Adoption | Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog
As a grandparent, you play a big role in your grandchild’s life. You love them, support them, and even protect them. You are there when their parents cannot be, and in the event of a tragedy, you are there to also serve as a parent. You certainly aren’t alone. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services reports that approximately 100,000 other grandparents in the state are raising their grandchildren.
While going through the rigorous pre-adoption process, you may be feeling anxious and at the same time thrilled at the prospect of providing a home to a child in need. Once the paperwork is completed and the child is finally under your care, everything else will work itself out, and you and your child will soon develop a loving, trusting relationship with one another.
Or that’s what you want to think. The reality is many adoptive parents, especially mothers, go through a great emotional trial in the early stages of adoption. It is often referred to as post-adoption depression.
In the U.S., each year at least 120,000 children are adopted. Special needs adoptions have increased the number. Children with developmental, physical, or emotional handicaps are not considered unadoptable any more. Adoptions benefit children by allowing them to have the chance to mature within permanent loving families, not be moved from one foster home or institution to another.
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), Illinois parents are concerned whether or not to tell children they are adopted. If so, when is the appropriate time, at what age, and how is it best to tell them? Their concern is that they do not want their children to have to face challenges or difficulties once they know they are adopted.
Adoption can be a loving and rewarding opportunity for couples who are unable to have or choose not to have their own biological children. That same opportunity is available for step-parents, other relatives, and same-sex couples.
Family law attorneys who help clients with adoption laws and steps to adoption understand that adoption can be a complex process requiring a great deal of serious forethought.
Courtesy of the Adoption Center of Illinois, the following types of adoption are available to Illinois residents:
The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act grants the rights of traditionally married couples to civil union couples, including the right to adopt. This caused quite a bit of controversy when Catholic Charities refused to offer civil union adoption services to same-sex couples. Although Catholic Charities, which was publicly funded though a private religious organization, has since withdrawn from the legal battle to continue receiving state funds while reserving the right to refuse adoption services, it is not the end of the battle between religion, same-sex civil unions, and state law.
According to ChicagoPhoenix.com, a bill that would have amended the Civil Union Act to allow religion-based child welfare organizations to refuse adoption services to civil union couples was killed in Springfield by civil rights activist groups such as the Illinois ACLU and LGBT groups such as The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA). The bill, which was introduced in October, would have ultimately allowed religious adoption institutions to discriminate against lesbian and gay civil union couples. This bill is only one of several similar bills introduced since last year.
A former Ottawa resident who was adopted through a closed adoption is in search of her biological parents to learn about her medical history, ethnicity, and find out more about the possibility of meeting her biological family. According to a News Tribune article, the woman was born in June of 1986 and is a mother of two. When she was pregnant, doctors and nurses wanted to know her medical history, but she wasn’t able to provide them with this information.
The report states that the woman has submitted her information to several adoption websites, has registered with the Illinois Department of Public Health, and has been added to the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange. Because she had been adopted through a closed adoption, she could only be told the ages of her birth parents as well as the time, date, and place of her birth.
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