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Wheaton step-parent adoption lawyerDeciding to adopt a child is undoubtedly one of the most consequential decisions you will ever make. Whether you are thinking about adoption because of fertility issues, a desire to formally adopt your stepchild, or any other reason, you probably have many questions. The adoption process varies significantly depending on the type of adoption and the circumstances of the case, but there are a few basic steps that are almost always involved in an Illinois adoption.

Avenues for Adopting a Child

One of the most common types of adoption is a relative adoption, such as a stepparent adoption or grandparent adoption. A child can only have two legal parents. If you wish to adopt a child related to you, you may need to first get consent from the child’s biological parent(s). One or both parents may need to voluntarily terminate their parental rights before you can adopt the child. A biological parent's rights may be involuntarily terminated by the court if the parent has abandoned, neglected, abused, or consistently failed to show any interest in the child. 

An agency adoption involves adopting a child from a private or public adoption agency after the birth parents gave the child up for adoption or had their parental rights terminated. A private adoption involves adopting a child directly from the birth mother. Legal guidance from an adoption attorney is recommended for any type of adoption. However, it is especially crucial to get reliable legal support when pursuing a private adoption.

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DuPage County family law attorney for adoptionsAdoption gives a child without a family the wonderful gift of loving parents. Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding decisions a person can make. There are many different avenues that a potential parent can take to adopt a child. If you are considering adoption, read on to learn about the four main types of adoption available in Illinois and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Often, the adoption process can be very complicated, so it is important to work with a family law attorney who has experience helping families make their dream of adopting a child a reality.

International Adoption

When a family adopts a child who was born outside of the United States, this is called an international adoption. Internationally adopted children are typically orphans who do not have a family to call their own. This means that you would be giving a child in desperate need of parents the love and attention all children deserve. It also means that the birth mother cannot change her mind, which can happen with other types of adoption. The international adoption process can be expensive and time-consuming. There may also be difficulties caused by the distance and possible language barrier associated with international adoption.

Agency Adoptions

An agency adoption is enabled by a public or private adoption organization. Some parents adopt a child after providing him or her with a home as a foster parent. This can be a great way for a family and child to get to know each other before adoption. In Illinois, the adoption of foster children is managed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). It is important to note that some individuals pursuing adoption through a private adoption agency have been the victims of corruption and fraud. If you are planning to adopt a child through a private agency, retain a lawyer to ensure that no unlawful acts are taking place.

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Naperville adoption attorneyThose who are looking to adopt a child may give an orphan the opportunity to have a future family and home, and this can be very beneficial for everyone involved. There are children all over the world who need homes, and international adoption allows parents to provide these children with the family life they need. However, the adoption process can be lengthy and difficult, and if you are considering adopting a child from another country, the legal steps to follow can be even more complicated and stressful. In recent years, countries like Ethiopia, South Korea, Romania, Guatemala, China, Kazakhstan, and Russia have all reduced the number of international adoptions allowed. In fact, between 2005 and 2015, international adoptions dropped by 72 percent, decreasing from 46,000 to 12,000, with only 5,500 children being adopted by U.S. parents.

Claims Regarding the Safety of Children

When reducing the number of international adoptions, some countries have stated that these decisions were made to ensure the safety of adoptive children. When banning or curtailing international adoptions to the U.S., Russia and Ethiopia both cited cases of negligence from American parents which resulted in a child’s death. However, research has shown that in the past two decades, only 19 children who were adopted from Russia by U.S. parents died because of abuse or neglect, out of a total of 60,000 adoptive children. This statistic has led some to believe that these bans are not motivated by a desire for child safety, but are in fact related to international politics.

Politics and International Adoption

International relations heavily impact whether or not a country will allow its children to be adopted by parents from another country. For example, Russia stopped adoptions to the United States two weeks after the U.S passed the Magnitsky Act in 2012. This law imposed sanctions on some Russian officials who had been accused of corruption, and the adoption ban was apparently implemented in response. This is far from the only instance of adoption bans being motivated by politics; South Korea temporarily banned international adoptions after a bad year at the 1988 Olympics, and it was believed that they no longer wanted to “export their greatest commodity.”

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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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