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DuPage County adoption lawyers Adoption provides a child in need with a safe and permanent home. The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) is a government agency that responds to reports of child abuse or neglect. DCFS also protects minors by placing them in foster homes. In many cases, the foster parents wish to legally adopt their foster kids. Children who need adopting can come from all over, and they are all ages and from different backgrounds. Many have siblings who also need a loving home life. DCFS also offers support to help families adopt children with medical conditions or other special needs.

Who Can Adopt?

In Illinois, the first step in adopting a child through DCFS is becoming a licensed foster parent so that children can be placed in your home. An initial screening will involve a visit to your home. The process of receiving a license usually takes one to two months. DCFS works as quickly as possible to match a child (and possibly siblings) to an appropriate family. Those people who wish to adopt can participate in a 27-hour training to become fully licensed foster families. After the placement, a family can request to adopt the child. The request is generally approved by the department and the court after a six-month period.

The state does not have specific qualifications to adopt, but people who can provide an adequate and loving home are typically eligible to adopt. A few of the characteristics of an adoptive parent include: 

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Naperville adoption lawyersAdopting a child is among the most important and rewarding decisions a person can make. Because a child’s life and future are at stake, adoption also brings a long and complicated process that is best navigated with the help of an experienced adoption attorney.

Adoption is a formal legal process that necessitates thorough planning and strict adherence to all related procedures. If you intend to adopt via the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, you must do so with assistance from a DCFS-approved attorney, like those from Anderson & Associates, P.C. This service costs you nothing, as all lawyer fees are paid for by DCFS, which facilitates over 1,500 adoptions every year.

Adoption Timeline

After a background screening and at-home visit by a DCFS caseworker, to adopt a child, you must first get licensed as a foster parent, which allows a child to be legally placed with you. This process usually takes between one to two months. DCFS then sits down with you to match either a single child or multiple siblings with you. Once that is completed, it typically takes a little over six months for final approval from DCFS and the court.

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DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

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 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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