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Making the decision to adopt a child is not one that should be taken lightly. The adoption process can be long and arduous even if the parents have done all the necessary research and work to provide the best home possible for a new child. When you consider adopting a child, there are often common worries parents will discuss. However, many of these adoption concerns are unfounded, like these misconceptions:

Misconception #1: Non-adopted Children are Healthier than Adopted Children 

This assumption comes from a stereotype about the mothers who place their babies up for adoption. Some people believe moms who put their child up for adoption do not take care of themselves during pregnancy as they would if they were keeping the baby. This simply is not true. The National Center for Health Statistics states 85 percent of adopted children have excellent or very good health, compared to 82 percent of non-adopted children. 

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Naperville adoption lawyer single parentIn the United States, non-traditional families are becoming more common and more widely accepted. These types of families include those with step-parents and step-children, same-sex couples, and grandparents raising their grandchildren. Also included in the non-traditional category are single-parent families in which either the mother or father solely raises the child. Traditionally, adoptions usually took place when a couple was married, but now more adoption agencies are helping non-traditional families to adopt as well. Pursuing adoption as a single parent can be extremely challenging and can test your dedication, which is why it is important to consider the following questions and fully understand how your life will change if you choose to adopt.

1. Do You Have a Support System?

It has often been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and in the case of the single parent, this could not be more true. Your support system will be crucial to your parenting success. The support of your family and friends can be invaluable when issues arise, and the help they can provide may include:

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Naperville adoption attorneyOne of the inevitable parts of adopting a child is the requirement that you and your family participate in an adoption home study. Though the process for the home study is different depending on which type of agency you adopt from (public or private), you must complete a home study all the same. Conducting home studies not only allows agencies to gather more information about your family and evaluate the ability of the family to care for the child, but a home study also allows prospective parents and families to learn more about the adoption process and prepares them for the new addition. 

Components of a Home Study

There are many parts to a home study, and they are all included for good reasons. Home studies are meant to be as thorough as possible to facilitate successful adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents should prepare for the following steps:

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DuPage County DCFS adoption attorneyAdoption is a common way for many prospective parents to add to their family. The way the majority of adoptions in the United States take place is through a public agency, such as the foster care system. The public agency in Illinois that helps match children with families is called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). DCFS places children in foster homes, and if they are not able to be rehabilitated into their original homes, they are placed for adoption. Many children who are waiting to be adopted through DCFS are part of sibling groups, or children from the same family who need to be placed in a home together.

Keeping Siblings Together

Children who are put into the foster care system go through a great deal of change in almost every aspect of their lives. These children’s siblings are often the only thing that has remained the same in their life. Children in foster care often come from abusive and neglectful homes where the parents might not have always cared for them in the same way that a sibling did. In these situations, it is important to keep siblings together, so they are able to develop and emotionally mature. Separating siblings leaves the younger sibling to fend for themselves in an unfamiliar environment, and older siblings tend to feel responsible for younger siblings, even if they are not placed together.

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Wheaton adoption lawyer consentAdopting a child is an exciting time in many prospective parents’ lives. Making an addition to the family through adoption can be a stressful and tedious process, especially since there are many legal steps that must be taken before the adoption can be finalized. One of those steps is gaining consent to adopt the child. The consent must come from the child’s birth parents or adoption agency and, in some cases, the child themselves. Giving consent means that the parents or agency responsible for the child relinquishes all rights and duties relating to that child to the adoptive parents. If you are planning to adopt in Illinois, it is important to understand how Illinois laws will affect your adoption.

Who Needs to Consent to Adoption?

Illinois law requires that the birth mother and birth father (who has established paternity) consent to the adoption of their child. In some situations, the birth parents no longer have legal rights to their child. In these cases, the legal requirement for consent can fall to other entities, such as:

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Wheaton adoption lawyerMore than 110,000 adoptions took place in the United States in 2014, according to the National Council for Adoption. Making additions to your family is an exciting time, and many Americans are choosing to make those additions through adoption. The adoption process can be overwhelming, stressful and emotionally draining, with long waiting periods and mountains of paperwork. However, the process can be broken down into simple steps, all of which an experienced attorney can guide you through.

1. Choose an Adoption Provider

There are many different outlets through which you can adopt a child in the United States. The most common outlets are:

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