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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Choosing Between a Domestic or an International Adoption

Posted on in Family Law

Oak Park, IL family law attorney for international or domestic adoptionFor couples who cannot have biological children of their own, adoption can be the only way for them to become parents. Adopting a child can also allow spouses who are already parents to expand their family. In addition, adoption can help a single person fulfill his or her dream of becoming a mother or a father. When considering adoption, there are typically two kinds: domestic and international. Determining which route to take involves many factors, such as cost, timeline, and medical history. It is important to do research and select the form of adoption that best fits your family situation or dynamic.  

Factors to Consider When Adopting

Adoption is a serious endeavor that should be carefully considered before committing to it. Whether there are two parents or one parent, there are many issues to think through and figure out. Some of the important factors to consider before embarking on the adoption journey include:  

  • Cost

  • Wait time

  • Availability of adoptees

  • Medical history

  • Legal Requirements

Domestic Adoptions

Some people may think that adopting within the United States does not cost as much. However, the price of a domestic adoption is similar to an international adoption. Domestic adoptions typically cost $25,000 to $50,000. In some cases, such as when a couple is adopting an infant, the adoptive parents may meet and get to know the birth mother beforehand. Part of the cost of the adoption may include prenatal doctor visits or even living expenses. In certain cases, a domestic adoption can be “open,” which means the adopted child and his or her adoptive parents have the opportunity to maintain ongoing communication with the child’s birth parent(s).

If adopting domestically, the adoptive parent must typically meet the requirements of the state and an adoption agency. For instance, a person wishing to adopt a child in Illinois must be at least 18 years old. The wait time for adopting within the United States can vary depending on several factors. For example, a prospective parent may have requested to adopt a girl between one and five years old. It may take from 1 to 12 months to find a match. However, if parents are more open adopting a child of a different age or sex, placement may occur sooner. 

International Adoptions

Travel and lodging expenses can be significant when adopting a child from another country. Depending on the circumstances, the adoptive parents may have to make several trips to complete the necessary paperwork. 

One of the main differences between domestic and international adoptions is the medical and social history of the child and their birth parents. The medical records of children adopted internationally are often incomplete or non-existent. This can prove difficult if a child has a rare genetic disease that the adoptive parents do not know about. It can also be challenging if the child was neglected or abused in his or her native country. 

In general, international adoptions have more stringent rules regarding age, and the adoptive parents must typically be married. Many countries do not allow LGBTQ couples to adopt. If relations between the United States and another country are hostile, the foreign government may temporarily or permanently halt adoptions to U.S. families. 

Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney

Domestic or international adoptions can help a person or couple achieve their dream of having a family. When researching which kind of adoption to pursue, it is important to consider the factors and choose the option that best suits the needs of your family and your future child. The accomplished Oak Park adoption lawyers at Wakenight & Associates, P.C. have more than 95 years of combined experience in family law. We have handled many types of adoptions, and we understand how to complete all the required legal steps. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 708-848-3159.

 

Sources: 

https://www.americanadoptions.com/adopt/domestic_international

 

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