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Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County family law attorneys, Illinois adoptionCongratulations are in order if you have decided to move forward with adoption, but there is also a lot to do to get ready for your new member of the family. From initial legal considerations to making the child feel welcome on arrival, you want to make sure things runs smoothly through every step of the process. While every family’s situation is unique, you can set the stage for success by following a few tips on preparing for your Illinois adoption.

Consult with Your Family

The decision to adopt a child will impact the entire household, so it is important to discuss the situation with your family. Even if you and your partner—or you alone—have embraced the idea, minor and adult children should be given the chance to weigh in on adoption. You need to answer their questions and address their concerns if you want to ensure a smooth transition.


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.


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.


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


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.
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