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West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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Can I Adopt My Little Brother or Sister in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

barrington-related-adoption-attorney.jpgMany situations can place young children in need of care from a loving adult who is not their parent. Addiction, abandonment, mental illness, sickness, and death can preclude parents from properly caring for their children. When a parent dies or has their parenting rights temporarily or permanently removed, a child may face entering the foster care system. But if an adult sibling is available and willing to adopt the child, a related adoption may be an alternative course of action instead. 

When Can a Related Adoption Happen? 

Not just anyone can adopt a younger sibling; either the child’s biological parent(s) must give consent, or an Illinois judge must find them unfit for reasons like abandonment, incarceration, abuse, or neglect. When a relative of a child seeks to adopt a child, it is called a “related adoption” and does not require the help of a private adoption agency.  

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is responsible for ensuring the welfare of children in Illinois. Parents often encounter DCFS for the first time when somebody makes a report of child abuse and a DCFS agent must investigate. When a child’s home situation is bad enough, DCFS has the authority to remove the child from the parents’ custody and get them to a safer place. In certain circumstances, the parents’ behavior may be so bad that they lose custody of the child forever. 

Related Adoption Requirements 

Different types of adoptions have different legal requirements. Related adoptions have their own set of rules because there is already a relationship between the child and the adopting relative. They are often exempt from certain requirements in order to streamline the adoption process. For example, Illinois does not require a placement assessment or home study for related adoptions unless one is specifically ordered by the court. This gives Illinois judges wide leeway to be flexible with sibling adoptions so families can stay together whenever it would be in the best interests of the child. 

Siblings who hope to adopt, as well as any other household members, must have a criminal background check. Certain offenses, such as homicide, burglary, or child abuse prevent related adoptions from taking place. 

Meet with a Kane County Sibling Adoption Lawyer

If you are considering adopting a young sibling and want to know more about the process, schedule an initial consultation with an Algonquin, IL sibling adoption attorney with Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C.. We treat all adoption cases with the sensitivity and seriousness they deserve and will strive to help you find a suitable path forward. Call us today at 847-428-7725 to learn more about what we can do for you. 




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