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Adoption, like marriage, is a legal means of adding someone to your immediate family. There are many different circumstances under which adoptions occur. Most adoptions proceed as uncontested adoptions, but some adoptions are contested or include contested issues, which may result in a complex and time-consuming process.
Creating a family by adoption is a life-affirming event. Illinois recognizes a wide range of relationships created by adoption to help you build your family. One of the most common Illinois adoption arrangements is step-parent adoption, in which a step-parent takes on the legal responsibility for a child, terminating the birth parent's responsibility.
Illinois also recognizes co-parent adoption, an option for same-sex couples in which one partner wishes to formally adopt the other's child. A co-parent adoption gives the non-birth parent the power to make important decisions on behalf of the child, including decisions about the child's schooling and medical care.
Grandparents or relatives wishing to keep a child in the family may consider grandparent or relative adoption, allowing these family members to take on the responsibility and joy of raising a family member's child. Similarly, for family members wishing to ensure that children or adults are protected after the family member's death, adult adoption and standby adoption create the legal relationship necessary for Illinois courts to recognize the bonds of guardianship and inheritance in the face of a parent's sudden death or incapacitation.
Illinois also provides for families to adopt children directly from birth parents, via public or private adoption agencies, or after providing foster care for a child. These adoptions may be "open," permitting the exchange of personal details between birth and adoptive parents, or they may be "closed," in which the birth and adoptive parents remain anonymous to one another. Both birth parents and adoptive parents will benefit from professional, compassionate advice on the legal and personal concerns involved in choosing an open or closed adoption.
To be successful, adoption requires careful planning and professional guidance through Illinois adoption law. The Law Firm of Wendy R. Morgan has been helping people create and strengthen families through adoption for over 30 years. Our experienced attorneys will walk you through your options and represent your interests in Court and with adoption agencies and birth parents as you seek to complete your family.
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