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Adoption: Taking the Next Step to Extending Your Family

Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County family law attorney, extending your familyThe decision to adopt a child comes with many emotions—it is an exciting step for your family but it is also challenging. If you are looking to increase the size of your family through adoption, there may be issues that make the seemingly easy process very complicated. However, it is important to note, several avenues are available to you when making the decision to adopt a child.

Generally, when you adopt a child, you become the child’s legal parent and you will be given all parental rights and responsibilities as if the child was born to you. Likewise, the child will obtain all rights of a child, such as inheritance rights from both parents. In order for the adoption to be legal, the birth parents must consent to the adoption or the court must legally terminate the parental rights of the birth parents before the child can be legally adopted.

Different Avenues of Adoptions

There are several different avenues available for you to adopt a child. These avenues include:

  • Agency Adoptions: The Illinois Department of Family and Child Services (“DCFS”), or a private agency licensed by Illinois, may facilitate agency adoptions. DCFS will place children up for adoption who have become wards of the state due to abandonment, orphanage or abuse. On the other hand, private agencies place children up for adoption from parents who have a child or they are expecting a child, and want to give the child up for adoption;

  • International Adoptions: You could adopt a child who is a citizen of another country, however, you need to satisfy the adoption laws of both Illinois and the foreign country. Although not impossible, it makes the process more complex because the adoptive parents need to acquire an immigration visa for the child and need to abide by international adoption law as well;

  • Stepparent Adoptions: If you are a new spouse and have married someone with a child, you could adopt your spouse’s child. This process is much less complicated than the others. However, the process could become complex if one of the birth parents refuses to consent to the adoption;

  • Kinship Adoptions: Like a stepparent adoption, this process is relatively simple because there is a familial relationship (for example, a grandparent can adopt a grandchild); and

  • Independent Adoption: This option may be much simpler or more complicated. There is no government involvement, and can involve a direct arrangement between the adoptive and birth parents. The use of an attorney is usually necessary in this situation. 

Regardless of which avenue you choose, the court has to approve an adoption; an adoptive family must file a petition with the court and request its approval.

Contact an Attorney 

If you are considering the adoption of a child in any of the scenarios listed above, you should contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney who can assist you in navigating the adoption process and help you achieve your dream of adopting a child.


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