Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Illinois

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Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, §§ 50/4.1; 50/5; 50/13; 50/14

If the child is a habitual resident of a country other than the United States and the petitioner is a habitual resident of the United States, the adoption of the child shall comply with the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. § 14901, et seq.), as amended, and the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101, et seq.), as amended. In the case of an intercountry adoption that requires oversight by the adoption services governed by the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012, this State shall not impose any additional preadoption requirements.

In the case of a child born outside the United States or a territory thereof, if the prospective adoptive parents of the child have been appointed guardians of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction in a country other than the United States or a territory thereof, such parents shall file a petition to adopt the child within 30 days after entry of the child into the United States.

A petition to adopt a child other than a related child shall state the following:

  • The full names of the petitioners and, if minors, their respective ages
  • The place of residence of the petitioners and the length of residence of each in the State of Illinois immediately preceding the filing of the petition
  • When the petitioners acquired custody of the child and the name and address of the persons or agency from whom the child was received
  • The name, the place and date of birth if known, and the sex of the child sought to be adopted
  • The relationship, if any, of the child to each petitioner
  • The names, if known, and the place of residence, if known, of the parents
  • If it is alleged that the child has no living parent, then the name of the guardian, if any, of the child and the court that appointed the guardian
  • The name to be given the child
  • That the person or agency that has authority to consent has consented to the adoption of the child by the petitioners
  • Whatever orders, judgments, or decrees have previously been entered by any court affecting (1) adoption or custody of the child or (2) the adoptive, custodial, or parental rights of either petitioner

As soon as practicable after the filing of a petition for adoption the court shall hold a hearing. In the case of a child born outside the United States or a territory thereof, if the petitioners have previously been appointed guardians of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction in a country other than the United States or a territory thereof, the court may order that the petitioners continue as guardians of such child.

Upon the expiration of 6 months after the date of any interim order affirming the guardianship of the petitioners, the petitioners may apply to the court for a judgment of adoption. After the hearing on the application, at which the petitioners and the child shall appear in person, unless their presence is waived by the court for good cause shown, the court may enter a judgment for adoption, provided the court is satisfied from the report of the investigating agency or the person making the investigation and from the evidence, if any, that the adoption is for the welfare of the child and that there is a valid consent or that no consent is required.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, §§ 50/5; 50/14

Upon the filing of the petition, the petitioners shall furnish the clerk of the court in which the petition is pending such information not contained in the petition as shall be necessary to enable the clerk to complete a certificate of adoption.

Prior to the entry of the judgment for order of adoption, each petitioner and each person, agency, association, corporation, institution, society, or organization involved in the adoption of the child, except a child welfare agency, shall execute an affidavit setting forth the hospital and medical costs, legal fees, counseling fees, and any other fees or expenditures paid.

Background Studies

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/6

Within 10 days after the filing of a petition for the adoption of a child other than a related child, the court shall appoint a child welfare agency approved by the Department of Children and Family Services or a person deemed competent by the court to investigate accurately, fully, and promptly the allegations contained in the petition. The investigation shall examine the character, reputation, health, and general standing in the community of the petitioners; the religious faith of the petitioners and, if ascertainable, of the child sought to be adopted; and whether the petitioners are proper persons to adopt the child and whether the child is a proper subject of adoption. The investigation shall include a fingerprint-based criminal background check by the Illinois State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The criminal background check shall not be more than 2 years old.

The information acquired from the investigation shall be presented to the court in a written report. The results of the criminal background check shall be provided to the court for its review. The court may, in its discretion, weigh the significance of the results of the criminal background check against the entirety of the background of the petitioners. The court, in its discretion, may accept the report of the investigation previously made by a licensed child welfare agency if the investigation was made within 1 year prior to the entry of the judgment.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/6; Admin. Code Tit. 89, § 309.160

In the case of a child born outside the United States or a territory thereof, in addition to the investigation required under § 50/6(A), a postplacement investigation shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Child Care Act of 1969 (225 ILCS 10/1, et seq.), the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (45 ILCS 15/0.01, et seq.), and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (750 ILCS 50/1, et seq).

In regulation: Postplacement services are provided to the child and adoptive family from the date of placement of the child in the adoptive home to the date of finalization of the adoption for the following purposes:

  • Continuing the preparation of the child for adoption
  • Ensuring the health and safety of the child
  • Ensuring successful integration of the child in the adoptive home
  • Providing continuing support and placement stabilization in order to minimize the risk of placement disruption
  • Facilitating adoption finalization

During the postplacement period, the following support will be provided:

  • The department or adoption agency will help the family recognize successes, understand the stages of adjustment, and assume a decision-making role on behalf of the child.
  • The department or adoption agency will continue to assess the child and family after placement has occurred to ensure that all existing and potential needs have been identified and appropriate support services are in place prior to finalization.
  • The services provided by the department or adoption agency will be related to the needs of the adoptive family and the special needs of the adopted child, particularly if the child is older; has medical conditions, or physical, mental, or emotional disabilities; or is of a different ethnic, racial, or cultural background than the adoptive family. The assessment will explore the level of attachment occurring within the adoptive family and will utilize specific activities designed to promote and enhance attachment.
  • The department or adoption agency will encourage discussion of the child's background to include specific behaviors exhibited by the child to ensure their understanding and acceptance.
  • The department or adoption agency will provide information relating to potential behaviors that may be exhibited by the child and assist the family in dealing with specific behaviors and problems that may arise.
  • The department or adoption agency will make reasonable efforts to ensure that services are accessible and that referrals have been made where appropriate.
  • Information relating to the finalization of the adoption is provided to the family and efforts are directed toward completing all necessary reports required prior to finalization.

The department or adoption agency will schedule regular in-person contacts with the family and child following placement until the adoption is finalized.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/17

After either the entry of an order terminating parental rights or the entry of a judgment of adoption, the natural parents of a child sought to be adopted shall be relieved of all parental responsibility for the child and shall be deprived of all legal rights as respects the child, and the child shall be free from all obligations of maintenance and obedience as respects the natural parents.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/19; Ch. 410, § 535/16.1

Upon the entry of a judgment of adoption, the clerk of the court that entered the judgment shall prepare a certificate of adoption and send the certificate to the Department of Public Health, pursuant to the Vital Records Act.

When it appears from a certificate of adoption transmitted to the State Registrar of Vital Records that the child was born outside of the United States or its territories, then, upon submission to the State registrar of evidence as to the child's birth date and birthplace provided by the original birth certificate, or by a certified copy, extract, or translation thereof or by other document essentially equivalent thereto (the records of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or of the U.S. Department of State to be considered essentially equivalent thereto), the State registrar shall make and file a record of foreign birth. The record of foreign birth shall include the actual place and date of birth, the child's name and parentage as ordered in the judgment of adoption and any other necessary facts.