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Understanding Consent in Illinois Adoption Cases

Posted on in Family law

Winfield adoption lawyerAdoption is a long and complicated legal process that can test the patience and devotion of even the most dedicated of families. There are many loose ends that must be tied up before the adoption can be finalized, and one of those loose ends is gaining consent from all appropriate parties for the adoption. That means getting permission from the child’s birth parents or adoption agency and, in some circumstances, you might even need the child’s permission to adopt him or her. Getting consent from the child’s birth parents or adoption agency means that they are handing over all related rights and responsibilities concerning the child to the adoptive parents. 

Those Who Are Required to Give Consent

In Illinois, it is a requirement that the birth mother and the birth father--provided that paternity has been legally established--give their consent for the child to be adopted. In cases where the child is no longer in the care of his or her birth parents, consent must be given by:

  • The child’s legal guardian or guardian ad litem;
  • The adoption agency which has custody of the child;
  • A close relative of the child; or
  • A court which has jurisdiction over the child.

In cases that involve the adoption of a child who is at least 14 years old, the child must also give their consent to being adopted. If the child is in need of mental health treatment or has an intellectual disability, the court may waive the need for the child’s consent.

Giving and/or Revoking Consent

The Illinois Adoption Act states that mothers cannot consent to adoption less than 72 hours after the birth of their child, though a father can consent to adoption before or after the child’s birth. Both of the child’s birth parents must appear before a judge to confirm that they are relinquishing their parental rights. If the adoption is being facilitated by an agency, a representative of the agency can appear before the judge to give consent to the adoption.

Once a birth parent has given their consent to the adoption and has relinquished their parental rights, the decision is final and cannot be reversed unless the consent was obtained by fraud or duress. If a person decides to petition against the consent, they must do so within 12 months of the date the consent was given. In cases where the father of a child gave consent before the child was born, he can revoke consent within 72 hours of the child’s birth.

Contact a Compassionate DuPage County Adoption Attorney

If you have been thinking about adding to your family through adoption, you have probably been doing a little bit of research, and you may have discovered how complex the process can be. Completing the legal requirements for adoption can be trying, but it can be made easier with the help of an experienced Warrenville adoption lawyer. The Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can provide skilled legal guidance and representation throughout the adoption process, helping your family reach a positive outcome. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office by calling 630-836-8540. 

Sources:

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/consent.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2098&ChapterID=59

DuPage County Bar Association Kane County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Chicago Bar Association DuPage Association of Women Lawyers
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