside. The petition must be filed within 30 days of the time that the child became available for adoption, unless there is permission given by the court. The petition must be served along with a summons upon all required parties. These parties may include biological parents who have not signed voluntary waivers of service and the adoptive child, if over 14 years old.

‍2. Interim Order Hearing

The interim order hearing is then held to decide who will have temporary parental responsibilities for the child to be adopted, whether parental responsibilities must be terminated, and whether a guardian ad litem will be assigned to represent the child. An investigator will be appointed to investigate the home of the adoptive parents and run a criminal background check.

‍3. Final Hearing

‍After 6 months from the interim order hearing, there will be a final court hearing to review the investigator’s report, the guardian ad litem’s report, and affidavits submitted by the parties. At this time there will be an order finalizing the adoption.

4. Issue of the Revised Birth Certificate

‍The adoptive parents submit a completed certificate of adoption form to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to obtain a revised birth certificate. This will show the child’s new name (if applicable) and list the petitioners as the child’s parents. The original birth certificate will be sealed and may only be viewed by court order.

Adoption Lawyers Answer Your Questions

It’s natural for prospective adoptive parents to have questions and concerns, and our legal team is here to answer them. Here are some answers to questions we are frequently asked:

  • Who can be adopted In Illinois?
    ‍A child can be adopted if:

    • the child has been surrendered to an agency and the agency has consented to adoption
    • consent has been given by a person authorized by a court
    • the child’s biological parents have placed the child in the custody of the prospective adoptive parents
    • the child is 14 years old or older and has consented to the adoption.

    An adult may be adopted after having lived with the prospective adoptive parents for more than two years prior to the filing of the adoption petition.

  • What are “open” and “ closed” adoptions?
    Adoptions, whether directly from birth parents, via public or private adoption agencies, or after providing foster care for a child, may be “open” or “closed.” In an open adoption, personal details are exchanged between birth and adoptive parents, so the parent giving up the child knows where the child is placed and the adoptive parents know about the birth parent. In a closed adoption, the birth and adoptive parents remain anonymous to one another.
  • How does adoption work in a same-sex relationship?
    Illinois recognizes co-parent adoption as an option for same-sex couples where one partner wishes to formally adopt the other’s child. The co-parent adoption gives the non-birth parent the same power as birth parents would have to make important decisions on behalf of the child, including decisions about the child’s schooling and medical care.
  • How can a child be adopted from the DCFS?
    Children who need loving homes may be adopted from the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) when the birth parents have voluntarily given up their parental rights or their rights are terminated by the court. Once a child is adopted, DCFS is no longer involved in or responsible for the care of the child, and the adoptive parent has all rights and responsibilities to make important decisions.
  • How does guardianship work?
    Guardianship is frequently used by relative caregivers who wish to provide a permanent home for a child. The court may appoint a legal guardian after the child has been living in the home of licensed relatives for a period of six consecutive months and the guardianship lasts until the child is 18. Unlike adoption, the birth parents’ rights do not have to be terminated in order to appoint a guardian, and guardians of children in the care of DCFS may receive financial and non-financial assistance and resources.
  • Can adoptees find out who their birth parents were?
    In 2010 a new law was passed that made it easier for adoptees to get access to birth certificates and find out the identities of their biological parents. Anyone adopted before 1946 can get their birth certificate by filing a written request with the vital records division of the Illinois Department of Public Health via the state’s adoption registry. However, there is a privacy provision that allows parents to decide whether they want their identity to remain secret. If one or both birth parents opts out, the adoptee may get a redacted version of their birth record, without one or both parents’ names.

Call Our Adoption Attorneys for Help

At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., our experienced family law attorneys are very thorough in explaining the adoption process for clients and make certain that questions are always answered promptly. We will help make this process as seamless as possible and work to identify and resolve potential issues before they even start. In addition to adoptions and contested adoptions, we also handle related issues such as guardianships and conservatorships.

We do not charge for the first consultation, which can be scheduled at either of our offices, located in Woodridge and Chicago. Call our adoption lawyers today at (630) 305-0222.

Attorney Natalie Stec

Natalie M. Stec, born and raised in Illinois, and earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice has been concentrated in significant pre and post decree marital and family law cases; including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She has important criminal defense experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a very dedicated and passionate litigator. [ Attorney Bio ]

Recent Family Law Results

During trial four experts all testified against our client the Judge found it was in the best interest of the child that our client be awarded custody. We have successfully represented clients in numerous child custody cases.

Child Custody

We recently analyzed a case whereby the opposing side was seeking a substantial award of maintenance against our client. After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances and several hearings, our client’s obligation to pay maintenance was limited to two years at half of what his former spouse was seeking.

Alimony (Maintenance/Support)

After our client voluntarily changed employment we were able to obtain a substantial reduction in child support payments. We have also stopped such reductions when representing clients receiving child support.

Child Support
Woodridge Illinois Law Firm

3321 Hobson Road, Suite B
Woodridge, IL 60517
Phone: 630-305-0222

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