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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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Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton adoption attorneysFor thousands of American couples, adoption offers the opportunity to complete their family unit. Adoption represents a beautiful decision for a couple looking for a child, and a child in need of loving parents. According to studies conducted by the National Survey of Adoptive Parents (NSAP), more than 600,000 children in foster homes throughout the United States are adopted by permanent custody parents each year. Making the decision to adopt represents a truly life-changing decision for all parties involved. If you and your family, are contemplating adopting, it may be time to contact a family law attorney to assist you with some of the complex legal proceedings involved in every adoption.

Common Adoption Misconceptions

When making the decision to adopt, prospective parents are posed with a number of important questions, but they may also be presented with common misconceptions about adoption. 

My Adopted Child Won’t Love Me: When contemplating adoption, many parents wonder whether or not their adopted child will love them as if they were their birth parents. This notion is a common adoption misconception; in all reality, the vast majority of adopted children have a wonderful relationship with their adopted parents. In fact, according to the NSAP, approximately 90% of children over age 5 have positive feelings about their adoption. Children simply need a home and loving parents.

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