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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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What Do I Need to Consider When Preparing for Adoption?

Posted on in Family Law

Oak Park adoption attorneyAdoption is, by far, the most pleasant and wonderful area of family law for everyone, including the judge and us lawyers. Everyone is happy, especially the child.

Most of the adoptions handled over the many years by Wakenight & Associates, P.C. have been related adoptions. The most common related adoption occurs when the mother or father is the natural parent of the child, and the child is being adopted by the step-parent. Even in these pleasant circumstances where the child and step-parent have an established relationship, it is necessary to appreciate the legal consequences of the adoption.

When you adopt a child, that child is then your child, just as if you were their biological parent. All the laws that apply to a biological child now apply to this child. As a result, if you later end up in divorce court, the laws regarding primary residence, parenting time, decision making, child support, insurance, day care, contribution to college, etc. all apply to your adopted child. All the school laws also apply, as does the Family Expense Act, insurance law, criminal laws, etc.

The Adoption Process

When adopting through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the first step is to schedule a screening and home visit, so that you can become a licensed foster parent. Although there are a number of different adoption agencies in Illinois, they are all required to be licensed by DCFS as well. Acquiring a foster parent license will probably take one or two months, and then you may foster a child or siblings. You may formally adopt foster children through DCFS and the court system after six months. However, the birth parents must sign away all rights, or their parental rights must be terminated by the court. 

Requirements to Adopt

Families can come in nearly any form. Adoptive parents may be single, married, divorced, widowed, or living together and unmarried. They may have other children or not, but they must have enough room for the adopted child or children in their home. They must also prove that they are able to financially provide for the child.

Those who wish to adopt will need to take part in a 27-hour training session prior to fostering, and they must then go through a nine-hour training session in which they will learn about the adoption process and how they may get more information and tools to help them in parenting. After the adoption, the parents may continue to receive services and support through group and individual counseling, training sessions, and more.

Cost for Adoption

Adoptive parents must pay attorney fees and court costs throughout the adoption process, but it may be possible to receive reimbursement for those payments through DCFS. DCFS also provides subsidies to help parents provide for children’s basic needs, supplemental health insurance, therapeutic daycare, and other services to ensure that the parents and children are given every chance at a smooth and successful transition.

Contact an Experienced Oak Park Family Law Attorney

The attorneys at Wakenight and Associates, P.C. are highly experienced in adoption cases, and we can help you move through the adoption process with ease. Contact a knowledgeable Cook County adoption lawyer for legal advice and support. Call 630-528-0734 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/lovinghomes/adoption/Documents/Adopting-a-Child-Through-DCFS.pdf

https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/lovinghomes/adoption/Pages/default.aspx

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