Relative adoption can be a beautiful and important way to form a family.
Adoption is a calling for some hopeful parents — something they believe they were always meant to do. For others, it is a family-building option after a difficult struggle with infertility. There are also more utilitarian reasons for adoption, like the need to provide security, permanency and a loving home to someone you are already related to.
Relative adoption, also known as kinship adoption, is an important legal process. There are plenty of reasons why you may be considering this as an option. We are passionate about creating families and doing what is best for children. Because of this, we’ve served families in the kinship adoption process for over two decades. In this time, we have seen nearly every situation possible.
Whatever your reason is for pursuing a relative adoption, Gillespie Law Group, LLC would be happy to help. Formerly known as Genie Miller Gillespie, Attorney at Law, our new name reflects an expansion in services offered while maintaining the same commitment to adoption that has guide our work for more than two decades. Let’s talk today about how we can serve you.
If adopting a family member is something you are just beginning to consider, you most likely have a lot of questions. The adoption process is not familiar to most people. How does it work, what are the requirements and how can an attorney help?
This guide to the relative adoption process will answer all those questions and more. Our hope is that by the end of this article, you will feel confident and equipped to take the next steps toward adopting a relative in Illinois.
Why Would you Adopt a Relative?
People approach kinship adoption from many different walks of life. There are plenty of reasons to consider adopting a family member. These are a few of the most common:
- A younger relative — cousin, niece, nephew or grandchild — is in need of a permanent caretaker due to the death of parents
- The primary caretakers of a child are in any way incapacitated or unable fulfill parental responsibilities
- One of your family members is in the foster care system and is waiting for a permanent family through adoption
- A family member is pregnant but knows she cannot parent the baby
If something you just read is representative of your life circumstances, then kinship adoption might be right for you. On the other hand, you may not see your situation represented here, and that’s okay, too. There are so many more scenarios out there, and a kinship adoption could still be a good choice.
How to Adopt a Family Member in IL
The relative adoption process can be drastically different depending on the circumstances. If, for instance, you are considering kinship adoption for a young family member who is in the foster care system, then you will work primarily with the state Department of Children and Family Services and your assigned social worker. During this process, you will essentially complete the normal foster-to-adopt requirements.
If, however, you have a family member who is pregnant and would like you to adopt her baby, the process is very different. Instead of working primarily with a social worker from the state, you can work with an adoption attorney to ensure all of the legal requirements are taken care of and the proper steps are followed to legally complete an adoption.
Kinship adoption, in whatever form it takes, has real benefits. One of the most important, especially for children, is the immediate presence of familiarity and trust. Transitioning into a new family through adoption can be challenging. Early-life trauma and attachment challenges create difficult circumstances for children to cope with. This can be especially true in foster care adoption, where it can be difficult for a child to know who to trust. With kinship adoption, a foundation of trust already exists, making the transition easier and creating benefits for everyone.
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you exactly what your kinship adoption process will look like. It depends on the specific details of your situation. What we can tell you with certainty is this: we have worked with families through the kinship adoption process for decades, and we can help you, too. Our goal is to aid you in creating a family. If kinship adoption is right for you, we can provide the legal services to make it happen.
Relative Adoption Laws
Those legal services are vital because there are many laws surrounding adoption. These laws are meant to protect children and ensure that any adoption is done in the child’s best interest.
What this means for you is that in order to complete an adoption, you’ll need to complete a series of complicated steps and fill out a lot of paperwork. Or, more accurately, you’ll need to find a trusted adoption attorney to guide you through it all.
We understand requirements for adoptive parents, and provide comprehensive support, both pre- and post-placement support. You should have as much peace and confidence as possible during this process, and our services will give that to you.
Contact Us Today
Contact us at any time to schedule a free consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about kinship adoption in Illinois and discuss starting your own relative adoption process today.