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Illinois adoption lawyersFamilies choose adoption for a variety of reasons. Whatever your family’s reasons may be, it is critical that you take the time to adequately prepare for the mental and emotional toll it can have on all involved parties. Learn more in the following sections, including how the aid of a seasoned family law attorney can help ease the process and improve the overall outcome. 

Educate Yourself on the Process

Prospective parents are not always prepared for the mentally and emotionally taxing adoption process, which often exacerbates matters even further. Thankfully, the risk of excessive and unnecessary stress can be reduced if prospective parents take the time to familiarize themselves with the adoption process, as well as any potential obstacles that may arise (i.e. a birth mother changing her mind). Parties are also encouraged to research the various types of adoption (i.e. foster adoption, international adoption, closed adoption, etc.) and the associated costs and requirements to help them in determining which avenue may be most suitable for their situation.

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DuPage County adoption attorneysThere are many ways to start or grow a family. Adoption, though often a complex process, can also be extremely rewarding. Learn more about which adoption options may be available to you, and discover how an experienced family law attorney can assist you and your family through the process with less stress and more time for your growing family.

Foster Child Adoption

There are more than 100,000 children awaiting adoption in the U.S. foster care system. Those who are not adopted will simply terminate out of the system, with no family to call their own. If you are not against adopting an older child, perhaps one with a troubled background that needs a loving, patient, and compassionate family, foster adoption may be the appropriate path for you.

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DuPage County adoption attorney, age of adoptive childrenAdoption is one of the best ways to create a family. It does not matter if you are a couple looking to expand your family or a single person looking to create a family on your own; adoption provides a gift to both the adoptee and his or her newly adoptive parents. There is no single idea family type, and any person looking to love a child should look into his or her options for adoption.

There are several factors that prospective adoptive parents will need to understand and do before beginning the adoption process. One of the most important issues to consider is the age of the child the parents might adopt.

Adopting a Newborn or a Toddler 

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Posted on in Child Custody

stepparent adoptionIf you have a child from a previous relationship, and you are now married to someone else, you might be considering having your spouse officially adopt your child. Such a step can bring stability and legal force to one of the most important relationships in your child’s life.

Under Illinois law, adoption by a stepparent is considered a “related adoption,” which can be completed in a much more straightforward manner than adoption by a non-related person (750 ILCS 50/2). Your spouse would not need to get a criminal background check, unlike for adoptions involving non-related parties. However, you would still need to have a guardian ad litem appointed. A guardian ad litem is a lawyer who represents your child and his or her best interests, and their role is to assess you and your spouse and recommend a course of action for a family law judge who is presiding over the adoption case.

If the natural parent of your child, your ex, consents to the adoption, the process is fairly straightforward. Illinois law favors families with two parents, so as long as there is another parent ready and willing to step into the role, the natural parent’s rights can be terminated. Your ex must give their consent freely before a judge. There are six different forms of consent, each one appropriate for different circumstances. For example, the consent form for the adoption of unborn children is different from the consent form for the adoption of children over age 14. It’s critical to use the correct consent form and have its signing witnessed by a judge.

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Posted on in Child Custody

safe haven lawsMany people across the country take advantage of the adoption process to fulfill their dreams of having a family or to complete their family. Families in Illinois are certainly no exception. In light of this, there are a number of laws in place in the state regarding not only the adoption process, but also laws relevant to related situations and occurrences. Some of these laws may be well known, while others seemingly are not.

Safe Haven Law

According to a recent news article, events that have unfolded in Illinois over the last couple of weeks have alerted officials to problems with the state’s safe haven law. Mainly, the issue is that not enough people are aware of it. This became evident, in part, by the apparent abandonment over Labor Day Weekend of a newborn in a dumpster in Jacksonville.

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Illinois adoption bill

Many people dream of having children, and the adoption process is an outlet for single people, couples who cannot have their own children, and gay couples to realize that dream. Even couples who may already have children of their own wish to adopt in order to give a loving home to a child who may not otherwise have one. With so many children up for adoption in the United States, and usually not enough homes to place them in, it may be somewhat surprising that federal lawmakers recently introduced a bill that allows foster-care agencies the right to deny services based on religious or moral beliefs.

The Bill

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Posted on in Child Custody

adoption, Illinois family lawyer, DuPage County adoption attorney, childrenThere are many people who dream their entire lives of becoming parents. For those who are not able to have their own biological children, this dream might never become a reality if it was not for the option to adopt. Others may choose to adopt outright and provide a loving home to a child in need. Whatever the motivation, adoption is a noble cause that can prove to be a fulfilling life decision for all of those involved.

Questions About Adoption

Many who consider adoption likely have a variety of questions and concerns about the adoption process. While it is advisable to discuss specific situations with a licensed attorney, here are some common questions asked by many prospective adoptive parents, taken from the National Adoption Center website:

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adult adoption, DuPage County Family Law Attorney, DuPage County Adoption LaywerIn 1988, 75 year old billionaire tobacco heiress Doris Duke adopted a 35-year-old woman named Chandi Heffner. Duke believed that Heffner, a fellow Hare Krishna devotee, was the reincarnated soul of Duke’s only child. As is too common for billionaire tobacco heiresses, Duke and Heffner’s relationship became strained leading to Duke to decide that the adoption of Heffner was the “worst mistake of her life.” Duke negated the adoption, and in turn, Heffner sued Duke.

At 32 years old, Maurice Griffin was finally adopted by his one time foster family. After Maurice arrived in the Harris household, the Harris family and Maurice bonded. Unfortunately for young Maurice and the Harris family, California wrongfully removed him from the Harris family. During the ensuing years, Maurice searched for the Harris family, eventually finding them when he was in his late twenties.

Illinois Adoption Act and Adult Adoption

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Posted on in Adoption
Illinois adoption process IMAGE It is not unusual for couples to turn to adoption instead of having their own biological children. There are many different reasons couples, or single individuals, may choose to take the adoption route. That being said, it is critical that these people make themselves as familiar as possible with the Illinois adoption process before jumping into it head-first. When getting started with the adoption process, the first step is to locate and contact an adoption agency. Once you have selected one, you must apply for adoption and will be asked to complete the licensing process. This process typically includes a background check, fingerprinting, a medical exam, classroom training, and several visits to your home by an agency worker in order to complete a home study. It also common for agencies to require letters of reference from your employer and those who know you well, as well as a verification of income to meet your potential new expenses. It will typically take around three months to complete these beginning processes, during which the agency will try to get to know you as well as possible in order to make a good match between you and a waiting child. As soon as it is time for a child to be placed in your home, you and the agency will work together to find a child who could benefit from joining your family (and who would benefit you and your family). At this point, prospective adoptive parents will learn about the agency chosen child’s background, personality, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Before you meet the child, you will be asked whether or not you are seriously interested in him or her. If you believe this is a child you would like to make a part of your family, a casual meeting will be arranged. If this goes well, pre-placement visits will be arranged until it is time for your new child to stay permanently in your home. If you or somebody you know is considering adopting a child into your family, do not hesitate to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you with all of the legal processes and implications the process includes.

International Adoption bill IMAGEThe current lawmakers in Washington DC have been historically slow in creating new laws.  There has been too much conflict between the liberals and conservatives on the hill.  But a new law that has been proposed looks to unite both sides of the aisle with an issue that is beyond politics.  That bill is called the Children in Families First or CHIFF Act. The bill was introduced by State Representatives Kay Granger(R-TX) and Karen Bass (D-CA).  Granger said that “every child deserves a family. Parents looking to adopt internationally are already at the mercy of complicated adoption bureaucracies abroad.  They shouldn’t have to deal with similar costs and delays here at home.  Without increasing spending, the Children in Families First Act helps loving families navigate the adoption process and welcome new additions to their homes.” Overall, foreign adoptions have declined over the years. Almost 23,000 children were adopted internationally in 2004.  That decreased steadily to below 9,000 in 2012.  There are certain reasons for the decrease as some countries do not allow children to be adopted by Americans. In other countries, the rate of domestic adoptions has increased which also means that fewer children are able to be adopted by Americans. One of the proposed results of this bill is the creation of a new bureau in the State Department whose would work with other countries to place children with families.  This would be accomplished with adoption, or family reunification or kinship care. Instead of allowing children to languish without the love of a family, CHIFF hopes to support an increase in international adoptions.  There are plenty of children that need loving families.  If you have decided that your family is prepared to love a child in need, then you should contact a family law professional who has experience in this process.  Contact a knowledgeable family law attorney in DuPage County who can help you add more love to your family.

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