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Adoption

OPTION: Adoption
You choose to carry your pregnancy to term and voluntarily give up your parental rights to the baby

Legal Rights

  • You cannot be forced by anyone, not even your parents or guardian, to place your child up for adoption.
  • You AND the biological father must consent (give permission) to the adoption. You may still be able to place the baby up for adoption if you are unsure about the identity or current location of the other person involved in the pregnancy – contact an attorney or adoption placement agency staff member for more details.
  • You cannot give up your parental rights and provide consent for the adoption until the baby is at least 72 hours old. The father can either consent to the adoption before the baby is born, or must wait until the baby is at least 72 hours old. If he consents before the baby is born, he can still change his mind until the baby is 72 hours old.
  • You can ask to be involved in choosing the adoptive parent(s) and to meet them before placement. If you are refused you have the right to go to another agency.
  • You can ask to be involved in an “open” adoption (you have information for the adoptive parent(s) and he/she/they have your information and you agree to stay in contact after the adoption) or a “closed” adoption (there is limited information exchanged and both sides agree not to contact each other after the adoption).
  • You can request and receive counseling during pregnancy and after you give birth.
  • You have the right to get a written list of all promised support (financial and other kinds) from the agency or attorney.

You lose all legal rights to the child and you are not responsible for parenting the child once the adoption is complete.

Support
The adoption process can be confusing and emotional. It is important to make sure you understand how it works. The following resources can provide you with detailed information about adoption in Illinois:

  • Adoption-Related Organizations: Adoption Center of Illinois (Call: 800.676.2229, Text: 872.588.0757), The Cradle (Call: 800.272.3534, Text: 312.800.1559).
  • Placement Agency: (helps you find a home for your baby): e.g. Adoption Center of Illinois (Call: 800.676.2229, Text: 872.588.0757), The Cradle (Call: 800.272.3534, Text: 312.800.1559).
  • Legal: Family law or adoption attorney.

Additional Information
List of Illinois Birth Parents Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)