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Cowgirl Lawyer
Cowgirl Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney for 22 years. Family law, child custody and support, domestic violence.
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Last November, I adopted a DCFS child (17 years old, in the

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Last November, I adopted a DCFS child (17 years old, in the system for 10 years, 23 foster homes, 3 residential). Since adoption, he had 3 car accidents and 2 arrests. The most recent one turned into a legal nightmare in a juvenile court.
DCFS will stop assistance on his 18th Birthday next month. He will be considered an adult and they won't have anything to do with him. DCFS post adoption services don't return my calls.
Probation is telling me that I will be legally responsible for the boy for the length of his probation because he will still be considered a juvenile, until his 21 Birthday. I have to provide him with food, shelter, insurance, transportation, etc.
I will not be able to do it because of financial and medical reasons. Can I tell him to leave my house after he turns 18 or is Probation right by saying that I will continue to be legally responsible for him, possibly for another 2-3 years?
Lydia Kvinta
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Cowgirl Lawyer replied 6 years ago.

In general, in Illinois, a parent is legally responsible for supporting his or her child (including an adopted child) until that child turns 18. There are exceptions to this rule, in that a parent can be held responsible for a special needs child into that child's adulthood. See Strom v. Strom, 13 Ill. App. 2d 354, 142 N.E.2d 172 (1957) for an Illinois case supporting the proposition that a parent must support an adult disabled child. Therefore, it would be possible for a court in Illinois to order that you continue to be responsible for your child after the age of 18. Unless a court orders this, however, you are not required to support the child after the age of 18.

Now, if no court orders you to support your son, and if you have your son evicted from your home, he could be in violation of his probation. And that violation could mean that he is incarcerated. That does not mean that you are legally required to support him, but it could mean that there are legal consequences to him if you do not.

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Edited by Cowgirl Lawyer on 5/27/2010 at 8:05 PM EST
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