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The process of adopting a child

Some Illinois residents may be interested in learning more about adoption procedures in the state. Adoption is a procedure in which the rights and responsibilities of a child's birth parents are transferred to an adopting party. After the process has been completed, the child in question is issued a new birth certificate and his or her original stored in a sealed file.

In order for a married couple to adopt a child, both the husband and the wife must consent to the adoption and petition for it to occur. However, one is not necessarily required to be married in order to adopt a child. This is also true in cases of related adoption, where the at least one of the adopting parents is related to the child by blood.

Related adoptions can occur sometimes in cases where a child's biological parents have divorced and one of the parents is deemed unfit for the responsibility. A parent may be declared unfit for reasons including abandoning the child or lacking interest in his or her welfare. In cases where the other birth parent has remarried, the new couple may petition for a child's adoption. If the other parent voluntarily consents to the adoption, it is not necessary for him or her to be declared unfit.

In these cases, an attorney may be able to facilitate the adoption process by preparing and presenting the necessary documentation to a judge. Parents and children do not necessarily have to be present in court in order for an attorney to act on their behalf. Moreover, an attorney may assist in cases of related adoption by negotiating the terms of the adoption with the other parties involved. If a biological parent refuses consent for the adoption, an attorney may present evidence indicating why they are unfit in order for the adoption to proceed.

Source: Illinois State Bar Association , "Your Guide to Adoption", October 13, 2014

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