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adoptionAccording to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adoption is the process whereby a person assumes parenting for another and, in doing so, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents.

In many cases all goes well with the process and integration of the adopted child into a thriving and loving family. So much so that the Adoption USA: National Survey of Adoptive Parents, supports that 81 percent of parents have established a "very warm and close" relationship with their adopted son or daughter. But what happens when  adoption turns out not to be the idyllic family portrait you were hoping for? The most infamous case was that of the young Russian boy who was returned to homeland by his adoptive mother. Another case highlights a former attorney from Spokane, Washington who after much concerted effort decided to place her adopted child, originally from Haiti, up for adoption to preserve the safety of her two younger children. ABC News', senior health and medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser agrees that these cases are heartbreaking, but atypical. Besser reports that 80 to 90 percent of all adoptions are successful and offers the following advice for parents considering adoption: Adjustment Period – take time to let your child relax and become familiar with the family routine. It takes a period of time to determine if any disruptions are due to adjustment issues or if the situation is hindered by a medical or psychological disorder. Realistic Expectations – for parents considering adoption, do not place high expectations on your child from the very beginning. For those children being adoptive from foreign countries, the majority of these children were institutionalized and may need a longer adjustment period. Do Your Homework – before finalizing the adoption, take the time and effort to research and learn as much about your child as possible. Come to know all of the circumstances of their "former" life and then adjust your expectations based on your findings. Rely on a Strong Support Network – enlist family and friends. Join an organized support group and seek out community based services available to families of adoptive children. Besser also recommends using a pediatrician experienced with adopted children. Raising a child, either biological or adopted is a lifelong challenge. No one can predict the outcome or the trials and tribulations along the way. It takes love, compassion, patience and guidance. For the majority of adopted children they will thrive in their environment but for those who have deeper issues that hinder growth development and evoke social and cognitive disorders we can only hope that one day they will find their way. As for the parents who tried we can only applaud their endless effort. If you are considering adoption and reside in the Lombard or Arlington Heights communities, the adoption attorneys of A. Traub & Associates understand your legal and emotional concerns. We are experienced in both domestic and international adoption and can guide you through the process with finalization within a few months. Adoption takes a strong commitment and we understand you also need a strong committed legal team with you every step of the way. For more information on how A. Traub & Associates can help you, contact us at 630-426-0196 for an affordable consultation today.

Posted on in Children

latchkey kidAs the school year progresses, many parents begin to consider the possibility of allowing their child to come home and care for themselves after school. However, many parents worry about the possibility of a DCFS investigation if they choose to allow their child to do this. Luckily, in most cases, there is no reason to worry.

According to the Illinois DCFS, Illinois courts must consider a total of 15 factors when deciding whether a latchkey kid has been the victim of neglect. Those factors are:
  • The child’s age;
  • How many children have been left alone;
  • Whether or not the child had any special needs, including medications;
  • How long the child stayed by themselves;
  • Whether or not the residence where the child was left was a safe and clean environment;
  • What time the minor was left (day, night, etc).
  • Whether the weather conditions presented a hazard to the child at the time, and whether the residence where the child was left provided adequate shelter from those conditions;
  • How far away the parent or guardian was at the time the child was alone;
  • Whether the child’s movements were restricted in any way (being locked into a room, etc.)
  • Whether the child was capable of calling emergency services, and whether or not the child had the means and information to call those services if needed;
  • Whether the child had access to food and water;
  • Any economic circumstances that may have been the cause of the parent leaving the child, and whether the parent made an effort to ensure the child’s safety;
  • Whether or not the parent had left the child in the care of another person;
  • Any other factors that might have presented a danger to the child at the time they were left alone.
In most cases, leaving a child who is mature and capable for an hour or two after school is perfectly legal. Unfortunately, not everyone understands these guidelines and false accusations can be filed. If you find yourself the subject of an Illinois DCFS investigation, it is important to have an attorney to advise you. Contact a qualified Illinois family attorney today for a consultation on your case.

On October 28, 2013, the state of Illinois, led by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, filed a lawsuit against Adoption Network Law Center based in California. The defendant is an online adoption agency that has broken numerous state laws by advertising and soliciting online adoption customers from the state of Illinois. The attorneys here at Angel Traub and Associates are carefully watching this case in order determine what effects it will have on adoption law in Illinois.

Illinois adoptionState of Illinois v. Adoption Network Law Center

The defendant, Adoption Network Law Center, is a California based online adoption agency and one of the very first websites that comes up in "online adoption" searches in Google. On their website, Adoption Network Law Center promises simple adoptions for a fee. In the State of Illinois' lawsuit it is alleged that Adoption Network Law Center is not certified by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) to provide adoption services, and thus is in violation of the Illinois Adoption Reform Act. Preceding the lawsuit, the attorney general sent cease and desist letters to Adoption Network Law Center and similar online adoption websites. Adoption Network Law Center did not stop advertising in Illinois, and as a result the above mention lawsuit was filed.

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Posted on in Children

The idea of both you and your spouse dying before your young children become adults may seem unfathomable.  Every day, however, illness or accidents leave children without a parent.  If you have not chosen a guardian, the courts would determine guardianship.  The courts may not choose the person you would have chosen.  Do not risk this scenario.  Using guidelines and proper legal counsel can make the decision easier.

Who Do I Choose?

Choosing a family member may seem like the natural choice but it may not always be the right choice. You should weigh the suitability of your family members as you would any potential guardian.  Here are some things to consider when determining a potential guardian:

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Posted on in Children

There’s been quite a bit of buzz in the news lately about the aging population. In fact, it could be argued that the Baby Boomers haven’t made the news in quite this way since their teenage years—and the influx of trend stories does not seem to be slowing any time soon. According to Time magazine, citing statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "in 2010 the average life expectancy rose from 78.6 years in 2009 to 78.7 in 2010." But it’s not just that people are living longer—the real boon is that people are staying healthy longer, meaning that the final years of the average American’s life are not spent tied to a hospital bed in pain. David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard told Time that "where we used to see people who are very, very sick for the final six or seven years of their life, that’s now far less common. People are living to older ages and we are adding healthy years, not debilitated ones."  

There’s a lot people can do with the extra time on Earth, and one of them, interestingly enough, is to adopt. According to the Huffington Post, a significant number of Americans are "bucking the idea" that being 50 or 60 is too old to be a parent. Adam Perman, author of "Adoption Nation" told the Huffington Post that the "boomers’ embrace of adoption [is] ‘a trend that’s clearly happening,’ although he does not know of any group tracking the ages of adoptive parents." While there’s not yet research that has polled Boomer adoptions, Pertman believes that a significant contributing reason for this is that "the world has changed, but our biology hasn’t." Women are living well into their 80s, he said. "They can have a child when they are 50 and still live to see their grandkids."

And this could be good news for children who need adopting. Older parents, with more money, and, presumably, patience, "are very often happy—actually seek out—the adoption of an older child. This serves all parties and society," Pertman told the Huffington Post.

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