The new law took effect on August 14, 2005. Among its provisions:
* Requires all adoption service providers to be licensed
* Strengthens the law that prohibits agencies from misleading birth parents regarding post-adoption contact
* Ensures that birth parents and adoptive parents are advised of their rights
* Ensures that adoptive parents are informed about the health background of their adoptive children
* Allows the public to learn about unethical adoption agencies by establishing a toll-free complaint registry with DCFS.
* Only agencies licensed in Illinois will be permitted to advertise in Illinois. Their license number would have to be cited in advertising.
* It will be illegal to run adoptions for profit in Illinois.
* Illinois's Department of Children and Family Services will regulate agencies and enforce rules.
"As policymakers, we have a responsibility to the adoptive parents, the birth parents and - most importantly - to children whose lives hang in the balance," said Rep. Feigenholtz, who herself was adopted and has been the lead advocate of adoption reform in the General Assembly.
Right on, Rep. Feigenholtz! Your state has set an excellent example for all states!
CALL TO ACTION: Will YOU be the one to start the ball rolling in YOUR state? Contact your state legislators and your governor's office and direct them to this website. Then ask to meet with them to begin working on a bill similar to Illinois' House Bill 3628, which became law on August 14, 2005.