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DuPage County adoption lawyer

Historically, same-sex couples have had difficulties adopting children. In the past, this could be attributed to the lack of social acceptance of homosexuality. This social misunderstanding and form of discrimination have significantly faded in recent years.  

The State of Michigan Takes Action

Adoption agencies are a helpful resource many couples utilize when they hope to grow their family. Although there are secular agencies, many adoption agencies are religious-based, and thus let their faith’s beliefs determine who can or cannot adopt a child. It is common for religious agencies to deny same-sex couples. This is the case in Michigan for couples from Dimondale and Detroit.

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Posted on in Adoption

Lombard, IL Adoption LawyerAdoption is a popular option for many couples and individuals who wish to start a family. More than 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Although it is often said parents who adopt are saving the child’s life, adoption significantly benefits the lives of parents as well. Adoptions vary, including the processes involved. Here is a look at the different types of adoptions so you can determine which is best for you. Whichever method you choose, adoption is a legal process, and you want a skilled adoption lawyer to help you throughout.

Domestic Adoption

These adoptions are those completed entirely within the U.S. There are two ways in which a domestic adoption can be completed: through an agency or private adoption. Agencies facilitate the adoption process and connect prospective parents with potential adoptees. Independent adoptions are often the choice of couples who already know the birth mother or family. 

Foster Care Adoption

A child being adopted within the foster care system has had their biological parents’ rights relinquished by the court. Most foster care system adoptions are completed by the child’s foster parents. These are individuals who have already cared for the child for an extended period of time. Those in foster care are often placed due to neglect, physical abuse, substance abuse, etc. 

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Lombard family law attorneyHistorically, adoptions for same-sex couples have included their share of difficulties. Many people still believe children need a mother and father figure in their lives rather than two “similar figures.” This type of thinking has slowly phased out over the past 20 years, especially with the legalization of gay marriage. 

Same-sex couple adoptions made progress in 2016, just months after that legalization became official. A lesbian mother finally won legal custody of her children in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. The woman had cared for the children most of their lives and wanted legal documentation to recognize her as their mother. After deliberation, the Court overturned an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that said the court should not recognize the woman as the children’s mother. This court case opened doors for gay couples across the nation, allowing for non-nuclear families to exist.

Second Parent Adoption in Illinois

While adoption by homosexual couples can prove difficult, the process is far from impossible. Adoption agencies and couples looking for parents for their child will usually choose married couples over unmarried couples. This is common because marriages are considered permanent, whereas those who are not legally bound by marriage can end their relationship with far less difficulty. 

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Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County stepchild adoption lawyerChoosing to adopt a child is a life-changing decision for both the child and parent. In terms of adoption, many imagine a couple adding an infant to their family dynamic; however, this is only one form of adoption. Other types of adoption include stepparent, family related, domestic partnership, and uncontested adoptions. Stepparent adoptions are fairly common, and these particular adoptions have their own unique legal process. 

The Stepparent Adoption Process

The details of the adoption process are dependent upon each individual situation. Though it is a detail-oriented process that can take time, it often appears more difficult than it actually is. In a stepparent adoption, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Illinois Residency: For those seeking to adopt within the state of Illinois, residency is a requirement. The stepparent must be an Illinois state resident for at least six months before filing for the adoption.
  2. Absent Parent’s Consent: It is a legal requirement to have the consent of the absent parent; however, this can often be a difficult task. For those who cannot get in contact with the absent parent, exceptions can be made. A stepparent can adopt a child without the absent parent’s consent if the child has not had any substantial contact with the parent in over a year’s time.
  3. Child’s Consent: Illinois also requires the consent of the child if he or she is 14 years or older. This consent is made through the signing of a legal document.

As is the case with all legal processes, there are exceptions. Many children whose stepparents are attempting to adopt either do not know the whereabouts of their absent parent or do not know the identity of this parent. In cases such as these, prospective parents may ask the court to waive the requirement for the absentee parent’s permission. 

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Posted on in Adoption

Lombard adoption attorneyIf your spouse has a child from a previous relationship, you know how sensitive and complex issues related to parenting can be. While you may not be the child’s biological parent, it is understandable that you would wish to offer a positive, reliable adult influence for the child—not to mention an authority figure with whom the child is comfortable sharing concerns and problems. With time and effort, you are likely to find a sense of family starting to develop. In some situations, the bond becomes so strong that the stepparent is willing to take on the legal responsibilities of parenthood through the adoption process.

Is the Adoption Appropriate?

When you are thinking about a potential stepparent adoption, you must be aware that the decision to adopt affects the child as much or more than it affects you. You might ready, willing, and able to accept the duties of a legal parent, but that is not enough to make the adoption the right choice. If the child has a healthy, productive relationship with a second parent—other than your spouse—there is little reason to try to cut that parent out of the picture, and a stepparent adoption would probably not serve the best interests of the child. If, however, there is effectively no second parent or the other parent has shown to be uninterested in being a parent, your adoption might serve the child well.

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