Consent to Adoption - Illinois

Date: October 2021

Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/8(b)

Consent is required of the following persons:

  • The mother
  • The father if the father:
    • Was married to the mother on the date of birth of the child or within 300 days before the birth of the child
    • Is the father by adoption, an order of parentage, or an acknowledgment of parentage or paternity
    • Openly lived with the child, the child's birth mother, or both and held himself out to be the child's birth father during the first 30 days following the birth of the child
    • Made a good-faith effort to pay a reasonable amount of the expenses related to the birth of the child and to provide a reasonable amount for the financial support of the child
    • Has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child
    • Has registered in a timely manner with the Putative Father Registry
  • The legal guardian of the person of the child if there is no surviving parent
  • An agency if the child has been surrendered for adoption to the agency
  • Any person or agency having legal custody of a child by court order, if the parental rights of the parents have been terminated

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/12

A child who is age 14 or older must consent. The court may waive consent if the child needs mental treatment or is a person with an intellectual disability.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/8(a)

Consent is not required when the person whose consent or surrender would otherwise be required shall be found by the court to be any of the following:

  • To be an unfit person
  • Not to be the birth or adoptive father of the child
  • To have waived his or her parental rights to the child
  • To be the parent of an adult sought to be adopted
  • To be the father of the child as a result of criminal sexual abuse or assault
  • To be the father of a child who:
    • Is a family member of the mother of the child, and the mother is under age 18 at the time of the child's conception
    • Is at least 5 years older than the child's mother, and the mother was under age 17 at the time of the child's conception, unless the mother and father voluntarily acknowledge the father's paternity of the child by marrying or by establishing the father's paternity

When Consent Can Be Executed

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/9

The mother's consent shall not be taken less than 72 hours after the child's birth. A father may consent before or after the birth of the child.

Consent may be given to a standby adoption by a terminally ill parent to become effective when the parent dies or requests finalization.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, §§ 50/8; 50/10

The execution and verification of the petition by any petitioner who is also a parent of the child sought to be adopted shall be sufficient evidence of that parent's consent to the adoption.

Consent to an agency may be taken by an agency representative. In a direct placement, consent is acknowledged in court unless the court waives the appearance.

If the person signing a consent is in the military service of the United States, the consent may be acknowledged before a commissioned officer, and the signature of that officer on the certificate shall be verified or acknowledged before a notary public.

Forms to be used are contained in the statute.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, §§ 50/11; 50/9

A consent to adoption by a parent, including a minor, or a surrender of a child by a parent, including a minor, to an agency for the purpose of adoption shall be irrevocable unless it was obtained by fraud or duress. No action to void or revoke a consent or surrender for adoption, including an action based on fraud or duress, may be commenced after 12 months from the date the consent was executed.

The consent or surrender of a parent who is a minor shall not be voidable because of such minority.

If the father consents before the birth of the child, that consent may be revoked within 72 hours after the birth.

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