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DuPage County private adoption attorneyChoosing to adopt a child can be a wonderful, life-changing decision. However, the adoption process can be full of legal complications and potential pitfalls. If you are considering adoption, it is important to educate yourself about the obstacles that you may encounter. It is also important to work with an adoption attorney who has experience successfully addressing these issues.

Relative Adoptions

One of the most common types of adoption in Illinois is relative adoption. Adopting a stepchild or other relative is often more straightforward than other types of adoption, but it can also involve many legal challenges. A child can only have two parents, so in some cases, the child’s biological parent or parents may need to relinquish their parental rights before the adoption can occur. However, many parents are unwilling to do so, or they may choose to contest the adoption in court. If parents do not voluntarily relinquish their parental rights, they may lose their parental rights after being deemed “unfit” by the court. Neglect, abuse, abandonment, severe drug addiction, and other issues that may lead a court to terminate a parent’s parental rights.

Private Adoptions

In a private adoption, the adoptive parents adopt a child directly from the biological parents. In most cases, no adoption agencies or outside organizations are involved. Unfortunately, private adoption scams and fraud are not uncommon. Birth mothers may misrepresent themselves, take money from adoptive parents with no intention of ever following through with the adoption, or even pretend to be pregnant for financial gain. Birth mothers may also change their minds about the adoption after giving birth. It is absolutely essential to work with an adoption attorney if you plan to pursue a private adoption.

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Naperville adoption attorney

Choosing to adopt a child is a wonderful opportunity and a chance to give a child in need a loving and healthy home. If you are considering adoption, you need to know that the process can be lengthy and complicated. It is important to find a qualified adoption lawyer to help you meet your legal requirements and ensure that nothing will stop you from providing a loving home to an adoptive child.

Naturally, there are differences between raising an adopted child and a biological child. You will likely want to discuss the adoption with your child, and the way you approach these conversations can be different, depending on the child’s age, the circumstances of the adoption, and your relationship with them. While conversations about adoption can be tricky, and they are likely to provoke a variety of questions from a child, planning for how to address these issues can ensure that you approach the subject in the right way, strengthening your relationship with your child. Here are a few tips to make the conversation easier:  

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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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Wheaton adoption attorney safe haven lawWhenever children are involved in a legal matter, the law tries to be extra sensitive. If a mother feels she can not properly take care of her infant, she can give it up for adoption. However, in situations in which a mother believes she cannot follow the usual adoption process, she has options under the Illinois Safe Haven Law. For those who are considering adopting a child, it is important to understand how this law may affect their situation.

Origins of the Illinois Safe Haven Law

The Illinois Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act (commonly known as the Safe Haven Law) allows a mother to surrender a child anonymously without fear of criminal prosecution or civil liability. Texas was the first state in the U.S. to pass a version of this law in 1999, and Illinois followed two years later. By 2008, all 50 states had a version of the Safe Haven Law, which is often nicknamed the “Baby Moses Law.”

In Illinois, the law initially covered babies three days old or younger. In 2009, the cut-off date was extended to 30 days.

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Lombard adoption attorneyAn adoption is a beautiful chance for a family to raise a child, and for a child in need to have loving and caring parents. In many cases, however, the adoption process can be tedious and complicated, and in order to ensure that the process is completed smoothly and effectively, it is essential to work with an experienced family law attorney.

Addressing Adoption Issues

Here in the state of Illinois, there are four main types of adoption: agency adoptions, private adoptions, international adoptions, and relative adoptions. In all of these adoption options, it is critical to have an experienced legal professional representing your family’s best interests. Some of the issues that may become involved in different types of adoptions include:

  • Agency Adoptions: An agency adoption is a process that is facilitated by a public or private organization. In many cases, these adoptions go through a private adoption agency. If you are adopting a foster child in the state of Illinois, the adoption will go through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In private agency adoptions, it is not entirely uncommon for agencies to act in a corrupt or fraudulent manner. A legal professional can ensure that no unlawful conduct takes place. 
  • Private Adoptions: In a private adoption, a biological parent and the adopting family work together directly to finalize the adoption. Due to the fact that no outside organizations are overseeing the adoption process, the importance of an attorney cannot be understated in these cases. When adopting, one of the most common concerns is the health history of the biological parents. An attorney can assist you in securing the medical history of the biological parents and determining how that may impact your child’s life moving forward. 
  • International Adoptions: In an international adoption, a family adopts a child from outside of the United States. In many cases, international adoptions can be difficult to finalize, and they can become incredibly costly. Communication with an international adoption agency can be challenging, considering the distance and potential language barrier. In some countries, adoption agencies are not required to be licensed, and adoptive parents may be more susceptible to financial exploitation. A family law professional can offer you helpful tips in the adoption process, beginning with never offering an adoption agency money up front. 
  • Relative Adoptions: A relative adoption is a process in which a person adopts the child of a family member. While a relative adoption can initially be more straightforward due to the prior connection with the biological parent, there can be some challenges. In a relative adoption, a biological parent may attempt to maintain a significant role in the child’s life. In most cases, this can be a good thing, but in other cases, it can lead to hostility, as well as confusion for the child. Speak with your attorney regarding the benefits and drawbacks of a relative adoption. 

Contact a Wheaton Adoption Lawyer 

If you are interested in adopting a child, the first step you should take is hiring a lawyer that you can believe in. At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we have assisted dozens of families in finalizing their adoptions. With over a decade of family law experience in the state of Illinois, we are confident in our ability to assist you in a seamless and efficient adoption process. To schedule an initial meeting with a quality DuPage County family law attorney, contact us today at 630-462-9500. 

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