The procedure for adopting children in Illinois is fairly straightforward, yet intensive. Multiple background checks are required, as well as home study and often fees paid to adoption agencies. The procedure for adult adoption is somewhat different, especially since adults, in most cases, are of an age and ability to weigh in on the issue. If you are interested in adopting an adult as a member of your family, it is important to ensure you are familiar with the law.
Why Adopt an Adult?
While it may seem strange to adopt adults, given that it is not possible in many other countries, many states in the U.S. preserve that right, Illinois included. Sometimes, doing so is necessary in order to legally formalize relationships that already exist in practice. For example, if a child grows to adulthood under the care of a stepfather or other guardian without a legal, familial relationship, that parental figure may be excluded from certain relevant decisions. Many people believe that a stepparent has a legal right to make decisions for a spouse’s child, but this is not the case in Illinois; a stepparent must adopt or otherwise be assigned rights over the child before he or she has any say in that child’s welfare, whether the child is a minor or an adult.