(750 ILCS 50/4.1)
(from Ch. 40, par. 1506)
Adoption between multiple jurisdictions.
(a) The Department of Children and Family Services shall promulgate rules regarding the approval and regulation of agencies providing, in this State, adoption services, as defined in Section 2.24 of the Child Care Act of 1969, which shall include, but not be limited to, a requirement that any agency shall be licensed in this State as a child welfare agency as defined in Section 2.08 of the Child Care Act of 1969. Any out-of-state agency, if not licensed in this State as a child welfare agency, must obtain the approval of the Department in order to act as a sending agency, as defined in Section 1 of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children Act, seeking to place a child into this State through a placement subject to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. An out-of-state agency, if not licensed in this State as a child welfare agency, is prohibited from providing in this State adoption services, as defined by Section 2.24 of the Child Care Act of 1969; shall comply with Section 12C-70 of the Criminal Code of 2012; and shall provide all of the following to the Department:
(1) A copy of the agency's current license or other
form of authorization from the approving authority in the agency's state. If no license or authorization is issued, the agency must provide a reference statement, from the approving authority, stating that the agency is authorized to place children in foster care or adoption or both in its jurisdiction.
(2) A description of the program, including home
studies, placements, and supervisions, that the child placing agency conducts within its geographical area, and, if applicable, adoptive placements and the finalization of adoptions. The child placing agency must accept continued responsibility for placement planning and replacement if the placement fails.
(3) Notification to the Department of any significant
child placing agency changes after approval.
(4) Any other information the Department may require.
The rules shall also provide that any agency that places children for
adoption in this State may not, in any policy or practice relating to the
placement of children for adoption, discriminate against any child or
prospective adoptive parent on the basis of race.
(b) Interstate Adoptions.
(1) All interstate adoption placements under this Act
shall comply with the Child Care Act of 1969 and the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. The placement of children with relatives by the Department of Children and Family Services shall also comply with subsection (b) of Section 7 of the Children and Family Services Act.
(2) If an adoption is finalized prior to bringing or
sending a child to this State, compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is not required.
(c) Intercountry Adoptions.
(1) The adoption of a child, if the child is a
habitual resident of a country other than the United States and the petitioner is a habitual resident of the United States, or, if the child is a habitual resident of the United States and the petitioner is a habitual resident of a country other than the United States, shall comply with the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, as amended, and the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.
(2) The Department of Children and Family Services
shall maintain the office of Intercountry Adoption Coordinator in order to maintain and protect the rights of prospective adoptive parents and children participating in an intercountry adoption and shall develop ongoing programs of support and services to such prospective adoptive parents and children.
(3) In the case of an intercountry adoption of a
child by an Illinois resident, the Department shall promulgate rules concerning preadoption requirements, which shall include, but not be limited to, requirements relating to home studies conducted by licensed child welfare agencies and requirements relating to supporting documentation concerning the prospective adoptive parent's suitability to adopt a child.
(4) The Intercountry Adoption Coordinator shall
determine whether all preadoption requirements have been met by a prospective adoptive parent. The Intercountry Adoption Coordinator shall also determine whether the prospective adoptive parent is suitable as the adoptive parent. In determining suitability to adopt, the Intercountry Adoption coordinator shall give considerable weight to the home study, but is not bound by it. Even if the home study is favorable, the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator must issue a denial letter if, on the basis of all the information provided, the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator finds, for a specific and articulable reason, that the prospective adoptive parent has failed to establish that he or she is suitable as the adoptive parent.
(5) The Intercountry Adoption Coordinator shall issue
an endorsement letter, indicating that all preadoption requirements have been met, or a denial letter, indicating the specific preadoption requirements that have not been met, no later than 21 days from receipt of the home study from the child welfare agency. If, upon receipt of the home study, the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator determines that more information is required before any determination can be made with respect to compliance with the preadoption requirements, the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator shall, within 7 days of receipt of the home study, provide notice describing the additional information, via facsimile or through electronic communication, to the licensed child welfare agency and the adoptive parent. Within 21 days of receipt of the additional information, the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator shall provide the child welfare agency with an endorsement letter or a denial letter. The Intercountry Adoption Coordinator shall mail a copy of the endorsement letter or denial letter to the prospective adoptive parent at the same time that the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator provides the letter to the child welfare agency.
(6) If the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator issues a
denial letter, a prospective adoptive parent shall have the right to a review. The Intercountry Adoption Coordinator shall include in its denial letter notification advising the prospective adoptive parent of the right to seek a review, by the Director of the Department, of the determination, if requested in writing within 30 days of receipt of the denial letter. Failure to submit such a request within 30 days waives the prospective parent's right to a review.
(i) The review by the Director shall include, but
is not limited to, a review of documentation submitted by the prospective adoptive parent and, if requested by the prospective adoptive parent, a telephone conference or a mutually convenient in-person meeting with the Director, or the Director's designated representative, to allow the prospective adoptive parent to present the facts and circumstances supporting the request for the endorsement letter.
(ii) The Director shall issue a decision within
30 days of receipt of the request for review.
(iii) If the Director concurs with the original
denial letter of the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator, the Director's decision shall be considered a final decision and the prospective adoptive parent shall have all rights and remedies to which he or she is entitled under applicable law, including a mandamus action under Article XIV of the Code of Civil Procedure and an action under the federal Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1983.
(7) In the case of an intercountry adoption finalized
in another country, where a complete and valid Order of Adoption is issued from that country to an Illinois resident, as determined by the United States Department of State, this State shall not impose any additional preadoption requirements.
(8) The Department of Children and Family Services
shall provide a report to the General Assembly, on an annual basis for the preceding year, beginning on September 1 of each year after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly. The report shall provide non-identifying statistical data on the endorsement and denial letters and the requests for review of denial letters and shall contain, but not limited to, the following:
(i) the number of endorsement letters issued by
the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator;
(ii) the number of denial letters issued by the
Intercountry Adoption Coordinator;
(iii) the number of requests for review of denial
(iv) the number of denial letter reviews which
resulted in a reversal by the Director and an endorsement letter being issued; and
(v) the basis of each denial letter and the basis
of each reversal of the denial letter in a particular case.
(Source: P.A. 98-455, eff. 1-1-14.)