McHenry County Adoption Lawyer
One of the happier areas of a family law practice is adoption.
One of the happier areas of a family law practice is adoption. Parents who want and need children build their families by taking in a child born of other parents. When an adoption is finalized, family trees are permanently changed. The adopted child has all the same rights and privileges in the adoptive family that a biological child does.
There are many different circumstances under which adoptions occur. Most adoptions proceed as uncontested adoptions; but some adoptions are contested, or include contested issues.
In all adoptions the rights of the biological mother and father, the adoptive mother and adoptive father and the child/children being adopted, all need to be addressed. The adoption attorneys at Prime Law Group can address all the necessary issues in an adoption proceeding and assist families in completing the adoption process.
Uncontested adoptions include private adoptions (also referred to as independent adoptions), and agency adoptions. Private adoptions take place without the involvement of either the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”) or a licensed private Illinois adoption agency. Agency adoptions include adoptions where children are placed with the adoptive parents through the services of a licensed Illinois Adoption Agency or after placement with foster parents by DCFS.
A related adoption occurs when one or both of the adoptive parents are related to the child. The most common type of related adoption is a stepparent adoption. In a stepparent adoption, a child’s biological parent and that parent’s new spouse adopt the child. Other related adoptions include situations where one or both of the adoptive parents are the child’s biological brother, sister, grandparent, step-grandparent, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, great-uncle, great-aunt, or cousin.
Independent or Private
In a private adoption, also referred to as an independent adoption, the biological parents place the child with the adoptive parents directly, without using the services of either a licensed Illinois adoption agency or a public social services agency. Private adoptions are controlled by numerous laws, rules and regulations that must be stringently followed to effectuate the adoption and avoid undesirable consequences. The adoption attorneys of Prime Law Group are available to represent either the biological parents or the adoptive parents by preparing all necessary documentation, ensuring that all laws and regulations are followed, and avoiding potential problems.
An adult adoption is an adoption where a person 18 years of age or older becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents. One of the adoptive parents must either be related to the adult being adopted or have resided with the adult being adopted for at least two years prior to filing for adoption. The adult being adopted must consent to the adoption; but the biological parents do not need to be given notice and need not consent to the adoption.
In a co-parent adoption, (also referred to as second-parent adoption), two unmarried individuals adopt a child together. In the most common co-parent adoption scenario, one biological parent of the child and that parent’s same-sex partner adopt the child. Not all counties in Illinois allow unrelated co-parent adoptions. Please contact us to find out if co-parent adoption is allowed in the county where you reside.
Private Illinois Adoption Agency Adoptions
Private Illinois Adoption Agencies are licensed and regulated by the state of Illinois through the Illinois Childcare Act of 1969, 225 ILCS 10/1 et.seq., and the Illinois Childcare and Family Services Act, 20 ILCS 510. Private Illinois adoption agencies are licensed to provide the public with information and advice regarding Illinois adoptions. Illinois adoption agencies are authorized to license adoptive and foster homes. Licensed Illinois Adoption Agencies can accept the surrender of children from birth parents. Licensed Illinois Adoption Agencies also have the authority to place children in the homes of adoptive parents. Finally, Illinois Adoption Agencies provide post-placement supervision and supportive services.
Vacating or Reversing an Adoption
Under limited circumstances an adoption can be vacated or reversed after the fact. For example, a biological parent may petition a court to reverse an adoption based on a claim that the court lacked jurisdiction to enter the adoption, the biological parent was not given proper notice of the birth and/or the adoption. The consent forms invalid for technical reasons or the consent was attained by fraud or duress. Prime Law Group adoption attorneys are available to represent clients seeking to defend against petitions to vacate an adoption. When representing adoptive parents our attorneys will use their skill and experience to prevent and successful challenge to one of our adoptions.
Adopting the Child of an Absent Biological Parent
In parentage cases and following a divorce one of the biological parents sometimes disappears from the life of his or her child. In such circumstances the other parent together with his or her new spouse, partner, or other third party may be able to adopt the child with or without the consent of the absent biological parent. Prime Law Group adoption attorneys can represent paternal adoptive parents or absent spouses who contest the adoption to ensure the desired results.