TITLE 89: SOCIAL SERVICES

                        CHAPTER III:  DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES

                                               SUBCHAPTER a:  SERVICE DELIVERY

 

                                                                     PART 309

ADOPTION SERVICES FOR CHILDREN

FOR WHOM THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES

IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE

 

 

Section

309.10             Purpose

309.20             Definitions

309.30             Recruitment of Adoptive Families

309.40             Adoption Listing Services

309.50             Identification of Children for Potential Adoption Planning

309.60             Legal Risk Placements

309.70             Freeing Children for Adoption

309.80             Termination of Parental Rights

309.90             Putative Father Registry

309.100           Preparation of Children for Adoption

309.105           Who May Adopt a Child

309.110           Preparation and Training of Adoptive Families

309.120           Preparation of the Child’s Biological Parents

309.130           Placement Considerations

309.140           Placement of Children with Adoptive Families

309.150           Providing Information to Adoptive Families

309.160           Post-Placement Services

309.170           Post-Adoption Services

309.180           Adoption Assistance

309.190           Adoption Registry

 

AUTHORITY:  Implementing and authorized by Sections 4 and 5 of the Children and Family Services Act [20 ILCS 505/4 and 5] and the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50]; implementing the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (42 USCA 670 et seq; 45 CFR 1356.40 and 1356.41); and the Adoption and Safe Families Act (42 USCA 1305).

 

SOURCE:  Adopted at 22 Ill. Reg.  8769, effective May 15, 1998; amended at 23 Ill.  Reg. 11098, effective September 16, 1999; amended at 25 Ill. Reg. 11778, effective September 14, 2001; amended at 26 Ill. Reg., effective October 23, 2002.


Section 309.10  Purpose

 

The purpose of this Part is to describe adoption services available to children for whom the Department of Children and Family Services is legally responsible.  These services include the recruitment, selection, preparation and training of adoptive families, the identification and preparation of children for adoption, and adoptive placement and finalization. This Part also describes supportive services to adoptive families and children. These services include adoption assistance, adoption registry services, adoption preservation and post-adoption services. 

 

Section 309.20  Definitions

 

"Adoption assistance" or "adoption subsidy" means financial assistance and other services from the Department which are provided to the adoptive parents after the finalization of an adoption of a child with special needs as defined in Section 309.180.

 

"Adoption placement" means a living arrangement with a family which is directed toward establishing that family as the child's new legal parents.

 

"Adoption triad" means the adoptive family, the adoptee (child being adopted) and the biological family.

 

“Adult” means a person who has attained the age of 18.

 

“Agency” means a public child welfare agency or a licensed child welfare agency.

 

“Attachment” means the lasting psychological tie between two people who have significance for each other that endures through space and time and serves to join them emotionally.

 

“Best interests” as defined in the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 means consideration of the following factors in the context of the child’s age and developmental needs:

 

-           the physical safety and welfare of the child, including food, shelter, health, and clothing;

 

-           the development of the child’s identity;

 

-           the child’s background and ties, including familial and religious;

 

-           the child’s sense of attachments, including:

 

-           where the child actually feels love, attachment, and a sense of being valued (as opposed to where adults believe the child should feel such love, attachment, and a sense of being valued);

 

-           the child’s sense of security;

 

-           the child’s sense of familiarity;

 

-           continuity of affection for the child;

 

-           the least disruptive placement alternative for the child;

 

-           the child’s wishes and long-term goals;

 

-           the child’s community ties, including church, school, and friends;

 

-           the child’s need for permanence which includes the child’s need for stability and continuity of relationships with parent figures and with siblings and other relatives;

 

-           the uniqueness of every family and child;

 

-           the risks attendant to entering and being in substitute care; and

 

-           the preferences of the persons available to care for the child. [705 ILCS 405/1-3]

 

“Certification training” means training directed toward preparing a family to adopt a child for whom the Department of Children and Family Services is legally responsible and may consist of the following different types of training:

 

-           six hours of standardized training for foster care conversion adoptions which means that a foster parent or relative caregiver is adopting a child who has been in his or her care; or

 

-           six hours of standardized training and an additional individualized training plan specific to the child’s needs for adoptive parents who have not had the child in their care prior to the adoptive placement; or

 

-           training specified by private child welfare agencies who meet the standards of the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.

 

“Children for whom the Department of Children and Family Services is legally responsible” means children for whom the Department has temporary protective custody, custody or guardianship via court order, or children whose parents have signed an adoptive surrender or voluntary placement agreement with the Department.

 

"Confidential intermediary" is an individual appointed by the court for the purpose of obtaining from biological parents or siblings of an adopted person information concerning the background of a psychological or genetically-based medical problem experienced or which may be experienced by the adopted person or obtaining assistance in treating such a problem.  [750 ILCS 50/18.3a] A confidential intermediary is obliged by law to protect the identity and privacy of the biological family as well as that of the adoptive family and adopted person.

 

“Consent to adoption by a specified person” is a voluntary act by the parents to relinquish all parental rights of a child to a person or persons specified by the parents in the specific consent document. Consent to adoption by a specified person is further described in Section 309.70 (Freeing Children for Adoption).

 

“Internal legal screening” means an internal review required by the Department prior to referring a case for termination of parental rights for the purpose of freeing a child for adoption.  Depending on local practice, a representative of the State’s Attorney’s Office may participate in the screening.  The purpose of the screening is to determine whether sufficient grounds for termination of parental rights exist and whether adoption is in the best interest of the child.  Legal screening is further described in Section 309.80.

 

"Legal risk placement" means the placement with a family of a child, not yet legally free for adoption, made in the best interests of the child with the intent that the family will become an adoptive resource for the child should the child become legally free for adoption.

 

"Parental unfitness" means a finding by the court that a person is unfit to parent a child, without regard to the likelihood that the child will be placed for adoption.  The grounds of unfitness are described in Section 309.50 (Identification of Children for Potential Adoption Planning) and in the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50].

 

"Persons approved for adoption” mean persons who have been licensed as a foster family home in accordance with 89 Ill. Adm. Code 402 (Licensing Standards for Foster Family Homes) or relative caregivers with whom children have been placed in accordance with 89 Ill. Adm. Code 301 (Placement and Visitation Services) and who also meet the certification requirements of Section 309.110(c) of this Part.

 

"Post-adoption services" are services meant to assist and support the family in maintaining itself in a healthy and nurturing environment and in preserving the adoption. Post-adoption services may include, but are not limited to, social, psychological, psychiatric, health, educational and adoption preservation services. Financial services are available to families and adoptees following the legal consummation of the adoption, when they are eligible for adoption assistance.  Post-adoption services also address the needs of adult adoptees and their biological families to seek information and contact, when desired.

 

"Putative father" means a male, regardless of age, who may be a child's father, but who was not married to the child's mother on or before the date that the child was or is to be born and for whom paternity of the child has not been established in a court proceeding.

 

"Surrender for adoption" is a voluntary act by the parents to relinquish all parental rights of a child to an agency for the purpose of placing the child for adoption.

 

"Termination of parental rights" is a legal action of the court or a voluntary action by the parents which relieves the birth parents of a child of all parental responsibility for the child and deprives them of all legal rights with respect to the child.

 

(Source: Amended at 25 Ill. Reg. 11778, effective September 14, 2001).


Section 309.30  Recruitment of Adoptive Families

 

The Department shall make special efforts for the diligent recruitment of potential adoptive families that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of the children for whom adoptive homes are needed. Special efforts shall include contacting and working with community organizations and religious organizations and may include contracting with those organizations, utilizing local media and other resources, and conducting outreach activities.[20 ILCS 505/7]

 

Section 309.40  Adoption Listing Services

 

a)         The Department or its agent shall maintain coded listings which include the names and addresses of persons who have applied for and have been approved for the adoption of a child. The listings shall also include the names of children for whom:

 

1)         the Department has determined after an internal legal screening that adoption is in the best interests of the child and there are sufficient grounds for termination of parental rights; and 

 

2)         two weeks have passed since the internal legal screening determination and an adoptive resource has not yet been identified for the child.

 

b)         The purpose of the adoption listing service is to enable caseworkers to aggressively identify adoptive parents and children for whom adoption is in their best interests.

 

c)         When it can be demonstrated that it would be contrary to the child’s best interests to list the child due to the child’s mental health problems, the child shall not be listed. This exception must be reviewed and reapproved by the Department’s Regional Administrator every six months.

 

d)         Child welfare agencies that provide adoption services on behalf of children for whom the Department is legally responsible are to submit to the Department's agent, for inclusion in the coded listing, the names and addresses of all persons who have applied for and been approved for adoption of a child, who are waiting for a child and who have authorized the listing.  In addition, child welfare agencies shall also submit to the Department’s agent for inclusion in the coded listing, the names of such children who have not been placed for adoption.  The Department’s agent is:

 

Adoption Information Center of Illinois 

188 W. Randolph, Suite 600

Chicago, Illinois 60601

(800)-572-2390

 


 

e)         The Department or its agent shall make the coded listings available, without charge, to every child welfare agency in the state in a format which, in accordance with 89 Ill. Adm. Code 431, Confidentiality of Personal Information of Persons Served by the Department of Children and Family Services, protects the confidentiality of the persons seeking to adopt and of the child not yet placed for adoption. 

 

d)         Information regarding the child shall be made available as follows:

 

1)         Information that is not included in the listing book, but is provided to child welfare agencies that provide adoption services, shall include specific personal information about the child, including, but not limited to, if applicable, the child’s mental health history, HIV test results or diagnosis of AIDS, or parental alcohol or substance abuse history.

 

2)         Information provided to the general public shall be limited to general information about the child such as the child’s personality, likes, dislikes, interests and activities.  More specific personal information shall only be provided to persons who have expressed an interest in a specific child and are seriously considering adopting the child.

 

Section 309.50  Identification of Children for Potential Adoption Planning 

 

a)         The Department shall immediately consider for all children under its care the possibility of adoption when exploring permanency options, and begin adoption planning when it is in the child's best interests and when either the grounds for parental unfitness as defined in the Adoption Act described in subsection (b) below are present or other additional factors as described in subsection (c) or (d) of this Section are present.

 

b)         When any of the grounds for parental unfitness, as defined in the Adoption Act, or expedited termination of parental rights are identified, the following actions shall be taken:

 

1)         the parents shall explore the opportunity to voluntarily surrender their child for adoption or consent to the adoption of their child by a specified person as described in Section 309.70(c) or (d); or

 

2)         if the parents are unwilling to voluntarily surrender or consent to the adoption of the child, the case shall be referred for an internal legal screening in accordance with Section 309.80 (Termination of Parental Rights) to determine whether to seek involuntary termination of parental rights.

 

c)         The following grounds of parental unfitness are defined in Section 1 of the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50/1] and should be considered when adoption is in the best interests of the child:

 

1)         Abandonment of the child. Abandonment of a newborn infant in a hospital. Abandonment of a newborn infant in any setting where the evidence suggests that the parent intended to relinquish his or her parental rights.

 

2)         Failure to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the child's welfare.

 

3)         Desertion of the child for more than three months next preceding the commencement of the adoption proceeding.

 

4)         Substantial neglect of the child if continuous or repeated.  Substantial neglect, if continuous or repeated, of any child residing in the household which resulted in the death of that child.

 

5)         Extreme or repeated cruelty to the child.

 

6)         Two or more findings of physical abuse to any children under Section 4-8 of the Juvenile Court Act or Section 2-21 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 [705 ILCS 405], the most recent of which was determined by the juvenile court hearing the matter to be supported by clear and convincing evidence; a criminal conviction or a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity resulting from the death of any child by physical abuse; or a finding of physical child abuse resulting from the death of any child under Section 4-8 of the Juvenile Court Act or Section 2-21 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

 

7)         Failure to protect the child from conditions within his environment injurious to the child's welfare.

 

8)         Other neglect of, or misconduct toward, the child; provided that in making a finding of unfitness the court hearing the adoption proceeding shall not be bound by any previous finding, order or judgement affecting or determining the rights of the parents toward the child sought to be adopted in any other proceeding except such proceedings terminating parental rights as shall be had under either the Adoption Act, the Juvenile Court Act or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

 

9)         Depravity.

 

A)         Conviction of any one of the following crimes shall create a presumption that a parent is depraved which can be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence:

 

i)          first degree murder in violation of paragraph 1 or 2 of subsection (a) of Section 9-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or conviction of second degree murder in violation of subsection (a) of Section 9-2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 of a parent of the child to be adopted;

 

ii)         first degree murder or second degree murder of any child in violation of the Criminal Code of 1961;

 

iii)         attempt or conspiracy to commit first degree murder or second degree murder of any child in violation of the Criminal Code of 1961;

 

iv)         solicitation to commit murder of any child, solicitation to commit murder of any child for hire, or solicitation to

commit second degree murder of any child in violation of the Criminal Code of 1961; or

 

v)         aggravated criminal sexual assault in violation of Section 12-14 (b) (1) of the Criminal Code of 1961.

 

B)         There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent is depraved if the parent has been criminally convicted of at least 3 felonies under the laws of this State or any other state, or under federal law, or the criminal laws of any United States territory; and at least one of these convictions took place within 5 years of the filing of the petition or motion seeking termination of parental rights.

 

C)        There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent is depraved if that parent has been criminally convicted of either first or second degree murder of any person as defined in the Criminal Code of 1961 within 10 years of the filing date of the petition or motion to terminate parental rights.

 

10)       Open and notorious adultery or fornication.

 

11)       Habitual drunkenness or addiction to drugs, other than those prescribed by a physician, for at least one year immediately prior to the commencement of the unfitness proceeding. There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent is unfit under this subsection (c) with respect to any child to which that parent gives birth where there is a confirmed test result that at birth the child’s blood, urine, or meconium contained any amount of a controlled substance as defined in subsection (f) of Section 102 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act or metabolites of such substances, the presence of which in the newborn infant was not the result of medical treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant; and the biological mother of this child is the biological mother of at least one other child who was adjudicated a neglected minor under subsection (c) of Section 2-3 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

 

12)       Failure to demonstrate a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of a newborn child during the first 30 days after its birth.

 

13)       Failure by a parent to make reasonable efforts to correct the conditions that were the basis for the removal of the child from the parent, or to make reasonable progress toward the return of the child to the parent within 9 months after an adjudication of neglected or abused minor or dependent minor under the Juvenile Court Act or the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.  If a service plan has been established as required under Section 8.2 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act to correct the conditions that were the basis for the removal of the child from the parent and if those services were available, then, for purposes of this

Part, “failure to make reasonable progress toward the return of the child to the parent” includes the parent’s failure to substantially fulfill his or her obligations under the service plan and correct the conditions that brought the child into care within 9 months after the adjudication under Section 2-3 or 2-4 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

 

14)       Evidence of intent to forego his or her parental rights, whether or not the child is a ward of the court:

 

A)         as manifested by his or her failure for a period of 12 months:

 

i)          to visit the child,

 

ii)         to communicate with the child or agency, although able to do so and not prevented from doing so by an agency or by court order, or

 

iii)         to maintain contact with or plan for the future of the child, although physically able to do so; or

 

B)         as manifested by the father's failure, where he and the mother of the child were unmarried to each other at the time of the child's birth:

 

i)          to commence legal proceedings to establish his paternity under the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 [750 ILCS 45] or the law of the jurisdiction of the child's birth within 30 days of being informed, pursuant to Section 12a of the Adoption Act, that he is the father or the likely father of the child or, after being so informed where the child is not yet born, within 30 days of the child's birth, or

 

ii)         to make 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, the court to consider in its determination all relevant circumstances, including the financial condition of both parents; provided that the ground for termination provided in this subsection (b) shall only be available where the petition is brought by the mother or the husband of the mother.

 

 17)      Repeated or continuous failure by the parents, although physically and financially able, to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, or shelter.

 

18)       Inability to discharge parental responsibilities supported by competent evidence from a psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker, or clinical psychologist of mental impairment, mental illness or mental retardation as defined in Section 1-116 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code [405 ILCS 5/1-116], or developmental disability as defined in Section 1-106 of that Code, and there is sufficient justification to believe that the inability to discharge parental responsibilities shall extend beyond a reasonable time period. 

 

 19)      The parent has been criminally convicted of aggravated battery, heinous battery, or attempted murder of any child.

 

20)     a finding that at birth the child’s blood, urine or meconium contained any amount of a controlled substance as defined in subsection (f) of Section 102 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or a metabolite of a controlled substance, with the exception of controlled substances or metabolites of such substances, the presence of which in the newborn infant was the result of medical treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant, and that the biological mother of this child is the biological mother of at least one other child who was adjudicated a neglected minor under subsection (c) of Section 2-3 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, after which the biological mother had the opportunity to enroll in and participate in a clinically appropriate substance abuse counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation program.

 

21)       the child is in the temporary custody or guardianship of the Department of Children and Family Services, the parent is incarcerated as a result of criminal conviction at the time the petition or motion for termination of parental rights is filed, prior to incarceration the parent had little or no contact with the child or provided little or no support for the child, and the parent’s incarceration will prevent the parent from discharging his or her parental responsibilities for the child for a period in excess of 2 years after the filing of the petition or motion for termination of parental rights.

 

22)       the child is in the temporary custody or guardianship of the Department of Children and Family Services, the parent is incarcerated at the time the petition or motion for termination is filed, the parent has been repeatedly incarcerated as a result of criminal convictions, and the parent’s repeated incarceration has prevented the parent from discharging his or her parental responsibilities for the child.


 

d)         Expedited Termination of Parental Rights

 

At any time between case opening and 30 days prior to court adjudication, if it becomes known that one or more of the grounds for parental unfitness listed in subsection (d)(1) or (2) exist, the caseworker will seek immediate supervisory consultation to request that a legal screening be convened in accordance with Section 309.80 (Termination of Parental Rights). The purpose of the legal screening will be to determine whether the State’s Attorney should be asked to file a petition for expedited termination of parental rights.

 

1)         Grounds for which expedited termination of parental rights must be sought are:

 

A)         extreme or repeated cruelty to the child;

 

B)         a finding of physical abuse and criminal conviction of aggravated battery of the child;

 

C)        Conviction of: first degree murder in violation of Section 9-1(a)(1) or (2) of the Criminal Code of 1961 or conviction of second degree murder in violation of Section 9-2(a) of the Criminal Code of 1961 of a parent of the child to be adopted; a criminal conviction of first degree murder or second degree murder of any child in violation of the Criminal Code of 1961; a criminal conviction of attempt or conspiracy to commit first degree murder or second degree murder of any child in violation of the Criminal Code of 1961; a criminal conviction of solicitation to commit murder of any child, solicitation to commit murder of any child for hire, or solicitation to commit second degree murder of any child in violation of the Criminal Code of 1961; or a criminal conviction of aggravated criminal sexual assault in violation of Section 12-14(b)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961;

 

D)        abandonment of a newborn infant in a hospital;

 

E)         abandonment of a newborn infant in a setting where the evidence suggests that the parent intended to relinquish parental rights;

 

F)         incarceration of a parent as a result of a criminal conviction where prior to incarceration the parent had little or no contact with the child or provided little or no support of the child, and the parent’s incarceration will prevent the parent from discharging his or her parental responsibilities for the child for a period of two years after the filing of the petition or motion for termination of parental rights.


 

2)         Grounds for which expedited termination of parental rights shall be considered, and for which the casework supervisor must document the reason for not considering expedited termination of parental rights, are:

 

A)         abandonment of the child (other than a newborn infant);

 

B)         desertion;

 

C)        inability to discharge parental responsibility due to mental illness, mental impairment or developmental disability;

 

D)        a finding that at birth the child’s blood, urine or meconium contained any amount of a controlled substance as defined in subsection (f) of Section 102 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or a metabolite of a controlled substance, with the exception of controlled substances or metabolites of such substances, the presence of which in the newborn infant was the result of medical treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant, and that the biological mother of this child is the biological mother of at least one other child who was adjudicated a neglected minor under subsection (c) of Section 2-3 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, after which the biological mother had the opportunity to enroll and participate in a clinically appropriate substance abuse counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation program.

 

e)         Other additional factors to be considered in identifying the possibility of adoption for a child are:

 

1)         the parents have signed or indicated a desire to sign a consent or surrender for adoption;

 

2)         the parents have previously signed a consent or surrender for adoption with regards to other children in the past and those children were the subjects of abuse, neglect or dependency petitions and/or parental rights have been terminated with regard to other children in the past, thus indicating that there may be risk of harm to other children in the parents’ care; or

 

3)         the parents have made unsatisfactory progress in correcting the conditions which led to the removal of his or her children resulting in a rating of unsatisfactory progress which may be indicative of parental unfitness and return home to either parent is unlikely.


 

f)          The child's case shall be assessed to determine if any of the grounds for parental unfitness or other factors listed above exist:

 

1)         when the Department first assumes custody of the child;

 

2)         within 30 days after case opening; 

 

3)         at each administrative case review; and

 

4)         at no less than quarterly reviews and supervisory meetings.

 

(Amended at 26 Ill. Reg., effective October 23, 2002).

 

Section 309.60  Legal Risk Placements

 

a)         Legal risk placements are selected for children for whom the Department deems such placements are appropriate as described in this Section.  Prior to making a legal risk placement, the Department shall conduct a legal screening in accordance with Section 309.80 to determine whether a legal risk placement is in the child’s best interests.  Legal risk placements may be appropriate, when pursuit of adoption is in the child's best interests, because:

 

1)         any one of the circumstances listed in Section 309.50(b) are present; and

 

2)         placement in a prospective adoptive home willing to adopt the child if the child should become legally free will reduce the necessity of multiple placements of the child or eliminate the length of time the child must wait for an adoptive home; and

 

3)         any one of the following conditions  exist:

 

A)         one parent has surrendered parental rights and the identity of the other parent is unknown;

 

B)         one parent has surrendered parental rights and a diligent search for the absent parent has been unsuccessful;

 

C)        one parent has surrendered parental rights and the identity and whereabouts of the other parent is known and that parent has either made statements indicating a desire to surrender the child or grounds for termination of parental rights exist;

 

D)        the identity and whereabouts of the parents are unknown;

 

E)         termination of parental rights is under judicial appeal; 

 

F)         the child comes from a family in which other siblings have been freed for adoption and there is a strong indication that this child will also become free for adoption;

 

G)        the court having jurisdiction over the child formally or informally requires that the child be placed with a potential adoptive family prior to considering a petition for involuntary termination of parental rights; or

 

H)         the child is currently in a substitute care placement where the foster parents are not seeking to adopt and the State's Attorney has agreed to proceed with a petition to terminate parental rights.

 

b)         Prior to placing a child in a legal risk placement, the Department shall inform prospective adoptive parents of the risks and enter into a written agreement with the prospective adoptive parents which:

 

1)         informs the prospective adoptive parents:

 

A)         that the child is not yet legally free for adoption and may never be available for adoption;

 

B)         of the residual parental rights retained by the biological parents. until the child is free for adoption, unless termination of parental rights is under appeal. Such residual rights, as defined by the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, include the right to reasonable visitation, the right to consent to adoption, the right to determine the child’s religious affiliation, and the responsibility for the child’s support [705 ILCS 405/1-3].

 

C)        of the possibility of the biological parents regaining custody of the child;

 

D)        of the current status of efforts to terminate parental rights and

 

E)         of the status of a diligent search for missing parents, if applicable.

 

2)         states the intent of the prospective adoptive parents to adopt the child and the intent of the Department to seek adoption as a goal for the child if parental rights are terminated;

 

3)         contains the prospective adoptive parents agreement to cooperate with a new permanency plan for the child if termination of parental rights is not achieved.


 

d)         The Department will provide any necessary financial, medical and supportive counseling and services before, during, and after placement of the child in the prospective adoptive parents' home unless:

 

1)         the prospective adoptive parents refuse such assistance; or

 

2)         the supportive counseling and services are unnecessary to the placement of the child; or

 

3)         the child becomes free for adoption and the child will not be eligible for adoption assistance after the adoption is finalized.

 

Section 309.70        Freeing Children for Adoption

 

a)         Children for whom the Department of Children and Family Services is legally responsible are free for adoption when any of the following occurs:

 

1)         both parents of the child have signed adoptive surrenders or consents to adoption by a specified person as described in subsection (c) below; or

 

2)         one parent has signed an adoptive surrender  consent to adoption by a specified person as described in subsection (c) below, and parental rights of the remaining parent have been terminated  through court action or the remaining parent is deceased; or

 

3)         a court has terminated the parental rights of both parents.

 

b)         A child 14 years of age or over who is free for adoption must consent to the adoption.

 

c)         Parents shall be informed that surrenders or consents signed prior to a court determination of abuse, neglect, or dependency may render the child ineligible for adoption assistance.

 

d)         The following criteria apply to a surrender for adoption:

 

1)         The parent or parents must surrender the child to the Department or a child welfare agency as defined by the Child Care Act [225 ILCS 10];

 

2)         The surrender must be on a form that substantially complies with the forms for surrender contained in the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50/10(C)]

 

3)         The surrender authorizes the agency to place the child with a family or individual selected by the agency;

 

4)         The agency consents to the adoption of the child when the adoption proceeding is commenced in court;

 

5)         No surrender assented to by the mother shall be taken within the 72 hour period immediately following the birth of the child;

 

6)         A surrender assented to by the mother not less than 72 hours after the birth of the child is irrevocable unless obtained by fraud or duress;

 

7)         A surrender may be assented to by the father of the child prior to the birth of the child and may be revoked within 72 hours after the birth by proper written notification from the father. If not revoked by the father within 72 hours after the birth of the child, the surrender is irrevocable. The surrender of a child prior to birth must be on a form that substantially complies with the forms for surrender contained in the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50/10(D)].

 

e)         The following criteria apply to a consent to adoption by a specified person:

 

1)         In order to execute a consent to adoption by a specified person:

 

A)         the parent or parents must be the parents of a child in whose interests an abuse or neglect or dependency petition has been filed; and

 

B)         the Department must approve of the consents by conducting an assessment of the person who will adopt the child, including a check of the Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System and a Law Enforcement Agencies Data System check; and

 

C)        the person who is named in the consent as the person who will adopt the child must be a person:

 

i)          in whose physical custody the child has resided for at least six months; or

 

ii)         in whose physical custody at least one sibling of the child who is the subject of this consent has resided for at least six months, and the child who is the subject of the consent is currently residing in this foster home; or

 

iii)         in whose physical custody a child under one year of age has resided for at least three months;

 

2)         The consent shall be valid only if the person(s) specified in the consent adopts the child;

 

3)         The consent shall be void if:

 

A)         a court denies the adoption petition; or


 

B)         the Guardianship Administrator of the Department determines that the specified person(s) will not or cannot complete the adoption or, in the best interests of the child, should not adopt the child; or

 

C)        the specified person or persons do not file a petition to adopt the child within one year after the consent is signed and the birth parent files a motion in court requesting that the consent be voided after the year has elapsed.

 

4)         Within 30 days after the consent becomes void, the Guardianship Administrator of the Department shall make good faith attempts to notify the parent, the court and all additional persons, including the State’s Attorney, the guardian ad litem, attorneys for the parent(s), and the person who would have adopted the child as specified in the consent, that adoption has or will not occur and that the consent is void.

 

5)         If the adoption does not occur, the biological parent(s) who executed the consent must be notified of any further proceedings to terminate parental rights.

 

(Amended at 26 Ill. Reg., effective October 23, 2002)

 

Section 309.80  Termination of Parental Rights

 

a)         When one of the grounds for termination of parental rights appears to exist and return home as a permanency goal for the child is no longer appropriate, the Department shall conduct an internal legal screening.

 

b)         The purpose of an internal legal screening is to determine:

 

1)         whether there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that there are grounds for termination of parental rights;

 

2)         whether it is in the best interests of the child to seek termination of parental rights and, if the child is age 14 or over, whether the child will consent to the adoption; and

 

3)         identification of the steps which need to be completed to permit the filing of a petition to terminate parental rights in accordance with local court practices.

 

c)         In addition, the internal legal screening shall include a review of all potential legal risks in order to advise the Department of the risks involved and the feasibility of the plan.

 

d)         The following persons shall attend the legal screening:

 

1)         the Department's regional legal counsel;

 

2)         the child's worker;

 

3)         a representative from the regional adoption unit; and

 

4)         the worker's supervisor, whenever possible.

 

e)         If a determination is made at legal screening that adoption is in the best interests of the child and there are sufficient legal grounds for termination, the following steps shall be taken:

 

1)         Identification of all interested persons, including all putative fathers who need to be served by the State’s Attorney for purposes of the Juvenile Court proceeding, who have not previously been served;

 

2)         A petition or motion for appointment of guardian with the power to consent to adoption (termination of parental rights) shall be prepared in all counties in which the Department, rather than the local office of the State's Attorney, prepares the petition;

 

3)         Petitions or motions shall be forwarded to the local office of the State's Attorney (outside of Cook County);

 

4)         In Cook County, a referral shall be made to the State's Attorney;

 

5)         The child's worker shall complete all tasks assigned throughout the process;

 

6)         The child’s worker must list a child without an adoptive resource with the Adoption Listing Service in accordance with the requirements of Section 309.40(a); and

 

7)         All necessary paperwork for termination of parental rights must be submitted to the State’s Attorney within 30 days after the internal legal screening.

 

f)          The actual filing and prosecution of a termination of parental rights case rests with the local State's Attorney.

 

g)         If a request is made for a legal screening to determine whether a request shall be made for expedited termination of parental rights in accordance with subsection 309.50(g), the internal legal screening must consist of consultation among at least the caseworker, caseworker’s supervisor, Department regional adoption coordinator, and Department regional legal counsel.  This consultation may take place by telephone.


 

Section 309.90        Putative Father Registry  

 

a)         The Department shall maintain a Putative Father Registry for the purpose of determining the identity and location of a putative father of a child who is, or is expected to be, the subject of an adoption proceeding in order to provide notice of such proceeding to the putative father.

 

b)         The Department shall maintain the following information in the Putative Father Registry:

 

1)         With respect to the putative father:

 

A)         Name of the putative father, including any other names by which the putative father may be known and that he may provide to the Registry;

 

B)         Address at which the putative father may be served with notice of petition under the Adoption Act, including any change of address;

 

C)        The Social Security Number of the putative father;

 

D)        The putative father's birth date; and

 

E)         If applicable, a certified copy of an order by a court of the State of Illinois or of another state or territory of the United States adjudicating the putative father to be the father of the child.

 

2)         With respect to the mother of the child:

 

A)         Name of the mother, including any other names known to the putative father by which the mother may be known;

 

B)         The mother's last address;

 

C)        The mother's Social Security Number; and

 

D)        The mother's date of birth.

 

3)         If known to the putative father, the name, gender, place of birth, and date of birth or anticipated date of birth of the child.

 

4)         The date the Department received the putative father's registration.

 


c)         A putative father may register with the Putative Father Registry before the birth of the child but no later than 30 days after the birth of the child. All registrations shall be in writing and signed by the putative father. 

 

Putative Father Registry

Department of Children and Family Services

160 North LaSalle - 6th Floor

Chicago, Illinois  60601

 

d)         An interested party, including persons intending to adopt a child, a child welfare agency with whom the mother has placed or has given written notice of her intention to place a child for adoption, the mother of the child, or an attorney representing an interested party may request that the Department search the Putative Father Registry to determine whether a putative father is registered in relation to a child who is or may be the subject to an adoption petition.

 

e)         Upon receipt of a search request pursuant to subsection (d) above, the registrar shall issue a certified response from the Putative Father Registry.

 

f)          Except as provided in subsection (d) above, information contained in the Putative Father Registry is confidential and shall not be published or open to public inspection.

 

g)         A person who knowingly or intentionally registers false information under this Section commits a Class B misdemeanor.  A person who knowingly or intentionally releases confidential information in violation of this Section commits a Class B misdemeanor. [750 ILCS 50/12.1]

 

h)         The Putative Father Registry shall not be used to notify a putative father who is the father of a child as a result of criminal sexual abuse or assault as defined under Article 12 of the Criminal Code of 1961.

 

Section 309.100      Preparation of Children for Adoption

 

Preparation of children for adoption begins when adoption has been identified as a potential goal for the child. During this pre-placement phase, specific services are provided to the child for whom adoption is being considered.

 

a)         The Assessment Phase

 

The assessment phase consists of preparation activities initiated before an adoptive home has been identified. The primary purpose of this phase is completion of an assessment to guide the identification of needs to be met and in directing intervention.  Assessments already completed on the following issues should be reviewed, and if needing update, should be updated before deciding whether or not adoption is appropriate for a child:

 

1)         assessing the child in relation to the physical, emotional, educational and social environment;


 

2)         determining the developmental level and potential of the child;

 

3)         gathering and assessing all pertinent information on the child and family,  which includes a complete review of the family history;

 

4)         assessing the child's capacity for attachment; 

 

5)         assessing the child's ability and opportunity to grieve losses;

 

6)         assessing issues involving the child's identity;

 

7)         assessing the child's unique qualities by focusing on the strengths and talents possessed by the child; and

 

8)         assessing the child's understanding of the adoption process and making a determination of the child's desire to move toward an adoptive placement.

 

b)         The Preparation for Placement Phase

 

This phase includes activities that are initiated after the assessment has been completed and reviewed and all the placement considerations have been assessed for applicability for a particular child. Such activities include:

 

1)         Further assessment of the child's knowledge of adoption as a permanency goal, ensuring that the child understands the selection of the family will be a joint decision between the prospective adoptive family, the child and the Department;

 

2)         Sharing descriptive information about the family with the child.

 

3)         Helping the child deal with feelings of separation and loss.

 

4)         Arranging for specific recruitment activities for any child for whom an adoptive resource cannot be located.

 

c)         Diligent Recruitment Requirements

 

If the child's caretaker is not a viable resource for the child, diligent recruitment efforts shall be undertaken to locate adoptive parents who are appropriate to meet the child's needs and best interests, utilizing the placement considerations described in Section 309.130, Placement Considerations.  Diligent recruitment efforts include, but are not limited to:

 

1)         locating relatives who may be willing to adopt the child  and who the Department has reason to believe will be able to adequately  provide for the child’s safety and welfare.


 

2)         a review of the Department's available adoptive resources, contacts with local adoption agencies, and specialized recruitment activities such as parent groups, appropriate religious and civic organizations and service providers, advocacy groups and agencies;

 

3)         a review of the Adoption Listing Service to determine the availability of an appropriate family; and

 

4)         listing the child with the Adoption Listing Service, in accordance with Section 309.40, which includes among its services an interstate search, when necessary, consisting of contacts with other states, and out of state adoption agencies and referral and advocacy agencies to find a suitable adoptive placement.

 

d)         The Department shall not deny or delay the placement of a child for adoption when a suitable person or family who has been approved as an adoptive resource is available outside of the State, region, or county of jurisdiction.

 

Section 309.105      Who May Adopt a Child

 

a)         Any of the following persons, who is under no legal disability (except the minority specified in subsection (a)(2)) and who has resided in the State of Illinois continuously for a period of at least 6 months immediately preceding the commencement of an adoption proceeding, or any member of the armed forces of the United States who has been domiciled in the State of Illinois for 90 days, may institute such proceedings:

 

(1)        A reputable person of legal age and of either sex, provided that if such person is married and has not been living separate and apart from his or her spouse for 12 months or longer, his or her spouse shall be a party to the adoption proceeding, including a husband or wife desiring to adopt a child of the other spouse, in all of which cases the adoption shall be by both spouses jointly;

 

(2)        A minor, by leave of court upon good cause shown.

 

            b)         The residence requirement specified in subsection (a) of this Section shall not apply to an adoption of a related child or to an adoption of a child placed by an agency.  [750 ILCS 50/2]

 

(SOURCE: Added at 23 Ill. Reg., effective September 15, 1999).


 

Section 309.110      Preparation and Training of Adoptive Families

 

The preparation and training of prospective adoptive families will be done in the following four phases:

 

a)         Pre-service Preparation and Education

 

During this first phase the Department or adoption agency will educate prospective adoptive parents in the following areas:

 

1)         the purpose and goals of adoption;

 

2)         the selection process and the criteria for being licensed and certified as adoptive parents;

 

3)         the laws, regulations, policies, resources and values that direct the adoption program;

 

4)         information about the needs and strengths of children who require adoption services;

 

5)         the respective roles of adoptive parents, agencies, and courts;

 

6)         differences between parenting in foster home placement, legal risk placement, and adoptive placement regarding attachment, commitment, relationship with the child's family of origin, expectations, responsibilities, supports and the lifelong impact of adoption;

 

7)         the knowledge and practical skills necessary to become successful adoptive parents; and

 

8)         the knowledge of developmental challenges and changes faced by adoptive families.

 

b)         The Assessment Phase

 

During the assessment phase the Department or adoption agency will:

 

1)         help applicants make an accurate and informed assessment of the strengths they bring to adoption, including the kinds of children they could most successfully parent;

 

2)         help applicants make an accurate assessment of their needs, including the kinds of support they would need from the Department or the adoption agency;

 

3)         make an accurate assessment of the strengths and needs of the prospective adoptive family;


 

4)         match the prospective family's assessment with the Department's or agency's assessment;

 

5)         develop a written strength and needs assessment or family profile to be used to guide placement of specific children; and

 

6)         explore with applicants their willingness to help the child maintain contact with significant relationships in the child's past.

 

c)         The Certification Process

 

The certification process includes completion of the required certification training and an assessment, which includes a written home study which incorporates information from the assessment phase and includes a recommendation regarding the types of children the family is able to parent, which have been approved by the Department or adoption agency supervisor.

 

d)         Post-Certification Phase

 

During this phase the Department or adoption agency will:

 

1)         provide continued support to the family including information regarding children available for adoption;

 

2)         make specialized training available; and

 

3)         introduce adoptive families to adoptive parent support groups and/or master adoptive parents in those areas where they exist.

 

Section 309.120      Preparation of the Child's Biological Parents

 

Preparation of the biological parents of a child for whom an adoptive placement is being sought includes the following:

 

a)         assistance and counseling around issues pertaining to the surrender of parental rights or consent to adoption by a specified person, or in understanding the reasons why, after reunification efforts have been attempted and failed or deemed to be inappropriate, involuntary termination of parental rights is being sought;

 

b)         in instances where the identity of the biological father is unknown, counseling the biological mother about her role and responsibility regarding the identification of the father as required in the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50/11(b)] and explaining the potential consequences if the biological father is not identified;

 

c)         counseling around issues of separation and loss;


 

d)         obtaining necessary non-identifying background information regarding the biological family's social, medical, and psychological history, as well as the prenatal and medical history of the child;

 

e)         affording the biological parents the opportunity to share identifying and non-identifying information with the child, who is being relinquished for adoption, through the Adoption Registry as specified in Section 309.190, Adoption Registry.

 

f)          giving the biological parents the opportunity to express their desires regarding the placement of their child in an adoptive home which meets their religious  and other preferences. The Department will consider the parents' stated preferences, provided they do not delay placement of the child for adoption, are not contrary to the child's best interests, are consistent with applicable law such as the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50], the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (42 USCA 670 et seq.), the Removal of Barriers to Inter-Ethnic Adoptions Provisions of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (42 USCA 671(a) and 674) and Adoption and Safe Families Act (P.L. 105-98).

 

g)         providing information regarding the possibility of continuing contact between the child and the biological parents or other significant persons in the child's life, when such contact is in the child's best interests and compatible with the wishes of the adoptive parents.

 

Section 309.130      Placement Considerations

 

a)         Consideration of the Child's Needs

 

The child's needs and best interests shall be the primary consideration when selecting an adoptive family for a child.  The factors to be considered shall include, but are not limited to: 

 

1)         the wishes of the child under 14 years of age, who demonstrates the maturity and cognitive ability to participate in the decision;

 

2)         the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child;

 

3)         the child's need for stability and continuity of relationship with parent figures;

 

4)         the interaction between the child and the prospective adoptive parent;

 

5)         the prospective adoptive parent's ability to meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child;

 

6)         the prospective adoptive parents' ability and willingness to support, maintain and continue to be sensitive to the child's significant relationships with the child's extended family, siblings, and any other


significant persons who played an important part in the child's life or to whom the child has established significant emotional ties;

 

            7)         the results of an assessment of the child’s capacity for attachment conducted in accordance with subsection (b)(7) below; and

 

            8)         the consent of a child 14 years of age or older.

 

b)         Other Placement Considerations

 

The following factors must also be considered when selecting an adoptive placement for a child:

 

1)         Siblings: Sibling groups are to be placed together whenever possible.  A decision to place siblings apart shall be based on a carefully documented and reviewed determination that such a separation will be in the best interests of all the siblings involved.

 

2)         Foster Parent Preference: In accordance with the Adoption Act, licensed foster parents who have cared for a child for a continuous period of one year or more shall be given preference and first consideration over all other applicants for the adoption of that child in their home when adoption is the permanency goal, the child is legally free for adoption and adoption is in the child’s best interests.

 

3)         Consideration of Relatives: The Department may consider relatives as a potential adoptive resource for children who do not have an identified adoptive resource and are not going to be adopted by their current caregiver.

 

4)         Parenting Capacity of Adoptive Parents: Adoptive parents shall be selected who are likely to retain their parenting capacities or are effectively able to adapt to the needs of the child as they grow, change and develop.  Assessments shall include such information as the family's future plans for financial security, child care and supports for child rearing in the event of a significant illness or death of the adoptive parents.

 

5)         Religion: The best interests of the child shall be the prime consideration in the placement of a child for adoption. A child shall be placed, whenever possible, with adoptive parents holding the same religious belief as that of the child. (See 750 ILCS 50/15).

 

6)         Communication Needs:  In the case of a child who is hearing impaired, the child shall be placed in a home where one of the members is able to communicate in the child's preferred mode of communication; e.g., sign language.  In the case of a limited/non-English speaking child, the child shall be placed in a home where at least one person speaks the child's primary language. In an otherwise suitable adoptive home, placement


shall not be denied if the prospective adoptive parents have enrolled in a language course to learn the method of communication used by the child prior to finalization of the adoption.

 

7)         Level of Attachment: When there is some question about a child’s level of or capacity for attachment, the Department shall assess the child’s level of or capacity for attachment in making an adoptive placement decision.  Such assessments require prior supervisory approval after consultation with Department adoption staff.

 

(SOURCE: Amended at 23 Ill. Reg., effective September 15, 1999).

 

Section 309.140      Placement of Children with Adoptive Families

 

When a specific family is identified as appropriate for the placement of a specific child waiting to be adopted, the Department or adoption agency will:

 

a)         present information on the child to the family to allow the family to make the decision to proceed to the next step in placement;

 

b)         bring the child and family together in a situation designed to offer the family an opportunity to observe the child's appearance and behavior without risk of rejection;

 

c)         arrange a face-to-face meeting between the child and family;

 

d)         plan a series of visits and contacts, usually of progressive duration, to move the child and family toward placement; and

 

e)                  bring about the actual placement of the child with the adoptive family after which appropriate post placement services will be provided in accordance with Section 309.160 of this Part.

 

Section 309.150      Providing Information to Adoptive Families 

 

The Department or adoption agency will provide, if known, to the family identified to adopt the child the following information, in writing, regarding the child as soon as possible, but no later than ten days prior to the date of the adoptive placement or the legal risk placement with prospective adoptive parents in the event the child is not yet free for adoption:

 

a)         Information about the child's biological parents, which shall include:

 

1)         age of the biological parents;

 

2)         their race, religion, cultural and ethnic backgrounds;

 

3)         general physical appearance;

 

4)         their education, occupation, hobbies, interests and talents;

 

5)         existence of any other children born to the biological parents, including the first names and ages of the adopted child’s siblings and additional identifying information with appropriate consents;

 

6)         information about biological grandparents, reason for immigrating into the United States, and country of origin;

 

7)         relationship between biological parents; and

 

8)         detailed medical and mental health history of the biological parents and their immediate relatives as described in subsection (c) below. 

 

b)         Information about the child, which shall include:

 

1)         identifying information which includes name, birth date, place of birth, order of birth, race, sex, physical description;

 

2)         developmental history which includes prenatal, delivery, postnatal, age at which significant milestones were achieved, and significant deficiencies or problems;

 

3)         education, which includes:

 

A)         schools attended, grade level, type of program, present level of functioning, and current teacher;

 

B)         special problems in school; and

 

C)        the child's perception of his or her school experience. 

 

4)         information about the child's personality and behavior, which includes:

 

A)         how the child presents him/herself to the worker;

 

B)         behavior problems, acting-out, delinquency;

 

C)        family's perception of child, role in family, interaction with parents and siblings, with whom the child relates most often, favorite parent or sibling, least favorite parent or sibling, who disciplines, how each child perceives his/her role in the family;

 

D)        child's strengths, interests, skills;

 

E)         religious/cultural beliefs of the child; and

 

F)         child involvement with the agency, including child's perception and involvement  with other agencies, and the legal system;


 

5)         placement history, which includes: 

 

A)         reasons and date the child came into placement:

 

B)         information as to why the child was unable to return to his/her family of origin;

 

C)        number of placements the child has experienced since he/she has been in the care of the Department and reasons for each move; and

 

D)        information pertaining to any physical or sexual abuse or neglect of which the child was the victim or perpetrator. 

 

6)         legal status, which includes:

 

A)         whether the child is free for adoption;

 

B)         whether the placement is a legal risk placement; or

 

C)        whether the child has any other legal involvement.

 

c)         Information about the medical and health histories of the child and the biological parents which shall include: 

 

1)         for the child:

 

A)         significant illnesses, diseases, disabilities, physicians, medications and immunization records;

 

B)         conditions or diseases believed to be hereditary;

 

C)        drugs or medications taken by the child's biological mother during pregnancy;

 

D)        psychological and psychiatric information;

 

E)         any other information that may be a factor influencing the child's present or future physical, mental, or emotional health.

 

2)         for the biological parents:

 

A)         chronic and acute illnesses, hospitalizations, general health of grandparents and siblings, alcohol or other drug abuse;

 

B)         conditions or diseases believed to be hereditary;

 

C)        psychological and psychiatric information;

 

D)        any other information that may be a factor influencing the child's present or future physical, mental, or emotional health. 

 

d)         No information provided under this Section shall disclose the names or last known address of the biological parents, grandparents, siblings of the biological parents, or any other relative of the child to be adopted with the exception of siblings as specified in subsection (a)(5). 

 

Section 309.160      Post Placement Services

 

a)         Purpose of Post Placement Services

 

Post placement services are services 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 purpose of:

 

1)         continuing the activities around the preparation of the child for adoption;

 

2)         ensuring the health and safety of the child;

 

3)         ensuring successful integration of the child in the adoptive home;

 

4)         providing continuing support and placement stabilization in order to minimize the risk of placement disruption and multiple placements of the child; and 

 

5)         facilitating adoption finalization.

 

b)         Services Provided

 

During the post placement period, the primary services the Department will provide are those activities that are directed toward:

 

1)         Empowerment of the Adoptive Family

 

            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.

 

2)         Continued Assessment of the Child and Family

 

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.

 

3)         Assessing Adjustment of the Family and Child to the Placement and Providing Supportive Services

 

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.

 

4)         Further Discussion of the Child's Background Information

 

The Department or adoption agency will encourage discussion of the child's background to include specific behaviors exhibited by the child in order to ensure their understanding and acceptance.

 

5)         Predicting and Interpreting Behaviors and Problem Solving

 

The Department or adoption agency will provide information relating to potential behaviors which may be exhibited by the child and assist the family in dealing with specific behaviors and problems that may arise.

 

6)         Identification of Resources

 

The Department or adoption agency will make reasonable efforts to ensure that services are  accessible and that referrals have been made where appropriate.

 

7)         Completion of Necessary Finalization Papers and Reports

 

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.

 

8)         Disruption Services

 

Although the goal of post-placement services is to maintain the adoptive placement, it may be necessary to provide disruption services when it has been determined that continuation of the placement is not in the best interest of the child and family and removal is necessary.

 

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

 

d)         The length of time between placement and legal adoption may vary due to the uniqueness of each situation, but will extend for at least six months unless


waived by the court.  The actual length of time shall be determined jointly between the worker, the court, and the adoptive parents.

 

Section 309.170      Post-Adoption Services

 

a)         Purpose of Post-Adoption Services

 

Services after adoption of a child are often essential in maintaining the adoptive family unit and empowering families to be advocates in the community for their children's needs. Consequently, the Department will provide post-adoption services in order to reduce the risk of adoption dissolution and to support the goal of permanency in adoption.

 

b)         Post-Adoption Services

 

The Department provides the following post-adoption services either directly or through purchase of service providers:

 

1)         Adoption preservation services will be provided to families with adopted children under age 18. These services are provided in accordance with 89 Ill. Adm. Code 302 (Services Delivered by the Department) Subpart D: Intensive Family Preservation Services, and through other contracts with service providers.

 

2)         Services to families receiving adoption assistance as described in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 302.310 (Adoption Assistance). These services include:

 

A)         assisting families to utilize and access services available to them through adoption assistance;

 

B)         assisting adoptive parents of children with developmental disabilities to access services available through the Illinois Department of Human Services;

 

C)        assisting families who are eligible for conditional adoption assistance to access benefits at such time as their children’s condition warrants treatment or professional intervention.

 

3)         Search and on-going sharing of information among members of the adoption triad. This service includes:

 

A)         providing to adults who had been the legal responsibility of the Department or to biological families of adult adoptees adopted through the Department, when they have requested information in writing:

 

i)          non-identifying information regarding their biological background when requested;

 

ii)         attempts to locate biological family members for purposes of  updating social history and/or medical information, if desired;

 

iii)         identifying information upon the successful completion of a search, when consents that have been witnessed by an adult third party from all members of the adoption triad are received. The Department will provide names, addresses, and telephone numbers so that they may arrange a reunion provided that consents that have been witnessed by an adult third party from all birth parents and adult adoptees are received.

 

iv)        updated medical and psychosocial information between members of the adoption triad, when consents from all birth parents and adult adoptees that have been witnessed by an adult third party have been received.

 

B)         acting as or cooperating with confidential intermediaries appointed by the court in accordance with the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50/18.3a]. In addition, the Department will maintain a list of confidential intermediaries who have been trained and certified by the Department.

 

C)        providing to adoptive parents of minor children, if requested, non-identifying information on a child's background, if this information is available. The Department will also facilitate the exchange of updated medical and psychosocial information between members of the adoption triad and facilitate contact when members of the triad have signed consents that have been witnessed by an adult third party.

 

D)        facilitating contact between adoptees and their siblings when one or more is still in the Department's care or adopted elsewhere  with the consent of the adoptive parents of a minor child that has been witnessed by an adult third party.

 

E)         facilitating contact, with the consent of the adoptive parents that has been witnessed by an adult third party, between adoptees who are minors and significant relationships in the minor adoptee's past when such contact has been established to be necessary to the adoptee's best interests, when all involved parties have provided written consent witnessed by an adult third party for release of such identifying information.

 

4)         Information and referral to services available in the community which would be of benefit to the adoption triad. These services would include, but not be limited to: adoption preservation services, therapists sensitive to the issues of adoption, education advocates to assist families to


obtain special services, mental health agencies, support groups, respite care, financial services and professional search groups. The Department, through its agent, will maintain a listing of post-adoption services and will make this information available to persons upon request.

 

5)         The Department will also provide to any interested adult adoptee, biological parents and siblings information regarding the Illinois Adoption Registry described in Section 309.190 of this Part.

 

c)         Who is Eligible for Post-Adoption Services

 

Post-adoption services are available to:

 

1)         Families who have adopted children for whom the Department of Children and Family Services had legal responsibility immediately preceding the adoption. These families are eligible for the services described in subsection (b)(1), adoption preservation services, (b)(2), adoption assistance, if they meet eligibility criteria, (b)(3), search and ongoing sharing of information, and (b)(4), information and referral.

 

2)         Families who adopt children for whom the Department did not have legal responsibility prior to adoption. These families are eligible for the services described in subsection (b)(1), adoption preservation services, if sufficient financial resources exist after adoption preservation services are provided to children for whom the Department of Children and Family Services had been legally responsible, and subsection (b)(4) information and referral.

 

3)         Biological families of children adopted through the Department. These families are eligible for the services described in subsection (b)(3), search and ongoing sharing of information, and (b)(4) information and referral.

 

(Source: Amended at 23 Ill. Reg., effective September 15, 1999).

 

Section 309.180      Adoption Assistance

 

Adoption assistance may be provided to adoptive parents on behalf of children with special needs in accordance with 89 Ill. Adm. Code 302.310, Adoption Assistance.


 

Section 309.190  Adoption Registry

 

a)         Effective with the establishment of an Adoption Registry under the auspices of the Department of Public Health, the Department of Children and Family Services shall provide information about Adoption Registry services. The address of the Adoption Registry is as follows:

 

The Adoption Registry

Illinois Department of Public Health

605 W. Jefferson

Springfield, Illinois 62702-6553

(217) 782-6553

 

b)         The services shall consist of: 

 

1)         providing written notification to the biological parents who wish to surrender a child for purposes of adoption or wish to consent to the adoption of a child by a specified person which describes the Adoption Registry, the process for recording their names with the Adoption Registry, the procedures for sharing identifying information with the child who was surrendered for adoption or given consent to be adopted by a specified person, and the process for changing the decision to share or refuse to share identifying information;

 

2)         helping the biological parents complete a written statement of intent when a child is voluntarily surrendered for purposes of adoption or given consent to be adopted by a specified person.  The statement shall record:

 

A)         the biological parents’ desire to have identifying information shared with the adopted child at a later date and a method for contacting the biological parents; or

 

B)         the biological parents’ desire not to have identifying information revealed; or

 

C)        that no decision has been reached at this time.

 

3)         helping the biological parents record their names with the Adoption Registry for the purpose of sharing identifying information with their biological children who were surrendered for adoption or given consent to be adopted by a specified person;


 

4)         helping the adopted child, when the child has attained the age of 18, but has not yet reached his or her 21st birthday, to record his or her name with the Adoption Registry for the purpose of sharing identifying information with his or her biological parents provided the Registry has the written consent of:

 

A)         both adoptive parents, or

B)         a single adoptive parent with a certified copy of the Judgement of Adoption, or

C)        proof of the death of one adoptive parent and written consent of the surviving adoptive parent, or

D)        consent of the guardian of the adoptee with a certified copy of the Order of Guardianship;

 

5)         recording specific non-identifying information about the biological parents as required by the Adoption Act [750 ILCS 50/18.4] in the case record. This information shall be given to the prospective adoptive parents when the child is placed for adoption and to the adopted child, upon request, when the child has attained the age of 18;

 

6)         providing identifying information to mutually consenting member of the adoption triad when a written request is received by the Department of Children and Family Services.  If there is an Information Exchange Authorization form on file with the Adoption Registry, this form also must permit the exchange of such information; and

 

7)         other services as authorized by 89 Ill. Adm. Code 302.40 (Department Service Goals).

 

            (Source:  Amended at 23 Ill. Reg., effective September 15, 1999).



INDEX

 


A

Abandonment............................................ 6, 12

Abuse............................................. 7, 8, 11, 13

finding of................................................... 11

Addiction........................................................ 8

Adoption assistance

consents.................................................. 15

Adoption Assistance..................................... 34

Adoption Information Center of Illinois................ 5

Adoption Listing Services................................. 5

child information.......................................... 5

inclusion in................................................. 5

required listing.......................................... 18

Adoption placement

defined....................................................... 2

free for...................................................... 14

preparation for........................................... 21

Adoption Registry.......................................... 35

Adoption triad

defined....................................................... 2

information sharing.................................... 33

Adoptive families

certification............................................... 23

parenting capacities.................................. 26

placement of............................................. 27

post placement services............................ 30

provising information to.............................. 27

recruitment of............................................. 4

training of................................................. 23

Adult adoptee............................................... 33

Adultery......................................................... 8

Agreement

legal risk placement.................................. 14

Attachment................................................... 26

B

Battery......................................................... 10

Best interests

adoption..................................................... 6

adoption listing service................................ 5

adoption planning........................................ 6

attendance at............................................ 18

background............................................... 25

defined....................................................... 2

selecting an adoptive family........................ 25

C

Certification training

defined....................................................... 3

Communicate

with child.................................................... 9

Communication needs................................... 26

Confidential intermediary

defined....................................................... 3

list of........................................................ 33

Consent to adoption...................................... 14

by a specified person.................................. 3

specified................................................... 15

void.......................................................... 17

Controlled substance............................... 10, 12

Conviction..................................................... 11

Cruelty..................................................... 7, 11

D

Depravity........................................................ 7

Desertion....................................................... 6

Drugs............................................................. 8

Drunkenness.................................................. 8

E

Environment

injurious..................................................... 7

Expedited termination

consultation.............................................. 18

of parental rights....................................... 11

F

Failure to protect............................................. 7

Fornication..................................................... 8

Foster parent preference................................ 26

Fraud

and surrenders.......................................... 16

I

Incarceration........................................... 11, 12

Information

background............................................... 25

to adoptive families.................................... 27

L

Legal risk placement

defined....................................................... 4

risks of..................................................... 14

use of....................................................... 13

Legal screening

attendance at............................................ 18

defined....................................................... 3

pupose..................................................... 17

Listings

coded........................................................ 5

M

Murder................................................ 7, 10, 11

N

Neglect..................................................... 7, 12

Newborn............................................... 6, 8, 10

abandonment of........................................ 12

P

Parent

preparation of............................................ 23

search for................................................. 14

whereabouts unknown............................... 14

Parental rights

residual.................................................... 14

Parental unfitness

adoption planning........................................ 6

assessment of.......................................... 13

defined....................................................... 4

grounds...................................................... 6

grounds for............................................... 11

presumption............................................... 7

Paternity...................................................... 10

Persons approved for adoption

defined....................................................... 4

Post adoption services................................... 32

Post placement services................................ 30

Post-adoption services

defined....................................................... 4

Public information........................................... 6

Putative father

defined....................................................... 4

identification of.......................................... 18

Putative Father Registry

address of................................................ 20

search...................................................... 19

R

Reasonable efforts.......................................... 8

Reasonable progress....................................... 8

defined....................................................... 9

Recruitment.................................................... 4

requirements............................................. 21

Relatives........................................... 21, 26, 28

Religion........................................................ 26

S

Sexual assault.............................................. 12

Siblings........................................................ 25

contact between........................................ 33

others adopted.......................................... 14

placing of.................................................. 26

Support

financial.................................................... 10

Surrender

by one parent............................................ 13

for adoption............................................... 12

help to parents.......................................... 35

parents unwilling to..................................... 6

requirements for........................................ 15

soon after birth.......................................... 16

use of....................................................... 13

voluntary................................................. 4, 6

T

Termination of parental rights.......................... 17

appeal...................................................... 14

conviction................................................... 8

defined....................................................... 4

expedited................................................... 6

grounds for.......................................... 11, 12

prosecution of........................................... 18

Training.......................................................... 3

V

Visit............................................................... 9

Voluntary surrender

defined....................................................... 4