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Understanding and Preparing for an Adoption Home Study in Illinois

Posted on in Adoption/Guardianships

Naperville adoption attorneyOne of the inevitable parts of adopting a child is the requirement that you and your family participate in an adoption home study. Though the process for the home study is different depending on which type of agency you adopt from (public or private), you must complete a home study all the same. Conducting home studies not only allows agencies to gather more information about your family and evaluate the ability of the family to care for the child, but a home study also allows prospective parents and families to learn more about the adoption process and prepares them for the new addition. 

Components of a Home Study

There are many parts to a home study, and they are all included for good reasons. Home studies are meant to be as thorough as possible to facilitate successful adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents should prepare for the following steps:

  • Eligibility Requirements - Prior to even beginning the home study process, you must meet certain requirements to be eligible to adopt. In Illinois, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months, be at least 18 years old or older, and be in good legal standing.
  • Background Checks - Another preliminary requirement for adoption is a background check. All adult members of your household must complete a background check, and members who are ages 13-17 must authorize a check of the child abuse and neglect registry and the child sex offender registry.
  • Interviews - During the home study process, you will probably have multiple interviews with a social worker, which will allow them to get to know you and your family and also help you form a relationship with them. During these interviews, you will discuss topics such as:
    • Your education and employment
    • Your relationships
    • Your daily life
    • Your approaches to parenting
    • Your religion or belief system
  • Home Visits - This part of the home study process is probably what most people think of when they think of home studies. Your social worker will make a visit to your home to view all areas of the house, especially where the child will sleep, the basement, and the backyard. The point of home visits are to make sure that you have a safe and adequate environment for the child. Your home will have to meet all state licensing requirements, meaning you should have working smoke alarms, a fence or cover on or around a swimming pool (if you have one), and safe and secure storage of any firearms you own. 
  • Training - If you are adopting from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), you have to become a licensed foster parent before you can actually adopt. In order to do this, one of the requirements is that you must attend at least 27 hours of training. After you are matched with a child and they are placed in your care, your family must attend nine hours of adoption-focused training that educates them on the adoption process and provides information and tools to help them be the best possible parents for that specific child. 

Request Legal Representation From an Illinois Adoption Attorney

Adoption is a complicated legal process that can be lengthy and complicated, especially if you are not familiar with the legal requirements and the procedures that must be followed. If you are looking to welcome a new member into your family through adoption, you should contact an experienced Wheaton adoption lawyer. The attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. have over 30 years of experience in family law, and we can help you with all of your legal needs throughout the adoption process. Call our office today at 630-653-9400 to set up a free consultation. 




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