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A Guide to Adult Adoptions in Illinois

Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County family law attorney, adult adoptionsThe adoption law in Illinois focuses on facilitating new family relationships. When parents to decide to adopt a child, it creates a legal parent-child relationship, just as if the child was their biological offspring. The same outcome applies when a parent, or parents, adopt an adult. Commonly, adult adoptions formalize relationships that have endured for a long period of time. Many states across the United States, including Illinois, permit adult adoption, where two adults legally enter into a parent-child relationship.

There are benefits to adult adoption. Adult adoption gives the adopted adult the inheritance right from the adopting parent(s), just as if the adult was the biological child of the adoptive parent(s). Likewise, it permits the adopted adult to make important medical decisions, should the parent become disabled or incapacitated. Often, adult adoptions occur in pre-existing relationships, such as the situation of a stepparent and stepchild, which is performed to ensure that the stepchild has inheritance rights.

If you are considering adopting an adult, you should contact an experienced attorney who will be able to advise you of the process, evaluate your situation and bring you one step closer to making the adoption become a reality.

Requirements That Must be Met in Order to Adopt an Adult in Illinois

An adult to be adopted must be over the age of 18. Also, in order for an Illinois family to adopt an adult, one of two requirements must be met prior to petitioning the court for adoption. Illinois law requires that the adult live with you for a period of at least two years prior to filing the petition, or that the adult be related to the family. In order to be considered ‘related’ to the family, the relationship must fall within the categories identified by the Illinois Adoption Law, which indicates that the adopting adult must have the following attributes in common with the adult he or she plans to adopt:

  • Parent;
  • Grandparent;
  • Brother or sister;
  • Step-parent;
  • Step-grandparent;
  • Step-brother or step-sister;
  • Uncle or aunt;
  • Great uncle or great aunt; or
  • First cousin.

Aside from these requirements, the adult to be adopted has to consent to the adoption. In typical adoptions, the children are under the age of 18 and their consent is not required. Adult adoptions are different from traditional adoptions because social worker home visits are not required nor are adopting parents required to go through an adoption agency.

Consult an Attorney

The process to adopt an adult seems relatively simple. But, when you are considering the adoption of an adult, there are many consequences you should consider prior to taking that leap, as the adult to be adopted will obtain rights he or she never had to begin with. 

If you are considering adult adoption, related or otherwise, you should contact experienced Wheaton family law attorneys who will be able to assist you in making the most informed decision and who will be able to guide you through the adult adoption process.

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