FCAN’s collaborative policy efforts have led to the passage of many Illinois laws that address the gaps in care for HIV-affected families. Through our policy successes, FCAN is helping to improve the quality of life for families impacted by AIDS.
FCAN’s Educational and Collaborative Efforts Have Led to the Passage of the Following:
- Short-term guardianship (1994): Illinois law that allows parents to appoint a short-term guardian for a period of up to 60 days.
- Standby guardianship (1994): Illinois law that provides for the creation of a legally binding guardianship that would take effect at a future date, such as the parent’s death or incapacity.
- Standby guardianship and short-term guardianship reform (1998): Illinois law that expands the group of persons who may initiate standby guardianship proceedings or execute short-term guardianships to include the child’s guardian in cases where the child’s parent no longer has custody.
- Posthumous adoption (2000): Illinois law that amends the Adoption Act to allow the entry of a final adoption judgment for cases in which the adoptive parent dies after the court acquires jurisdiction over the adoptive parent.
- Standby adoption law (2004): Illinois law that permits a parent to petition the court for the appointment of an adoptive parent who stands by until the death of the birth parent or the birth parent requests the adoption to be finalized. Through FCAN’s leadership, Illinois became the first state in the nation to enact standby adoption.
- Guardianship expansion to include court consideration of rehabilitated felons (2005): Illinois law that allows a rehabilitated person with a felony conviction to be considered as the guardian for a person or disabled adult. This new provision enables the court to evaluate the fitness of the prospective guardian using a three-part test, including the nature of the offense, the date of the offense, and evidence of the offender’s rehabilitation. It automatically excludes sex offenders and persons whose crimes included harm or threat of harm to a child or disabled adult.
- Expansion of Adoption Assistance for children who are adopted through DCFS and then orphaned (2007): Illinois law that authorizes the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services to make interim adoption assistance payments on behalf of children who are adopted and then orphaned. These payments can support the child for the period of time between the death of the adoptive parent and the child’s readoption. Previously, children averaged 5 months without adoption assistance payments after an adopted parent died.
- Extended Short-term guardianship (2008): Illinois law that extends the period of time for which a short-term guardian can be designated for a minor from a renewable term of 60 days to 365 days.
- Restoration of Parental Rights (2009): Illinois law that allows rehabilitated parents to regain parental rights and potential custody of their children under the Juvenile Law Act and Adoption Law Act.
- Sibling Rights Initiative (2012): Current Illinois legislative initiative that allows foster children and former foster children (including adoptees) the right to maintain ties with their siblings.