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How To Adopt a Stepchild in Illinois

Published on March 20th, 2020

In today’s ever-evolving world, strong family structures are being formed in new ways, with adoption frequently part of the process. If your family includes one or more stepchildren, you may be seeking out a way to adopt your non-biological children. Adoption can be a meaningful way to solidify your family unit, but it can also be a complicated process. You may want to hire a Rockford Divorce & Family Law Lawyer to help see your family through it. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the key features of the adoption process.

Becoming an Adoptive Parent in Illinois

Stepparent adoption is governed by state law, so the rules for adopting vary by state. The state of Illinois has several specific conditions a prospective adoptive parent must meet. First, you must be at least 21 years of age and married to the child’s custodial parent. In cases where the child is 14 years of age or older, written consent must also be collected from the child. 

Illinois law prohibits a child from having more than two legal parents. If your child’s other biological parent is alive and unwilling to relinquish legal parenting rights, you will need to prove they are unfit. Once consent has been received from all involved parties (or if the other biological parent has been determined to be unfit), adoption can move forward.

The Cost of Adopting a Stepchild

Like the rules of stepchild adoption, the costs also vary by state—with a significant range. In some states the total cost will total out below $1000, while others may reach above $2,500. In Illinois, no home study is required, which can help keep costs low. Other possible factors include the waiving of fees in court, or the addition of a lawyer appointed to protect your child’s interests.

Contact Our Family Law Lawyer

Our Rockford Divorce & Family Law Lawyer can help facilitate the adoption process. Please call us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free case evaluation.

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