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Understanding DCFS Adoptions in Illinois

Posted on in Family Law

IL divorce lawyerFor the past couple of decades, the composition of the American family has been changing. Years ago, the “ideal” family was seen as a mother and a father, happily married with two biological children, a boy and a girl, and the family dog. Now, there is more diversity within American households than ever. Many children live in households without one of their biological parents or with their grandparents, without either parent at all. Many families have now also opened their arms and adopted children from many backgrounds.

One of the most popular ways people adopt in Illinois is through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS.) These types of adoptions occur to children who are currently in the foster system in Illinois and often have unique situations. If you are looking to adopt a child from the foster system, an Illinois adoption lawyer can guide you through the process.

Children Come From a Variety of Backgrounds

Children who are in the custody of DCFS are in the foster care system. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, there were more than 125,000 children in U.S. foster care systems waiting to be adopted in 2018. The most important thing to realize before you make the decision to adopt a child who is in the foster care system is that these children often come with their own baggage. Children who are in the foster care system and were removed from their homes because their environment was not safe. These children often have suffered from neglect, physical violence, a parent’s drug abuse or even sexual abuse.

Taking the Steps to Become a Foster Parent

If you want to adopt through DCFS, you must first become a foster parent. The process to become a licensed foster parent in Illinois typically takes about one to two months and allows children to be placed in your care. To become a foster parent, you and your family must:

  • Participate in a home inspection and social visit
  • Complete at least 27 hours of training pertaining to foster care and the needs of foster children
  • Complete a criminal background check on all household members
  • Be financially stable
  • Complete a health screening

Transitioning From Foster Parent to Adoptive Parent

Once you have been approved to be a foster family, your DCFS caseworker will begin to work with you to match a child or sibling group to your family. First, the child will live with you for a few months to ensure the match is a good one. If you wish to pursue adopting your foster child and everyone is adjusting well, adoptions are usually approved within six months.

A DuPage County DCFS Adoption Attorney Can Provide You With Guidance

The adoption process can be a complicated one, no matter which type of adoption you choose to proceed with. When it comes to adopting a child through DCFS, there are also other considerations you must make before you make your final decision. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, we understand how complicated adoption can seem, but our skilled Elmhurst, IL DCFS adoption lawyer is here to provide you with assistance throughout the process. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 312-605-4041.

 

Sources:

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport26.pdf

https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/lovinghomes/fostercare/Pages/index.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/lovinghomes/adoption/Documents/Adopting-a-Child-Through-DCFS.pdf

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