Illinois Adoption and the Criminal Background Check - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
Button 1 Button 2 Button 3 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
630-932-9100
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
Menu
DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Illinois Adoption and the Criminal Background Check

Posted on in Family Law
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

adoption process, background checks, criminal background check, Illinois adoption lawyer, Mevorah Law Offices LLC, process of adoption in Illinois, Illinois Adoption ActThe Adoption Process

The process of adopting children in the United States is a very lengthy and stringent one. Potential adoptive parents must go through a litany of paperwork, character assessments, and huge financial hurdles to be considered as an acceptable match.

Under the Illinois Adoption Act, the Illinois adoption investigation process looks at many factors regarding the suitability of the potential adopting parents. It investigates, among other things, “the character, reputation, health, and general standing in the community of the petitioners.”

One important requirement is that a criminal background check be conducted. The investigation required under the Illinois Adoption Act includes a fingerprint-based criminal background check with a review of fingerprints by the Illinois State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The process requires each petitioner to submit his or her fingerprints to the Department of State Police. These fingerprints will be checked against criminal history records databases to see if they have anything on file.

There is a fee associated with this background check. The background check includes “a listing of when, where, and by whom the criminal background check was prepared.” The criminal background check has to be less than two years old. The criminal background check review does not have to be filed at the same time as the initial adoption petition.

Exceptions to the Rule

Under Illinois Adoption Act, there is no requirement to do a background check for family member adoptions. In a highly publicized case in McLean County, a previous sex offender was allowed to adopt his new spouse’s daughter and grandchildren, despite his previous conviction as a sex offender. In 1989, Jason Mason was convicted of sexual assault of a 6-year old girl. His conviction was overturned and Mason took a plea deal in 1992. With the plea deal, he successfully avoided a new trial and the threat of returning to prison.

Mason’s criminal history did not arise in the private adoption approved in McLean County, as background checks for adoptions of family members are not a requirement under Illinois adoption laws. Mason’s 10-year requirement to register as a sex offender had ended before the adoption process began.

It is not quite clear why family members are currently excluded from the criminal background check process in McLean County. According to Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokeswoman Karen Hawkin, family members are the first place to turn if a parent is not able to care for their child.

While keeping the child within the extended family does have many benefits, this should not mean a family member does not have to meet the basic requirements through which any other potential adopting parent has to go. Certainly, a previous status of being a sexual offender, no matter how long ago the conviction, must be a factor to be weighed in the investigation process to assess the overall suitability of the person as an adoptive parent. The purpose of the criminal background check under the Illinois Adoption Act is to uncover any issues that may speak negatively to one’s character and overall fitness to adopt.

There is no doubt the courts will revisit this issue to address the gap in the law that excludes family members from the criminal background investigation process.

Resources

The adoption process can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. If you are considering adoption and want to know more about the process, do not hesitate to contact our DuPage County divorce lawyers at (630) 932-9100 for a free consultation today.

Latest Blog Posts

Archives

  • DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyers
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
*
*
*

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted