Sommer adoption reform measure passes both houses

SPRINGFIELD – Adoption reform legislation sponsored by State Representative Keith Sommer (R-Morton) today cleared its last hurdle before heading to the Governor, as the House agreed to a minor change adopted in the Senate. The bill having passed both houses in its final form, it now goes to the desk of Governor Rauner for his approval.

“I am so pleased to see this bill reach the final step,” Sommer said. “The families who came to testify for this reform have been waiting far too long for this change to be made.”
The current law allows the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to impose its own additional requirements on adoptive families who have already met all the requirements of the comprehensive federal law. Sommer’s bill eliminates the DCFS Intercountry Coordinator and prohibits DCFS from placing additional requirements on families who have already met the federal standard.
The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) also requires DCFS to provide post-adoption services to adoptive families and to better publicize its post-adoption services. DCFS would be required to report to the General Assembly on the effectiveness of its post-adoption support services every year.
“I am especially grateful to Shelley Hauter of Mackinaw and Kris McClelland of Dunlap, adoptive parents who have worked so hard to help pass this bill and right this wrong.”
The legislation is House Bill 3079.