Understanding the Various Forms of Adoption
If you are interested in adopting a child, it is important to know that there are several types of adoptions available. Understanding the different adoption alternatives can help prospective adoptive parents determine which form is best for them.
Often, prospective parents wish to adopt an infant. In fact, there are currently more people who wish to adopt an infant than there are infants available for adoption. Frequently, the adoption of an infant is accomplished independently. An independent adoption occurs through the use of an intermediary, such as an attorney, physician, or other facilitator. In independent adoptions, the transfer of a child occurs directly between the biological and adoptive parents.
Independent adoptions typically do not require counseling for the prospective parents. Additionally, independently adopted children are generally not eligible for financial assistance to help with any special needs that may not have been noticeable at the birth of the child.
An alternative to an independent adoption is adopting through an agency. However, one disadvantage to this method is that an adoption may take a considerable amount of time before a child is identified for the adoptive parents.
Another option for prospective parents is to adopt a child in foster care. Children in foster care are children whose biological parents are unable to provide care for them and have had their parental rights terminated. Moreover, children who are in foster care are waiting to be adopted. Information related to foster care children can be obtained by contacting local public or private agencies.
Related to foster care adoption is a process called fost-adopt. In this process, a child is placed with his or her prospective adoptive parents as a foster child. The expectation is that the child's biological parents will eventually terminate their parental rights and make the child legally available to be adopted by his or her foster parents.
While often desirable, international adoptions are frequently complicated and expensive. The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) has placed several requirements on both the receiving country and country of origin of an adopted child. These requirements have provided additional protection for biological parents and children being adopted, but have also caused international adoption to become more difficult and costly.
In addition, many countries, whether part of the Hague Adoption Convention or not, have either significantly restricted the number of children available for adoption or have completely barred the adoption of children. Hence, this has made international adoptions more difficult. However, despite the obstacles, international adoptions are still possible.
Open and Closed Adoptions
Another important distinction is between open and closed adoptions. In a closed adoption, any identifying information is not to be shared between the biological and adoptive family. Therefore, there is no contact between the two families. In contrast, at least some information is shared in an open adoption. Open adoptions can also be beneficial because they allow the medical information of the biological parents to be shared with the adoptive parents.
Adopting in Illinois
If you would like more information related to adopting a child, please contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney at MKFM Law. Our firm would be happy to help you with the process of expanding your family through adoption and can answer questions you may have concerning the adoption process. Call 630-665-7300 today.