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What Are the Steps for a DCFS Adoption in Illinois?

Posted on in Adoption/Guardianships

DuPage County adoption lawyers Adoption provides a child in need with a safe and permanent home. The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) is a government agency that responds to reports of child abuse or neglect. DCFS also protects minors by placing them in foster homes. In many cases, the foster parents wish to legally adopt their foster kids. Children who need adopting can come from all over, and they are all ages and from different backgrounds. Many have siblings who also need a loving home life. DCFS also offers support to help families adopt children with medical conditions or other special needs.

Who Can Adopt?

In Illinois, the first step in adopting a child through DCFS is becoming a licensed foster parent so that children can be placed in your home. An initial screening will involve a visit to your home. The process of receiving a license usually takes one to two months. DCFS works as quickly as possible to match a child (and possibly siblings) to an appropriate family. Those people who wish to adopt can participate in a 27-hour training to become fully licensed foster families. After the placement, a family can request to adopt the child. The request is generally approved by the department and the court after a six-month period.

The state does not have specific qualifications to adopt, but people who can provide an adequate and loving home are typically eligible to adopt. A few of the characteristics of an adoptive parent include: 

  • May be single, married, in a civil union, divorced or separated 
  • May or may not already be a parent
  • Must be financially stable to care for a child or children 
  • Must have adequate space in the house, condo, or apartment

Once a single person or a couple is matched with a child, they will complete a nine-hour training focusing on adoption and the adoption process. In addition, individualized training programs can provide information, training, and tools for the transition of becoming parents.

Legal Responsibility

Adoption establishes a person as a child’s legal parent. This means he or she is entitled to all the rights and responsibilities as if the child was born to him or her. Adoption is a major commitment. After a child is adopted, DCFS is no longer responsible for the child. An adoptive parent assumes all the rights and responsibilities of a child, which means making significant decisions for him or her. This includes the right to consent to medical treatment, to marriage, to enlistment in the military, and more. 

It is important to understand that adoption is only possible if the child’s biological parents voluntarily give up their parental rights. The only other way is if their rights are terminated by the court for reasons of abuse or neglect.  

Contact a DuPage County Adoption Lawyer

Adopting a child is one of the most honorable and selfless acts that a person could ever even consider. It can change the life of both the adoptive parents and the child who gets a new, loving home. In order to achieve your dream of becoming a family, it is important to understand Illinois rules and regulations for a DCFS adoption. A compassionate Wheaton family law attorney can assist you throughout the adoption process to ensure you complete all the required steps. Call our office today at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation. 



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