The Illinois Adoption Act has a couple of changes that go into effect on 1 January 2016. The changes deal with the birth grandparents of an adult adopted or surrendered person (age 21 and over).
The changes are the result of HB3967, which passed as Public Act 99-0345 on 11 August 2015. Upcoming changes appear as underlined areas of the amended adoption act, as seen in the PA 99-0345 link above.
Public Act 99-0345 defines a birth grandparent:
“”Birth grandparent” means the biological parent of: (i) a non-surrendered person who is a deceased birth mother; or (ii) a non-surrendered person who is a deceased birth father.”
The changes for birth grandparents in PA 99-0345 deal with the Illinois Adoption Registry and with Confidential Intermediary program services. Some birth grandparents will be eligible to submit paperwork to the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange, and some will become eligible for Confidential Intermediary services.
The new law will allow the following to submit paperwork to the Illinois Adoption Registry:
“A birth grandparent who has submitted birth certificates for himself or herself and for a deceased birth parent as well as proof of death for the deceased birth parent and the birth parent did not file a Denial of Information Exchange or a Birth Parent Preference Form on which Option E was selected with the Registry prior to his or her death may file a Registration Identification Form and an Information Exchange Authorization or a Denial of Information Exchange.”
The birth grandparent will be allowed to exchange medical information and/or contact information with
“an adopted or surrendered person 21 years of age or over, or one or more of his or her adoptive parents, legal guardians, adult children, adult grandchildren, or a surviving spouse.”
The other change is in 750 ILCS 50/18.3a Confidential Intermediary. This section defines eligibility for confidential intermediary service.
[new language] “(a)(9). any birth grandparent”
[current language] “may petition the court in any county in the State of Illinois for appointment of a confidential intermediary as provided in this section for the purpose of exchanging medical information with one or more mutually consenting biological relatives, or arranging contact with one or more mutually consenting biological relatives, obtaining identifying information about one or more mutually consenting biological relatives, or arranging contact with one or more mutually consenting biological relatives. The petitioner shall be required to accompany his or her petition with proof of registration with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange.”
Note that since the birth grandparent definition indicates that the relevant birth parent of the adopted or surrendered child is deceased, this condition also applies to birth grandparents who wish to petition for a confidential intermediary. I have verified that in order for a birth grandparent to petition for a Confidential Intermediary, their child, who was the birth parent of the adopted or surrendered person, must be deceased.
Check the Illinois Department of Health’s Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange page for Registry forms.
For the CI-Illinois website and information on the CI program, click here.
See the statute for exact language, and for your own interpretation.