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Getting Started with Adoption

 Posted on November 01, 2016 in Divorce

You face a multitude of questions once you decide adoption is the next stop. How do you adopt a child? Do you need an attorney? How much will it cost? While the adoption process can seem overwhelming at first, it is easily explained by an experienced Chicago adoption attorney from Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C.. You can choose to go through an independent process, private agency or a public agency adoption. All of those options will help you welcome a child into your home. To learn which path may be the best for you, call us today at 630-961-0060. We will explain your rights as an adoptive parent and the pros and cons of each option.

Private Adoption

Private adoption, also known as an independent adoption, is the process of adopting a child without going through an agency. You will need to be matched with a prospective child in another way, such as through family, friends or a religious community. During a private adoption, an experienced adoption attorney drafts any necessary agreements and guides you through the legal process.

One of the many benefits of independent adoption is flexibility. You and the birth parents can decide on how you want the adoption to proceed, including when you are given the child and whether the birth parents remain involved in the child’s life. Another benefit of a private adoption is that you do not have to meet any specific criteria to be an adoptive parent. Many agencies evaluate your age, health, family situation, and history to determine if you are a good fit for adoption.

A Private Agency

While there may be more flexibility and privacy during an independent adoption, working with a private agency in conjunction with your own adoption attorney is a great way to expand your family. During an agency adoption, the birth parents or the courts give the agency authority over placing the child with a new family. The agency matches you with potential adoptive children based on your preferences and sometimes the wishes of the birth parents.

Make sure any agency you choose to work with is licensed with the state and has a good reputation. You will have to go through multiple steps with an agency, including interviews, home visits, and meetings with birth parents. You will also need to pay certain fees, which may differ based on whether you move forward with a domestic or international adoption.

Social Services

You can also adopt by working with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This is often best if you are open to adopting older children, siblings, or children with special physical and emotional needs. DCFS does not have specific requirements to become an adoptive parent other than having room in your home and being financially capable of caring for a child.

By adopting through DCFS, you undergo a process that includes an initial screening and home visit. You first become a licensed foster parent, which includes a little more than 35 hours of training and can take up to 2 months. Once you have a child or siblings placed with you, adoption can take another 6 months.

You may have to pay certain fees and legal expenses for the adoption, but the overall cost of adopting through DCFS is usually less than through a private agency.

A Chicago Adoption Lawyer Is Here to Help

Deciding to adopt then going through the process is an emotional journey, but the path to bringing home a child does not have to be stressful or an endless struggle. The attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. can explain our options as prospective adoptive parents and help you through the process no matter which route you take. Call us today at 630-961-0060 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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