LGBTQ+ Adoption in Illinois

For members of the LGBTQ+ community, building a family can take many different paths. Adoption is one option that offers an opportunity to build a permanent family without a biological connection.

Kogut & Wilson shares the available options LGBTQ+ individuals have when looking to adopt.

History of LGBTQ+ Adoption in Illinois  

Illinois has recognized the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and couples to adopt since 1995, following the Appellate Court’s decision of Petition of K.M. In its decision, the court held that “same-sex cohabitants have standing to jointly petition for adoption as the statutory provisions allow a reputable person of legal age to adopt, and provisions in the singular should be read to include the plural.”

Additionally, Illinois officially recognized same-sex marriage in 2013 when Governor Pat Quinn signed the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

LGBTQ+ Adoption Requirements

LGBTQ+ individuals may petition to adopt under the same guidelines as heterosexual and binary individuals, according to the Illinois Adoption Act. Governing all adoptions in the state, the Illinois Adoption Act outlines the various types of adoptions and restrictions for hopeful adoptive parents.

In Illinois, adoptions fall into several categories, including private, agency, international, adult and standby.

Concerning the LGBTQ+ community, Illinois law permits:

  • Unmarried LGBTQ+ individuals to petition to adopt
  • LGBTQ+ couples (whether married, unmarried or in a civil union) to jointly petition to adopt
  • A LGBTQ+ individual to petition to adopt their partner’s biological child or child of the relationship

In addition, the potential adoptive parent or parents must be over 18 years of age and spouses and partners must adopt together if they are married or in a civil union

Second Parent Adoption

Second parent adoptions may take place when one LGBTQ+ partner is biologically related to the child and the second parent needs to establish a legal parent-child relationship. In Illinois, a couple bound legally by marriage or civil union are presumed to be the parents of a child born into that legal marriage or civil union. For unmarried LGBTQ+ couples, second parent adoptions are essential to exercise the full legal rights of a parent, such as making medical and other significant life decisions.

Please contact Kogut & Wilson today at (312) 565-4100 to explore your adoption options.


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