Growing Your Family Through Adoption: Types of Adoption Available to Families in Illinois
Families turn to adoption for a number of reasons. Some are unable to have their own children. Others already have children of their own but want to open their home to others in need. Still some may have stepchildren who they wish to legally adopt. Whatever the situation, adoption can be a beautiful and rewarding way to start or grow a family. If you are thinking about adoption but do not know where to start, the following can help you understand your options for adoption in Illinois.
Types of Adoption in Illinois
Adoption comes in many different forms. The following are options available to prospective parents in Illinois:
Foster child adoption – At any given time, there are 100,000 children in the foster care system awaiting safe and permanent homes. Some have special needs. Others do not. All of these children have parents whose rights have been (or are in the process of being) terminated. Unless adopted, these children age out of the system, which places them at risk for poor educational outcomes, homelessness, and unemployment. When you pursue this option, you are giving hope to a child in need.
Infant adoption – Some prospective adoptive parents have never had the chance to have a baby of their own, or they have had one but are unable to conceive again. Often, these families prefer to adopt an infant. This can be done either domestically, or internationally. Each comes with its own set of challenges and risks. An attorney can help you decide which option may be most suitable for your family.
In-family adoption – Relative adoptions (including stepparent adoptions) are not about finding a new child, but opening your home up to one you already know and love. If the child already lives with you, this may seem like nothing more than a legal formality, but legal adoption actually ensures that you have legal rights to the child. This includes visitation, should you and your spouse divorce, but it also includes legal guardianship for purposes such as military benefits, school enrollment, access to medical records, and more.
Each type of adoption has its own set of limitations, hurdles, and benefits, and the one that is right for you will depend largely on your circumstances, needs, and wishes. If you have questions about adoption, or need help determining which option may be most suitable for your family and/or needs, contact an experienced family law attorney.
Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys Can Help with Your Adoption
Whatever your family's adoption needs may be, whatever your situation, our DuPage County family law attorneys can help. We will guide you through the complex legal process and serve as a trusted advocate, every step of the way. If you are planning to adopt, call 630-665-7300 and schedule a consultation with MKFM Law today.