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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

9405 Bormet Drive, Suite 7, Mokena, IL 60448

Mokena | 815-727-6144

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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 Mokena adoption attorney for home studiesFor many people, adoption is a very rewarding and fulfilling way to expand their family. If you are considering adoption, there are certain processes that you must go through and qualifications that you must meet before you are permitted to adopt a child. In the state of Illinois, a home study is an important piece of the adoption puzzle. No matter which way you choose to adopt -- whether through a private agency or individual or through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services -- you will have to complete a home study as a part of the requirements to adopt.

Why Are Home Studies Used?

Many people believe that a home study is simply a home visit to talk to you and the other family members in your home. While this included in an adoption home study, it is just a small piece of the bigger process. Home studies are intended to allow social workers to evaluate families and determine whether they have not only the financial resources to adopt a child, but also the emotional ability to accept a child into their family.

Background Checks

Background checks are a requirement for all adults over the age of 18 who reside in the household where the child will be living. The background check must be passed by all members in order for the family to be eligible to adopt. Children who are between the ages of 13 and 17 must consent to a search in the child abuse and neglect registry and the child sex offender registry.

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Orland Park adoption lawyer

Adoption is a great way to help a child and bring them into your family. Whether you are a same-sex couple, a couple who is unable to have children, or an unmarried individual who wants a child, adoption is a viable option. Adoption can prove to be a challenging and time-consuming process because of all of the legal hurdles you face. One element of the adoption process that can be difficult is gaining proper consent so you can finalize the adoption. Gaining consent means the appropriate parties have agreed to give all rights and responsibilities related to the child to the new adoptive parents.

Who is Required to Consent in Adoption?

If the birth mother and biological father still have parental rights and legal custody of the child, both the mother and the father (if paternity has been established) are required to consent to the adoption. If the child is no longer in the legal custody of the parents, then consent can be given by:

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Mokena family law attorney child paternityThe only time the legal father of a child is presumed in Illinois is when the mother is married when the child is born or within 300 days before the child is born. In these cases, the man the mother was married to is presumed to be the legal father of the child. If the mother was unmarried at the time the child was born or within 300 days before the child was born, then it is her responsibility to establish the paternity of the child. Paternity can be established through a couple of different ways, but it is essential that it is done, especially if the mother is attempting to seek child support from the child’s father. Paternity cases can be confusing, which is why getting legal help is advised in these situations.

Ways of Establishing Paternity

If your child’s paternity is not automatically presumed, then you must go about establishing your child’s paternity through alternate means. There are two other ways you can determine your child’s paternity: through the use of a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form or by actions taken by a state child support agency or a judge. The easiest way to establish your child’s paternity is to fill out and sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form while you are at the hospital and have your child’s father do the same.

If your child’s father is unwilling to sign the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, you may have to enlist the help of the courts or Illinois Child Support Services. Either of these processes will require you, your child, and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing before an Order of Paternity can be established.

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Frankfort international adoption lawyerNot all couples go the traditional route when it comes to having children. For some couples, adoption is the best option to grow their family. Adoption is a rewarding and fulfilling process, but it can also be long and tedious. When it comes to adoption, there are a few different options that you have to choose from. The first decision you should make when adopting is whether you want to go through a domestic adoption and adopt a child from the United States, or if you would like to go through an international adoption and adopt a child from a foreign country. The international adoption process can be complicated, but a skilled adoption attorney can help.

Hague and Non-Hague Adoptions

For international adoptions, there are two types that you can choose from: Hague and non-Hague adoptions. The adoption process you will use will entirely depend on the country you decide to adopt a child from.

Hague Adoptions

Many countries are members of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Also known as the Hague Adoption Convention, this international treaty was created to protect birth parents’, children’s, and adoptive parents’ best interests when going through an international adoption. Hague adoptions provide much more resources and protections to adoptive parents and their children than non-Hague adoptions.

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Mokena child relocation attorneyWhen you are a parent, almost everything you do is to make sure your child is happy and healthy. Your child’s best interests are at the top of your list of priorities. Sometimes, doing the best thing for your child may include a relocation, which can be difficult to navigate, since it may require changes to child custody arrangements. In the state of Illinois, it is generally understood that a child flourishes better when both parents are active and involved in the child’s life. Because of this, a relocation with your child must be approved by both your child’s other parent and the courts. Even if your child’s other parent objects to the relocation, you can still petition to relocate with your child as long as you can demonstrate that the move would benefit the child.

Starting the Relocation Process

Before you take your issue to the courts, you may want to address it between you and the child’s other parent first. You should provide the other parent with notice regarding your intended move, and you must then file a notice of relocation with the clerk of the circuit court, and the other parent must sign that notice and file the signed copy. The notice of relocation should be filed at least 60 days before your intended relocation and should include your date of relocation and your new address. If the other parent objects to the relocation, or if you cannot come to an agreement about an updated parenting plan, then you will have to petition the court to allow the relocation. 

How Relocation Decisions Are Made

In all cases involving children, courts make decisions based on what would be in the child’s best interests. Factors that judges consider when making decisions about relocations include:

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