happens after we complete an application?
will be asked to complete the licensing process, which includes a background
check, fingerprinting, a medical exam, training, and several visits to
your home by a worker to complete a home study. We'll also have several
group and/or individual opportunities to share information. The agency
will give you as many "tools" as possible to help prepare you for adoptive
parenthood. The social worker wilt want to get to know you well, so a
good "match" can be made between a child's special needs and your family's
special strengths. Together, you and the social worker will decide whether
there is a waiting child who could benefit from becoming a part of your
long does it take?
you are interested in a waiting child, the time it takes us to get to
know you will vary. Three months, on the average, should be adequate to
determine what kind of child you are best suited to parent. Then we work
to match you with a child.
do we get to meet the children?
you are ready for a child to be placed with you, we will work with you
to find a child who would benefit from being a part of your family. We
will tell you about the child and you will see a photograph of the child.
tell you about the child's background, his/her personality, and his/her
strengths and weaknesses. Then, we'll ask you to decide whether you are
seriously interested in him/her before you meet him/her. If you think
this sounds like a child who would be a good in match for your family
or a child you believe you could parent, we'll arrange for you to meet
... perhaps casually at first. If it appears this is a good match for
your family and the child, we will begin pre-placement visits, including
overnight visits. These visits give you a chance to get to know each other.
They go on for as long as necessary, from a week to several months. Then
comes the great day when your new child comes to stay.
keep hearing about "the waiting children. Who are they?
children are children who are under the supervision of DCFS. They are
of all ages and race, and both mate and female. The majority of the children
are over 6 years old. The majority are African-American, and there are
more boys than girls. We are especially looking for homes for sibling
groups, which may be 2 or 3 children, and occasionally more. Some of the
children have medical or other special needs.
are these children? Can we see them?
children waiting to be adopted are living in foster homes. Some will be
adopted by their foster parents, while others need new families. A few
are in residential facilities. There is a listing book with pictures and
descriptions of many of Illinois' waiting children.
Adoption Information Center of Illinois oversees the updating of the listing
book. The Adoption Information Center of Illinois is located at 188 West
Randolph Street, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60601. Their phone number is 800/572-2390.
After the initial screening, you are welcome to look through the book
to get a better idea of who these youngsters are. We can't promise you
a specific child from the book because another home may be ready before
yours. But once you're prepared for adoption, if the child who caught
your eye is still waiting and we all agree that yours would be a good
home, we will make the contact for you.
the children are in foster homes now, won It it be hard for them to move
to a new adoptive home?
it will. It is always hard on a child to leave a place that has been home.
Careful work must be done with the child to prepare for the move. While
pre-placement visits will help, it is reasonable to expect that you and
your new child will have some adjustments to make. We will try to help
you understand some of the reasons for these problems, and find the solutions
before you encounter them. Your love, attention, patience and understanding
will be necessary to help your child during these periods. We strongly
believe the benefits of a permanent home will soon outweigh the temporary
we adopt more than one child?
indeed! There are many brothers and sisters waiting to be adopted and
we especially welcome families able to take siblings. We have many families
who adopt a child and decide later that they want to adopt more children.
we have problems after we get the child, will the agency help us?
We will give you all the help we can. During the waiting period of at
least six months before you go to court to finalize the adoption, we will
have regular visits with you and will be on call to help with problems
that arise. You should call us right away, rather than wait until a problem
escalates. Even after the child is legally a part of your family, there
are adoption preservation programs statewide to assist you.
I need help with my child after the adoption is finalized can the agency
When you are having problems call us right away. We will refer you to
an adoption preservation program even after the child is legally a part
of your family. The adoption preservation service provider will do an
assessment of your family, provide therapy when indicated, advocate on
your behalf for other beneficial services and initiate help in finding
support groups and services for you and your children.
if we meet a child, have a few visits, and then decide he/she just isn't
the one for us?
is one purpose of the "get acquainted" period. We want you to
be sure this is a child you can love and care for. If you feet it just
won't work, you don't have to feet guilty. We will talk about what went
wrong and try to get a better idea of the right kind of child for your
family. You may have to wait a while until we can better match you and
a child to your family or until the kind of child you really want needs
we get a child who doesn't have problems?
children, whether they are biological or adopted, are "problem free."
The kinds and degrees of problems will vary. Some children react in many
different ways. Some want to see if you mean what you say about loving
them and being a family forever. Your family is the chance these children
need. Your family, love, attention and understanding, will help the child
adjust as quickly as possible. Many adoptive children need help at different
times in the adoption process. Their past experiences may mean that you
will need to acquire support services at various developmental stages.
Those services are available.
did these children have to leave their parents in the first place?
are almost as many reasons as there are children. Some children are given
up for adoption because their parents realize they cannot adequately care
for them. Other children come to us through the courts because they have
been abused or neglected by their parents. When families cannot be reunited,
we must look for new permanent homes for the children.
have some children had to wait so long for an adoptive home?
process of terminating both parents' legal rights is very thorough, sometimes
complicated and lengthy. However, recent changes in the state's adoption
law and practice make it simpler to free children for adoption and prevent
them from spending needless years in foster care. We have a renewed focus
on finding permanent homes for children.
it cause problems if we adopt a child who remembers hislher parents?
is a different situation from adopting an infant who has never known any
other parents. It means we must work with the children to prepare them
for adoption, making sure they understand why they can't return to their
birth parents. That kind of preparation is our job. Then you take over
and help them adjust by talking freely about other places they have lived
and by respecting their need to think well of their birth parents and
foster parents. Sometimes older children keep in touch with various relatives
including birth parents or former foster parents, and that does not mean
they do not love their adoptive family.
are Adoptive parents?
is not a list of specific requirements; most of the time a person who
is interested in adopting one of the waiting children and who can give
a child loving care is eligible to adopt. Adoptive parents:
be single, married, or divorced.
or may not have birth children.
be able to financially manage the addition of a child to your family,
although there are no specific income requirements. There is a program
available to help families with expenses, including medical expenses
and ongoing financial expenses for waiting children who are eligible.
have room for another child, but you do not have to own a home.
have no criminal history that would prevent licensure to adopt.
much does it cost to adopt?
agency charges nothing. You pay only the lawyer and court fee. If you
adopt an eligible waiting child, we can pay the legal and court costs
of the adoption, and provide you with a monthly subsidy to help pay the
a child's birth parents ever try to get him/her back?
is a common concern of adoptive parents. Recent, highly publicized court
battles for children have made everyone realize how important it is that
all legal procedures are completed before the adoption. One advantage
of adopting through a licensed agency is that you can be confident every
legal safeguard has been taken to protect you and your adopted child.
The parents of all children that are available to be adopted by us have
either had their parental rights legally terminated or have legally surrendered
their children for adoption.
if we adopt a child and when he/she is older he/she wants to find hislher
adopted people are curious about their original family. This sometimes
happens, particularly during adolescence, when young people are trying
to sort out who they are. Often, we can give you enough information about
your child's original family to satisfy their curiosity. It is not always
easy for an adopted person to find out about his/her past. If your child
feels it necessary to try, it's best if you relax and help in any way
you can. Keep in mind that curiosity is natural and does not mean that
your child wants to return to their original family. Your child will love
you all the more if you can understand his/her need to know about early
years. The Department of Children and Family Services contracts with an
agency to assist with this process.
can I get information on adoption?
your nearest office of the Department of Children and Family Services
or call the Adoption Information Center of Illinois at 1-800-572-2390.