Elmhurst, Illinois Adoption Attorneys
Experienced Adoption Lawyers Helping Those in DuPage County, Lake County, and the Chicago Area
In many cases, adoption may be one of the most upbeat parts of a family law practice. Other times, it is just as heartbreaking as a divorce when a biological parent will not act in the best interest of their child and terminate their parental rights. Adoption is a legal manner of adding a child or adult to your family. A successful adoption can be both complex and time-consuming, requiring a skilled Illinois attorney to guide prospective parents carefully through the state’s adoption laws. Illinois recognizes a wide range of relationships created by adoption, including the following:
- “Traditional” adoption in which a husband and wife want to add a child (or adult) to their family. The parents adopt from the birth parents, either directly or via public or private adoption agencies. Some families adopt after providing foster care for a child. Adoptions may be open or closed. In a closed adoption the birth and adoptive parents do not know one another. In an open adoption, personal details may be exchanged and the biological parents may remain in contact with the child even following the adoption.
- Stepparent adoptions are by far the most common form of adoption in the state of Illinois. When the stepparent willingly and legally agrees to accept responsibility for the child of their spouse, a stepparent adoption can take place. A background check of the prospective stepparent is required, the biological parent must be notified of the adoption, and any objections on the part of the biological parent must be addressed.
- Co-parent adoption is a popular choice for couples of the same sex. Same-sex marriage is now recognized in all 50 states. When one partner in a same-sex marriage desires to adopt the child of the other, a co-parent adoption may be appropriate. This type of adoption allows the non-birth parent the right to make decisions pertaining to the child’s school, medical care and religious upbringing, and to have bestowed upon them all of the Constitutional rights of a biological parent. A co-parent adoption thus gives the non-birth parent certain rights as a parent should the marriage end in divorce.
- Grandparent or relative adoption allows family members to legally take on the responsibilities of raising a related child and may be necessary when a birth parent dies, becomes incapacitated, or in other circumstances where the birth parent is unable to care for the child.
- International adoption may be the right choice for those who want to choose their child’s gender or race, want to adopt more than one child, or already have biological children and want to add a child to their family. The parents must meet the requirements of the child’s native country. Most international adoptions happen within a set time period, and so long as the requirements are met, the adoption is virtually guaranteed.
- Jurisdiction plays an important role in Illinois adoption. As per the Illinois Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50/.01), an adoption may occur in the county in which the petitioners reside, in the county the adoptee was born in or lives, or in the county where the birth parents live. If an adoption agency provides custody of the child and may assent to his or her adoption, the adoption may take place in any Illinois count. Likewise, if the court had appointed a guardian to the child and an adoption is initiated, it may occur in any county.
- Adult adoption is an option many blended families consider in order for stepchildren to receive inheritance from a stepparent or share a last name. The benefits of adult adoption provide an easier route for families to pass down property and assets to their children who are above the age of 18. Adult adoptions may also provide for care of another adult with special needs, as an adult adoption passes down the supervision and care of a physically or mentally incapacitated person.
Many private adoptions are considered uncontested, meaning the biological parents do not object to the adoption. These may take place without the involvement of an adoption agency. Even when your adoption appears totally straightforward, it is recommended you have an attorney involved to properly review and file your adoption agreement in order to avoid future complications.
The lawyers at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC offer flat rates for uncontested adoptions provided they remain uncontested.
While most adoptions are a joyous event to be celebrated, in some cases the adoption proceedings can be controversial. If the natural parent is not on board with having parental rights terminated, the adoption may be contested. Sometimes a natural parent’s family member may even contest the adoption of the child to another family member or to a non-relative family. If a contest occurs, you likely have to undergo a two-step trial. The first step is terminating the rights of a biological parent (or both biological parents). The second step is fitness of the adopting parties to adopt the child. Attorney Maxine Weiss Kunz has successfully undertaken these trials. The person contesting the adoption may, through his or her attorney, make one of several arguments is support of the position of opposition. Regardless of what the controversy is, or who it is between, the court will ultimately be charged with making the decision regarding the adoption.
The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC will work hard to ensure your adoption process goes as smoothly as possible. We understand the importance of bringing a new member into your family and are dedicated to helping you build your family with as few complications, stress, and expense as possible. Our attorneys have extensive experience regarding Illinois adoption proceedings which can be used to the clients’ benefit. For knowledgeable adoption assistance, contact Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC.