Chicago

Cook County lowers fees to address declining adoption rate

Cook County has lowered it adoption fee to address a declining rate of adoption filings.

The court filing fee, cut from $265 to $89, was approved last month by the Cook County Board, Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ office announced Tuesday.

The county’s fee now matches that of DuPage, Will and McHenry counties. Some attorneys said they had filed adoptions in the collar counties because it was cheaper, according to Evans’ office.

Cook County has seen a steep drop in adoption filings, from 1,085 in 2014 to 628 last year, a 42% drop, according to Evans’ office. The collar counties reported a 9% rise in filings over the same period.

The high filing fees were a disincentive for filing in Cook County, according to Illinois Appellate Court Justice Sanjay Tailor, who helped draft the legislation.

“This legislation, which had strong support from the adoption bar, removes that obstacle, which we anticipate will drive cases back to Cook County. Making adoption less expensive benefits everyone,” Tailor said in a statement.

Ahead of National Adoption Day this Saturday, Evans and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will hold a ceremony Friday at the Daley Center to celebrate the lower court fee.



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