Potential parents who live in Illinois and may be interested in adopting might benefit from having a better understanding of who is allowed to adopt as defined by the state's statutes. These provisions are included in 750 ILCS 50, which is also known as the Adoptions Act.
Birth parents can choose to involve an agency in the adoption process or handle the selection of the adoptive parents for themselves. In cases where a relative adopts the child from the birth parents, the law does not require an agency to oversee the adoption. Both parents must sign over their parental rights as part of the process unless a judge rules one unfit based on that parent's level of interest and responsibility in the child's welfare.
We are continuing the discussion from our last post about a private adoption that placed two children in a home with a sex offender. An Illinois jury recently determined that the man is a sexually dangerous person, and he will soon be transferred from jail to a public facility. With the trial behind them, the children who were his victims will now try to be survivors rather than victims, as the prosecutor said.
Sexual assault charges against an Illinois man put him in jail two years ago. The state chose to set the criminal charges aside in order to pursue a civil commitment. Toward the end of November, a jury concluded that the man is a sexually dangerous person. He will soon move to the sex offender unit at a state facility.
The 36,000 or so active duty military men and women who make Illinois their home received news last week about an important policy change. The Pentagon announced on Aug. 14 that same-sex spouses of military personnel will be eligible for federal benefits no later than Sept. 3. Civilian defense employees will also be eligible.
Illinois families hoping to adopt a child faced a setback when the state went head-to-head with Catholic Charities in 2011 over adopting to same-sex couples. Now, families hoping for a child from Russia have had that door slammed shut as well.
The dispute between Catholic Charities and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services continues, with the most recent round going to the government. The organization has been trying to hold onto its state contracts to provide foster care and adoption services. Several dioceses from across the state have joined together to maintain the longstanding relationship. The Rockford Diocese is not involved.
In a dispute that has been brewing since Illinois lawmakers drafted the civil union statute, Catholic Charities and the state's Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are going head-to-head about the former's obligations under the new civil union law. The religious organization receives state funding to support its foster care and adoption services.
In our last post, we wrote about this week's Florida Court of Appeal decision that affirmed the unconstitutionality of the state's ban on adoption by homosexuals. Even as far away as Illinois, communities are feeling the repercussions of the case, because, at the heart of it, the decision is about parenting.