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Understanding the different types of adoption in Illinois

18919061_S.jpgNot all families are developed the traditional way. Because not all women are able to conceive or carry a child full-term, some individuals in Illinois and elsewhere become parents through adoption. While this is a very beneficial process in society, giving adults the opportunity to become parents and for children to have a safe and loving home, it is also a complex process. Even more so, adoption can look very different from family to family, mostly because they are shaped to meet the needs of those gaining and giving up parental rights.

Adoption can be completed through an agency. However, it could be carried out independently. While it is very common to go through a public or private adoption agency because they are able to provide the support and counseling often required in the process, adoption could be completed independently. This typically means that it involves close personal relationships. Whether it is a friend or a relative. It should be noted that independent adoptions can be more restrictive, requiring more reporting and oversight throughout the process.

An adoption can be either open or closed. This refers to the birth parent's ability to establish and even maintain a relationship with the adoptive parents. This in turn creates a relationship with the child. An open adoption allows for a birth parent to gain a better idea of the background of an adoptive parent, making it easier to chose a family. This typically involves meetings during pregnancy and even after the birth of the child. In comparison, a closed adoption involves little to no contact between the birth and adoptive parents. This typically results in a sealed file, preserving the confidentiality of the information related to the adoption.

Another type of adoption that parents might encounter is a stepparent adoption. This often requires less steps, and is considered less complex when compared to traditional adoptions. The biggest challenge, however, is obtaining the consent of the birth parent to terminate his or her parental rights in order to become a legal stepparent.

Adoption can look different from family to family, and this is based on the needs and future desires of the parents involved in the process. Because it can be complex and involves the future life of a child, those dealing with this or any other family law issue should be sure to understand his or her rights. This could help an individual take proper steps to protect his or her rights and interests.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Types of Adoption," accessed July 30, 2017

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