Under the Illinois Adoption Act, in cases where the adoptive parents did not receive or have lost the copy of the Adoption Decree which the attorney or agency should have provided to them at the time of the adoption, the adoptive parents may write to the presiding judge (or the judge who handles "miscellaneous adoption petitions" in larger counties) to request that he or she release a copy of their son or daughter's final decree of adoption to them. According to the statute, "no good cause need be shown" by "the petitioners" (i.e. the adoptive parents). In Cook County, notarized requests for a copy of the final decree of adoption should be addressed to Judge Patrick McGann and accompanied by a cover note (see sample below) and a $9 check or money order made out to the Clerk of the Court...The adoptive parent's signature on the letter should be notarized, and all requests for copies of the final decree of adoption should be accompanied by a photocopy of the requesting party's driver's license. Turn-around time is approximately three weeks. For counties other than Cook, please call the Clerk of the Court and request the name and address of the judge who handles "miscellaneous adoption petitions."
SAMPLE LETTER FOR COOK COUNTY
Honorable Patrick E. McGann
Circuit of Cook County
1701 Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
Dear Judge McGann:
In (year of the adoption) my husband (or wife) and I adopted our daughter/son, (adoptee's first name) in (city or town where the adoption took place), Illinois. The adoption was handled by (name of attorney or agency if known, otherwise, write “a private attorney”) and finalized in the (spring/summer/fall/winter) of (year). We never received any legal paperwork from the (agency/attorney) confirming our daughter/son's adoption (or have lost the paperwork that was originally provided to us regarding our daughter/son's adoption).
However, Sec. 18 of the Illinois Adoption Act states that, "The petitioners to the adoption...shall be entitled to receive certified copies of the order of adoption in the proceeding at any time within 30 days after the entry of the judgment of adoption without order of court." The same section of the Illinois Adoption Act also states that "After 30 days from the entry of the judgment of adoption, no copies may be obtained without prior order of court, but good cause is not necessary to be shown by one of the petitioners to the adoption." Therefore, as one of the petitioners to my daughter/son's adoption, I wish to request that the court issue me a copy of our daughter/son's order of adoption for my records.
A check for $9 made out to the Clerk of the Court of Cook County has been included with this letter to cover the administrative costs associated with this request.
Thank you in advance for your assistance with this matter.
With best regards,