Who Is Eligible To Adopt?

Many people are under the impression that they cannot adopt if they are single, over 40 years of age or not affiliated with a church or religious organization. This is not true. Though some adoption agencies have either explicit or unspoken requirements for applicants, the only requirements adopting parents must meet under Illinois law are that they:

  1. Are at least 18 years of age and under no legal disability,
  2. Have been continuous residents of the state of Illinois for at least six months prior to filing the petition, and,
  3. If married, both spouses must join in the petition.

Certain criminal convictions of the potential adoptive parents or others living in their home may prevent the adoptive parents from being issued a foster family license in Illinois, thus barring them from adopting through a licensed child welfare agency in Illinois.