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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 Children

cost of adoptionAccording to the U.S. government, it will cost approximately $245,000 to raise a child in this country. However, if that child is adopted, the Child Welfare Information Gateway says parents should add on up to $40,000 – the total amount it could cost to adopt a child.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a division of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. The agency provides information for people who are looking to adopt. According to their statistics, the average cost to adopt can be anywhere between $8,000 and $40,000. For foreign country adoptions, the cost can fall between $15,000 and $30,000. Parents who are seeking to adopt an older child through foster care can anticipate costs from $0 to $2,500.

The largest expense in adoption is usually the adoption agency fee. Adoption agencies match parents to babies and their fees vary greatly. Some agencies will charge a large up-front fee which has everything included. Other agencies will charge a smaller fee, but charge extra for many of the same services agencies that charge larger fees include in their totals.

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orphan adoption, The Orphan Foundation, Lombard family lawyer, Lombard adoption attorneyAccording to a recent article by Joe DiDonato, Co-founder and Chairman of The Orphan Foundation, adoption is experiencing new found advancements driven by a completely new set of personal motivators. No longer does the word "adoption" equate to couples experiencing infertility or solidifying the blended step family. What the Foundation found by implementing a grant program shows a totally different aspect of the adoption process.

With the acceptance of grant proposals by the Foundation, what the Board has found is that adoption is now geared toward helping children worldwide, often those with special needs releasing the stereotypical notion of why families turn to adoption.

Listed below are two examples of the first three proposals submitted to the Foundation for grant consideration.

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