New state law could speed up the adoption process

By Denise Jackson

August 26, 2013 Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. --One local couple's ordeal while adopting children has resulted in some new legislation.

Last week Governor Pat Quinn signed a Senate bill which allows couples to begin the process of adopting foster children sooner.

Kitty Yanko and her husband Steve became foster parents several years ago with the goal of adopting children.

Yanko said the three siblings they were raising lived in their home for five years before they were finally able to adopt them a year ago.

Now, thanks to this new amendment, foster parents will only have to wait nine months until they can begin the process of adopting their foster children.

"Day to day you feel like you need to do the best job you can for them and care for them and provide for them but you also realize that they might leave you and go back home, so it was tough," she said.

"The legislation will be part of the Adoption Act, and will be a mechanism for the court system, the state's attorney's office to look for some flexibility, some streamlining of the process in how we can make the system better," said state Senator Darin LaHood, sponsor of the bill.

Yanko said she hopes other families will not have to wait as long as she and her husband did to become adoptive parents.

The couple has one biological daughter in addition to their adopted children.

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