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IL custody lawyerThere are several ways that parental rights can be terminated in Illinois. For example, a father may lose his parental rights if the court finds that he is not the true biological or adoptive father of the child. The involuntary termination of parental rights may be a result of a parent being deemed “unfit” due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or another issue. However, there are also circumstances in which a parent may choose to give up his or her parental rights. Voluntary termination of parental rights is often an important step in the adoption process. For help with issues related to the relinquishment of parental rights in Illinois, contact an experienced family law attorney.

Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights Requires Court Approval

A parent who has terminated his or her parental rights loses the right to spend time with his or her child or have any decision-making authority regarding the child’s upbringing. Additionally, the parent will no longer be required to pay child support. However, a parent cannot simply give up his or her parental rights to avoid a child support obligation. Illinois courts make all child-related decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. Therefore, courts usually only grant a voluntary termination of parental rights if there is another individual, such as a stepparent, who wants to adopt the child. If there is not an adoptive parent who is prepared to take on parenting responsibilities, a hearing must be held to determine whether or not the termination of parental rights is in the child’s best interests.

Relinquishment of Parental Rights For the Purpose of Adoption

Children can only have a maximum of two parents according to Illinois law. A parent may be asked to terminate his or her parental rights so that another parent can adopt the child. If the biological parent agrees to the adoption, he or she will fill out a Consent to Adoption form as well as an affidavit asserting that:

  • He or she is, in fact, the child’s biological parent
  • He or she understands that the child is being considered for adoption
  • He or she agrees to the adoption

A voluntary termination of parental rights may be eligible for reversal if the termination was the result of duress or fraud. The decision may also be reversed if the Department of Family Services files a motion to restore parental rights based on the best interests of the child.

Contact a St. Charles Child Custody Lawyer

Parents automatically have certain rights and responsibilities under Illinois law. However, these parental rights may be voluntarily or involuntarily terminated in certain circumstances. If you want to learn more about adoption or the termination of parental rights, contact a seasoned Illinois family law attorney at Shaw Family Law, P.C. Call our office today at 630-584-5550 and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your needs.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are thinking about adopting a child, you probably have many questions about what the process entails. The steps involved in an Illinois adoption vary dramatically depending on the type of adoption being pursued. Whether you are interested in adopting a relative such as a stepchild, an infant through an adoption agency, an international child, or you are interested in another adoption avenue, getting quality legal support is essential.

Types of Adoption

Relative adoptions: In some cases, a person or a couple may want to adopt a child who is related to them. Many relative adoptions involve a stepparent who wishes to adopt his or her spouse’s child. A child can only have two parents according to the law, so some relative adoptions may require the child’s biological parent to give up his or her parental rights. If the parent is unwilling to do so, the court may involuntarily terminate the parental rights if the parent is found to be “unfit” due to abuse, abandonment, or other issues.

Agency adoptions: Many adoptions take place through private or public adoption agencies.. Public adoption agencies usually care for children who are wards of the state due to abandonment, abuse, or because they are orphans. Many private adoption agencies are managed by charities and social service organizations. Children in private adoption agencies may have been placed for adoption by their parents because the parents believed that adoption would give their child a better life than they could provide on their own.

Private adoptions: Not all non-relative adoptions involve an agency. In a private adoption, adoptive parents work directly with the biological parent. However, there are still a number of legal procedures and requirements that must be met. It is especially important to work with an experienced lawyer during a private adoption. It is also essential to note that the biological mother of a child in a private adoption may change her mind up until the baby is born and she legally signs her consent for the adoption.

International adoptions: Adopting a child from another country comes with a variety of unique legal and financial complications. You will need to be in compliance with U.S. laws as well as the adoption laws in the country you are adopting from. Parents will also need to get an immigrant visa for their child through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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IL custody lawyerIt has been slow going, but the LGBTQ community is steadily gaining more and more equal rights as everybody else. It has been three years now since marriage between same-sex partners has been legal nationwide, but some legal issues are still more difficult for an LGBTQ couple than a heterosexual couple. In the case of divorce, the process of child custody determination is more difficult for a same-sex couple especially if the child is being shared by two fathers.

Illinois Parentage Act of 2015

When same-sex marriage became legal in 2015, the state of Illinois also passed the Parentage Act which provides a guideline when it comes to child custody. The act includes changes in language to suit same-sex marriages; now, there is a gender-neutral presumption of parentage in that a child can have a relationship with another parent other than its mother, but that adult does not have to be male.

Adoption makes the presumption of parentage a little more tricky, but for same-sex marriages that consist of two males, it is one of the only options if the pair want children. If an adoption occurs, both parents should legally adopt the child so that both can be considered parental figures in the minor’s life.

According to the Parentage Act, a person can be presumed parents of the minor if:

  • The child was born during a civil union or marriage
  • The child was born within 300 days of the end of the civil union or marriage
  • The child was born during a civil union or marriage even if the union is later considered invalid
  • After the child is born, the other person enters into marriage - even if invalid - with the minor’s mother

Any of these conditions can be rebutted as long as the attorney has sufficient evidence to fight the presumed parenthood.

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IL family lawyerAdopting a child is an exciting time for parents. This excitement can lead to unrest from future parents since the adoption process can be quite lengthy. It is impossible to give an accurate timeline for adoptions since there are a variety of types and availability can change at any moment based on biological parents’ choices. Although the wait time can be unpredictable, there are various things that can and should be done before your child arrives at your home.

Learn About the Different Types of Adoption

While this may have already been completed, it is important to research every option available. This can help ensure that you make the best choice for your family and can sometimes shorten your wait time. Adoptions can be completed privately or with the help of an agency. Private adoptions are often done if the couple personally knows the birth parents. Agencies can be helpful for adoptive parents because they can provide you with a variety of resources to aid you with your adoption. Once you have decided whether the adoption will be completed privately or with professional help, you must determine if an international adoption or domestic adoption is best for you. International adoptions can often be quicker but can be more expensive depending on the situation and country. Researching each individual adoption outlet is important before making final decisions.

Be Prepared for the Home Inspection

Every adoption will be preceded by a home inspection. This is completed to ensure that the child will be safe and happy in your environment. The home inspection will require significant amounts of documentation. These include personal background checks, health statements, financial information, references, and autobiographical statements. These documents will help a social worker determine your own background in addition to your personal environment. When conducting the home inspection, the social worker will look for safety hazards such as accessible firearms, an unfenced pool, unscreened windows, etc. The social worker will provide the potential parents with advice about how to make their home safer for children.

Budget Your Adoption

It’s no secret that children are an expensive investment for parents. Adopted children incur more bills due to the adoption costs, especially if one has to travel to bring their child home. You and your spouse should create an adoption budget to ensure that your costs will be covered as the months go on. The budget should include adoption costs as well as parenting costs. This includes the furniture and materials that need to be purchased for the child in addition to food, clothing, and medical costs.

Contact a St. Charles Adoption Attorney for Assistance

In adoption cases, it is important to hire a professional to complete the legal portion. Adoptions are an exciting time for future parents. At Shaw Family Law, we work to take the legal stress off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on the preparation work. If you are considering adoption, contact our dedicated Kane County adoption attorneys at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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Posted on in Family Law

IL divorce lawyerDeciding 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.

 

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