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Naperville open and closed adoption attorney

Adoption is defined as the act of legally taking on the responsibility of another person’s child and bringing the child up as your own. It can be a wonderful way to achieve your dream of becoming a parent if you are unable to have biological children. Increasing the size of your family comes with a long list of decision-making, and choosing to adopt is only the first step in the process. The prospective parents must then decide if they would like to conduct an independent adoption or find their child through an agency. Once this is decided, the prospective parents must consider the terms of each adoption, otherwise known as open or closed adoption.

Leave Things Open or Close Them Altogether?

Regardless of the means of adoption that you choose, you will have to consider the degree of “openness” that you would like your future child to have with his or her birth parents. Open adoptions allow some form of contact between the adopted child and his or her biological parents. This can include the simple exchange of information, direct contact before the finalization of the adoption, and/or the creation of post-placement contact agreements. Closed adoptions eliminate all forms of contact, keeping the biological parents' identities unknown to the child and the adoptive parents.

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DuPage County paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity is not something that many mothers think about, since most fathers are presumed. In a legal sense, paternity is the established legal relationship between a child and their father. Establishing paternity gives both the child and the father rights that they would not have without the legal classification. Many (including Illinois courts) agree that most children thrive when they have both parents playing an active role in their lives. Not only does establishing paternity authorize legal rights, but it also helps facilitate the parent-child relationship. Many other benefits come with establishing the paternity of a child, which is why you should consider completing the legal process if your child’s paternity has not been legally recognized.

Presumed Paternity

In the state of Illinois, paternity is presumed if the mother and father were married at the time the child was born or if they were married within a 300-day time period before the child was born. If neither of those situations applies, either the mother or father must take action to legally establish the paternity of the child. This can be done by filling out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form while at the hospital or by filing it with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Paternity can also be established through the use of genetic testing and an administrative or court order.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

There are many reasons why a mother or father would want the court to recognize their child’s biological father. In most cases, the parent seeking to establish paternity of their child does so because they want to initiate the legal relationship and the benefits that go along with it. Benefits of establishing paternity include:

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Naperville step-parent adoption lawyerThe most common form of adoption in Illinois is a related adoption, meaning the adoptive parent is related in some way to the child. Specifically, step-parent adoption is very common in the United States and in Illinois. Step-parent adoptions take place when either the child’s biological mother or father marries someone other than the child’s other biological parent and that person wants to assume legal rights and responsibility of the child. Often, step-parent adoptions take place because they allow for the formal declaration of a parent-child relationship between the step-parent and the child. In addition, the step-parent may pursue an adoption of the child because the child’s other biological parent is not involved in the child’s life.

Things You Should Know Before You Pursue Step-Parent Adoption

In certain ways, it can be a lot easier to adopt a child that is related to you than a child who is unrelated. Related adoptions go through a different process than unrelated adoptions, but related adoptions can still be difficult. 

Before you adopt a step-child, you should consider the following factors:

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