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Wheaton adoption attorneysWith more than 1.3 million employees nationwide, Walmart is America’s largest employer. In the past, it has been criticized for its lack of benefits, but the company has started to respond to the concerns, needs, and desires of its employees. Raising its hourly wage to $11 an hour was just a start; they have also added more benefits for parents – including those who are considering adoption. Learn more, including how an experienced attorney can help you successfully navigate your way through the complex and nuanced process of adoption.

Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave

Although some Walmart employees may be covered for maternity or paternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), their time away from work under this program is unpaid. To obtain compensation, new parents would have to request maternity or paternity leave. Starting in February, the company will extend the amount of time that parents can request – going from eight weeks of paid maternity leave to ten and two weeks of paternity leave to six. It is not clear if the company will continue to compensate full-time employees at a half-time rate when the changes go into effect, or if they will be able to also receive the full compensation benefit as salaried employees.

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adoption birth parentsAdoption can be extremely positive for all parties involved in the process, from the adoptive parents seeking to add a child to their family, to the child looking for a permanent home. While the situation may be most emotional for the birth parents, adoption can also ultimately be a positive thing for them, too, particularly in cases where they are not capable or equipped to care for the child. Likely recognizing the positions of the these different parties, Illinois law generally provides for the protection of all parties involved in the adoption process.

Rights of Birth Parents

Birth parents who decide to place their child up for adoption in the state of Illinois have certain rights about which they should be aware. Birth parents can go through the process with either an adoption agency or a licensed Illinois attorney who represents them in the case. Attorneys are generally used in private adoptions in the state. It is always a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney when going through a legal process to ensure wishes are being met.

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birth record, birth certificate, adoption, adoptee, your rights, illinois adoption lawyer, DuPage County adoptionThe adoption process is different for almost everyone, parents and children included. While some adoptees may never wish to find out more information regarding their birth parents, others are eager to connect on some level with their biological family. As a recent news article reported, the Illinois law giving adoptees the right to view their birth records makes all the difference to the latter group.

Illinois Law

Several years ago, Illinois law changed to give adopted persons the right to view birth records including their birth certificates, documents that were previously unavailable to them, since they were sealed in connection with adoption proceedings. Those adoptees are voicing their appreciation for the law change this week in Springfield. Their appearance also serves another purpose: to encourage states who have not changed their laws in viewing such documents to do so. Many plan on telling their stories at the state capitol.

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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.

For whatever the reason, a few decades ago, you and your spouse turned to the adoption process to firmly plant your family tree. You lovingly declared a life-long commitment to raising your adoptive child and guided them to adulthood. Of course, you made a few mistakes along the way, who hasn’t, but never once did you waiver from your original commitment. So why is your adult child now announcing that they now want to uproot your family tree by branching out to include biological family members?

 adopted adult IMAGEYour reaction could go either way. You could be one of the many who feel it is your child's right to proceed or perhaps find yourself a bit resentful and asking why now? How you feel about the situation may not matter. If your family resides in the state of Illinois, requests for information of an adoption is supported under the Illinois Adoption Act (750 ILCS). No matter how you, your spouse or other family members feel about this request, it may be time to contact an experienced Illinois family law practice to fully understand the process as mandated by the Illinois Adoption Act. Before meeting with legal counsel, this synopsis can familiarize you with Illinois statute: Illinois Agencies Involved

  • The Illinois Adoption Registry, Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Confidential Intermediary Service of Illinois, Midwest Adoption Center (MAC)

 Non-Identifying Information Nonidentifying information is the classification of information you were provided at the time of formal adoption but this information can also be released upon request of an adopted adult 18 years or older.

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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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