Adoption FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Adoption Law

1. My partner or spouse and I are pregnant. How early do I need to contact an attorney to start the adoption process?

We recommend that you sign a short term guardianship form about six weeks before your baby's due date. So, ideally, you should contact us around 3 months before the baby is due. That will give us time to meet with you to discuss your adoption and to draft and get documents signed before the baby is born. Of course, you can consult with us at any time. The adoption process can start after the baby is born. However, the earlier we start the adoption process, the sooner we can get the protections for your family in place.

2. How many times will I have to appear in court for the adoption?

Typically, you only have to appear in court once. There are extenuating circumstances in which you would have to appear more than once, but that is rare.

3. We used an anonymous donor. How will we get consent from the anonymous biological parent?

The court allows you to file a verified petition or an affidavit stating the cause for not knowing the identity of the second biological parent. After filing this court document, there are two different ways to terminate any residual rights of the biological parent. We will work with you to obtain the necessary documents from the cryobank and attending physician, or if those documents are not available, to publish notice within the adoption case.

4. Will the adoption process include getting a new birth certificate for the child?

Yes, if you are not in a marriage or civil union when the child is born. After the adoption is complete, our office handles the forms necessary to revise and secure the new birth certificate for the child.

However, if you are married or in a civil union in Illinois, then both your name and your spouse's name should go on the birth certificate at the hospital when the child is born. You should contact the hospital where you plan to give birth and make sure they have a process in place for same-sex parents to both be named on the birth certificate. If not, our firm can assist you in educating the hospital administration about this.

5. How quickly will the adoption be completed?

Under Illinois law, there is a waiting period of three months for related adoptions and six months for unrelated adoptions. However, if you are married or in a civil union before the child is born, the waiting period for related adoptions may be waived by the court and the adoption could be completed in seven weeks. In Cook County, the waiting period typically starts from your first court appearance.

6. We know that we want to travel out of state or out of the country soon. Should we wait until after our travels to start the adoption process?

No. You should go ahead and start the adoption process. If the facts of your case will make traveling inadvisable after the adoption case is filed with the court, we can at least start the paperwork so it is ready to be filed upon your return. In many cases, traveling after the adoption case has been filed with the court simply involves securing a court order allowing you to travel with the child out of Illinois.

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