Some hopeful parents plan to adopt for months, sometimes years, before they actually begin the official adoption process. The road to adoption is often a long and tedious one, but thoroughly rewarding and fulfilling for the individual who desires to be a parent and share their life with a child in need of a home.
If you are about to embark on the adoption journey or have already taken the first step, it is important to secure the right attorney, as you will need proper representation from start to finish to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. Here are some things every parent should know when beginning their search for an adoption lawyer:
- You have the right to choose your own attorney. If you are adopting a child under the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Families, Illinois law gives you the right to choose your own attorney. The same goes for adoptions through private agencies; you can select the lawyer of your choosing that you believe will be the best fit for your situation and your family;
- You should research any applicable legal fees and costs. Under certain circumstances, the Department of Children and Families may pay for any associated legal fees and costs. For example, if your foster child is a ward of DCFS and will be receiving a subsidy, the DCFS can pay up to $1,500 for court costs and legal fees for each child adopted. Typically, you are personally responsible for attorney and court fees, so be sure to find out what you owe and what assistance (if any) is available to you; and
- Each type of adoption requires special representation. Whether you are pursuing one through a private agency or the DCFS, each adoption presents its own unique circumstances, requiring special attention from a knowledgeable attorney. For example, co-parent adoptions, which typically involve same-sex couples and related adoptions, which include family members such as grandparents, all present different obstacles and will have different requirements, depending on the case. You need an attorney who is responsive to you and who is qualified in the specific area of adoption you plan to pursue.
Selecting the right legal representation, understanding what the process will cost you, and gaining a better understanding of the type of adoption you are pursuing are the initial steps you will you need to take to get the ball rolling. Speak with a skilled Kane County adoption attorney today. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.