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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton adoption attorneysOver 100,000 children are adopted throughout the United States each year. It can be a wonderful thing for children needing a family and parents looking for a child to love. While many families yearn to adopt a child, the adoption process can be incredibly complicated. Every single adoption comes with its own complexities, and the process can be quite difficult for families to tackle on their own. If your family is interested in adopting a child, an experienced adoption attorney can assist you as you look to welcome another member into your family.

Types of Adoption in Illinois

Here in the state of Illinois, there are four primary types of adoption: private adoptions, agency adoptions, international adoptions, and related adoptions.

  • Private adoption is when adoptive parents and biological parents set up the adoption without the use of an agency;
  • An agency adoption is facilitated by a private agency. When foster children are involved, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services may handle the adoption. They, too, are considered a private agency; 
  • International adoption is an adoption in which a family adopts a child from another country;
  • Related adoption is the technical term for an instance in which a family member adopts a child within their own family. These types of adoptions are common among step-parents, grandparents, and extended family members, such as aunts and uncles.

Preparing for Your Adoption

Regardless of the type of adoption that you are pursuing, success in the process is only possible through extensive preparation. Listed below are a few steps that your family can take to prepare for the adoption:

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton adoption lawyers.For children in unstable situations, adoption represents a second chance at a healthy upbringing. Thousands of children throughout the United States face negligent or abusive parents, and even once they are brought into the US Foster Care System, they routinely face a revolving door of foster homes and an inability to become comfortable in a normal living situation. According to Children’s Rights, an organization that illuminates some of the hardships that children in foster care face, in 2016 alone, approximately 687,000 children throughout the United States spent time in foster care. In most cases, children remain in foster care for an average of two years, but just under 10% of all children in foster care reside within the system for an astonishing five years.

Fortunately, an incredible 135,000 American children are adopted each year. Adoption can provide children in need with a stable living situation, a nutritious diet, and most importantly, parents that love and support them. According to the Adoption Center, roughly 1 in every 3 American couples have considered adoption. If you believe that adopting a child is the right choice for you and your family, it is time to consider speaking with a trained family law professional.

Adoption Law in Illinois

Here in the state of Illinois, there are four primary types of adoption that are legally sanctioned under the Illinois Adoption Act: international adoptions, agency adoptions, private adoptions, and related adoptions. International adoptions are defined as adoptions involving a child currently residing in another country. Agency adoptions are routinely the easiest to navigate legally because they are adoptions involving a private adoption agency or they are facilitated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Private adoptions occur when a set of biological parents relinquish their rights as parents and place their child in the custody of adoptive parents. Lastly, related adoptions occur when a family member adopts a child of another family member.

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While there is certainly more to a person than his or her biological history and make-up, this valuable information can help an individual and his or her doctor determine if or when a health condition may come up. Unfortunately, when it comes to adoption, the information obtained or released can vary greatly from one agency to the next. This can potentially have a negative impact on an adoptee, even as he or she becomes an adult. A new bill seeks to change that by giving adoptees and their adoptive parents more access to important and relevant information.

Provided Information Varies

While most agencies may attempt to collect important information on a child's biological parents, such as race, ethnicity, age, and the existence of medical or mental health issues, there are no regulations in place that determine how much of that information they should release. Furthermore, there are no regulations that determine just how much information the adoption agency should collect prior to placement. This can leave gaping holes in the child's medical and mental health history-some of which could be detrimental to the child's health.

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