Deciding to take responsibility of and care for a child without parents is a life-changing gift for children in the foster care system. Children within the foster care system range from the age of birth to 18 years old and many stay in the system until they reach adulthood. These children have been placed into the hands of the state as a result of abuse, neglect, or abandonment by their biological parents. While it is in the best interest of the child, being placed in foster care can be a traumatic and difficult way to live out their years of adolescence. Continue reading to better understand the foster care system and the legal process that goes along with it.
Fostering vs. Adoption
Though fostering and adopting a child can be similar, the two social services do not always go hand in hand. Adopting a child permanently removes the legal rights and responsibilities of the child’s biological parents and hands them over to the adoptive parents. An adoption also involves the changing of the child’s legal name. Adoptive parents can also receive financial aid from social services throughout the adoption process and after the adoption has been completed.
Fostering a child does not have the same permanence that adoption does. Foster parents are not given the same legal rights to the child as adoptive parents are. The child can still maintain a relationship with their biological parents who can also be involved in decision-making some of the child’s needs. Foster parents are also provided monetary aid to be used in taking care of the child. Though fostering a child does not have the same permanence as adoption, some parents foster a child from birth until their 18th birthday and maintain their relationship into the child’s adulthood. This is known as long-term fostering. Foster parents also undergo regular training and support that adoptive parents do not. This allows for their parenting to be assessed to protect the child.
Contact a St. Charles, IL Adoption Attorney for Help
Adopting a foster child is a legal process similar to any other adoption. It is known as an agency adoption since the parents will be working with the Department of Child and Family Services. The process can take multiple months to officiate and involved a lot of legal paperwork and various home inspections. Though adoption can be a rather smooth process, it can become complicated if biological parents get involved. It is crucial to have a professional family law attorney involved in the adoption process. At Shaw Family Law, P.C., we have experience with the various forms of adoption, including agency adoptions. Contact our skilled Kane County adoption attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation regarding adoption.