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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 family lawyerChoosing to adopt a child is a life-changing decision for both the potential parents and the child. Though you may have made up your mind about adopting, the process involves much more than just a signature on paper. One of the first choices that must be made is the type of adoption you wish to have. Common misconceptions about domestic and international adoptions often lead people into selecting the latter; however, many people fail to realize that international adoption is not always the best choice for every family.

Cost

Many people believe that international adoption costs far less than domestic adoption, but this is often not the case. According to Adoptive Families’ 2016 survey, the average cost to adopt from China was $36,070, Ethiopia was $38,667, and South Korea was $46,412. These are three of the most popular countries to adopt from, with China taking the lead at 2,354 adoptions to the U.S. in 2015. That same year, the average cost for domestic adoption through an attorney totaled $34,594.

Many people fail to recognize the travel and medical expenses that are involved in international adoptions. Often times the adoptive parents must get vaccinated, along with their future child, and make multiple trips to their future child’s country of origin. Travel and medical expenses greatly increase the cost of international adoptions.

Timing

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Posted on in Family Law

Illinois divorce lawyerThere are many ways to add a child to your family. Some couples conceive and birth biological children while others adopt children from the foster system, through private adoptions, and from other countries. When an individual with children marries, whether for the first time or after a divorce, his or her spouse may adopt the children and become their legal stepparent. This is known as a stepparent adoption.

A Child Cannot Have Three Legal Parents

One of the most important points to understand about stepparent adoption is that a child cannot have three legal parents. Although many children and adults refer to a parent’s spouse as their stepparent, a stepparent only has legal rights to a child if he or she completes the stepparent adoption process, which is only possible if the child’s other biological parent voluntarily gave up his or her parental rights or if these rights were terminated by the court. Otherwise, a parent’s spouse can build a strong relationship with a child, but without the legal rights that come with being an actual parent.

When a biological parent voluntarily terminates his or her parental rights, he or she no longer has any right to parenting time with the child. He or she also cannot be required to pay child support, nor can he or she seek child support from the child’s other parent.

Completing the Stepparent Adoption Process

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