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Illinois family law on the rights of adoptive parents

We spent some time last week discussing stepparent adoption for our Rockford readers. This week, we'll back it up a step and talk about something that any potential adoptive parents -- including those working with a private agency should understand: the rights, as well as the responsibilities, of adoptive parents according to family law in Illinois. The discussion is provided as general information and does not constitute specific legal advice.

First, a few of the important rights. When adopting through an agency, parents have the right to make any decisions without feeling coerced, particularly if they're leaning against accepting a particular child's placement with their family. They have the right to written information about the child and the birth family, to the extent it's available. This may include anything from the child's birth date and medical history to information about the parents' background and even that of the grandparents.

Potential adoptive parents have the right to consult with third-party sources of information about a child they are considering adopting. If the agency is going to conduct an assessment of their home, parents have the right to know whether a copy of the results will be provided to them. If they end up working with a different agency, they can ask to have a copy of the assessment sent to that agency.

Importantly, Illinois also makes explicit that potential adoptive parents have the right to be treated respectfully and with dignity. Sometimes this simple matter makes all the difference in what is sure to be a time of high emotions. We'll explore what responsibilities are placed on adoptive parents in a follow-up post.

Source: State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, "ADOPTIVE PARENTS' RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN ILLINOIS," accessed on Nov. 13, 2017

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