Adoption is a beautiful way to build a family, and it is something that is available to everyone in Illinois, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It may be helpful to understand the process of adoption, the types of adoptions available to LGBTQ couples and how to find an LGBTQ-friendly agency to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible for you.
The adoption process
Illinois has recognized the rights of LGBTQ individuals and couples to adopt children since the passage of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act in 2011. The process for LGBTQ couples is essentially the same as for heterosexual couples, beginning with an application to a licensed adoption agency. An adoption evaluation will assess whether you are suitable to be adoptive parents and, if so, will provide you with information about potential birth parents or awaiting children who would be a good match.
Types of adoptions available
According to GLBTQ family law, there are several different types of adoption available to LGBTQ couples in Illinois. The common ones include:
- Domestic adoption, which involves placing a newborn baby with an adoptive family within their own state, often through a private agency.
- Foster Care Adoption, where the adopted child is already under the state’s care and transitioning into a permanent adoptive home.
- International Adoption, where an agency places an infant or older child with an adoptive family in another country
- Step-parent Adoption, which involves a family member of the same or opposite sex as one of the adoptive parents adopting a minor child who is already in the care of that parent.
Finding an LGBTQ-friendly agency
When selecting an adoption agency, it is important to ensure that they support and welcome LGBTQ couples. You should ask your potential agency about their policies and procedures related to LGBTQ adoptions, such as whether they work with birth mothers who prefer same-sex adoptive parents or if they provide counseling services specifically geared towards LGBTQ families.
Overall, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, Illinois’s adoption process is designed to ensure that all families have the opportunity to create loving homes for children. It is important to do your research and select an agency that will fully support you throughout this exciting journey.