Palatine family lawyer, step-parent adoptionThe traditional definition of a family, comprised of a mother, father and children, has evolved into a much more fluid notion in modern society. As society becomes more accepting of different gender identities and lifestyles, the concept and content of a family must progress as well.

A longstanding method of expanding a family beyond conventional reproduction was through the adoption of children, including adoption by step-parents. Adoption offers blended families a greater ability to find cohesion, and gives a step-parent legal authority and rights over the life of a child likely viewed as equivalent to his/her own. Step-parent adoptions may appear as somewhat perfunctory and require minimal paperwork because the child is not from an outside source. However, adoptions of children are always treated with a high degree of formality because of the nature of the rights being granted and the necessity of terminating one parent’s rights in favor of the step-parent.

Hiring a Lawyer in a Step-Parent Adoption

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Posted on in Adoption

Palatine family law attorney, gestational surrogacyTechnological advances over the last decade have made conceiving a biological child possible for many individuals, despite being unable to reproduce naturally. Couples can utilize the process of gestational surrogacy, in which a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a child created through in-vitro fertilization. After the birth of the child, the surrogate gives up all parental rights.

Gestational Surrogacy Act

In order to be a gestational surrogate in Illinois, a woman must:

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Palatine family law attorney, foster children’s bill of rightsThis year, House Bill 3684, which creates a Foster Children’s Bill of Rights, went into effect in Illinois. The law’s aim is to ensure that all children and adults who are in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, and are placed in foster homes, have access to the same rights as all other citizens.

Rights and Privileges

The basic rights afforded to foster children include the ability to:

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Posted on in Adoption

Palatine family law attorney, adoption and paternitySometimes, birth fathers are ignored when it comes to adoption proceedings. However, in Illinois, they have important rights with legal protections. Depending on the father’s legal status, a father may be required to give consent to an adoption for the adoption to proceed.

Legal Fathers

There are several ways to become a legal father in Illinois. If a child’s father was married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth or conception, then he will automatically become the child’s legal father. He may also establish paternity by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form, through a Department of Public Aid administrative order if the mother is receiving public assistance, or through filing a petition with the Court.

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Posted on in Adoption

adoption, step parent, step children, Palatine adoption

Modern families come in many different shapes and sizes. For example, non-married partners divorce or break-up after having children. Later, these individuals may find someone new and create mixed families with children living with step-parents with which they are not biologically related. In certain cases, the new partner may want to adopt his/her partner’s children.

Before taking any action regarding adoptions, however, you should consider all the legal ramifications that accompany step-parent adoption.

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