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Arlington Heights family law attorneystepparent adoption occurs when a stepparent wants to adopt his or her spouse’s child. The legal difficulties associated with a relative adoption such as a stepparent adoption are often much different than other types of adoptions. If you are interested in adopting your spouse’s child, speak with a family law attorney experienced in relative adoption cases to get the guidance you need.

Obtaining the Other Parent’s Consent

Many stepparents view their spouse’s child as their own. If you are a stepparent considering adoption, you have probably developed a strong relationship with your stepchild. However, in the eyes of the law, stepparents do not have the same legal rights and responsibilities that a biological parent has. Children can only have two legal parents. In order to adopt your spouse’s child, the child’s other parent may need to consent to the adoption. If the other parent agrees to the adoption, his or her parental rights are terminated, and the stepparent has the opportunity to assume those parental rights.

If the child’s other parent does not want to terminate his or her parental rights, the court will determine whether or not the parent’s parental rights should be terminated involuntarily. For example, if the other parent has been absent from the child’s life for a significant amount of time, the court may terminate the parent’s parental rights through a verdict of abandonment. A parent may also be deemed “unfit” and loose his or her parental rights due to:

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Rolling Meadows family law attorneysAdopting a child can be one of the most rewarding decisions a person ever makes. There are several different avenues for adoption available to Illinois residents. These include private adoptions, adoptions through an adoption agency, foster child adoption, stepparent adoption, international adoption, and more. In some circumstances, the parties involved in an adoption may choose to have an “open adoption.” In an open adoption, the birth parent or parents continue to have contact with the child even after the adoptive parents have become the legal parents of the child.

Benefits and Drawbacks of an Open Adoption

Before recent decades, nearly every child or infant adoption was a closed adoption. Once the adoption was finalized, the birth parents did not have contact with the child or the adoptive parents. Closed adoptions are still common in international adoptions but are increasingly less common with other types of adoption. When an adoptive family decides to have an open adoption, they may be able to develop a positive relationship with the birth parent or birth family. This can be hugely beneficial to the child as well as the adults involved. The child may also enjoy a better sense of identity and understanding of who he or she is than might have been the case in a closed adoption.

However, an open adoption is not right for every family. Maintaining a relationship with the birth mother after the adoption can be an extremely challenging process. You may often feel uncomfortable and unsure of how much information you should share with the birth family. If a biological parent has lost custody of a child due to neglect, abuse, or major substance abuse problems, it may not be wise to have an open adoption. As a general rule, if continued interaction with a birth family is not in the child’s best interests, a closed adoption may be the more appropriate choice.

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Arlington Heights prenup lawyer

Going through a divorce can be a messy process, especially when it comes to splitting the assets between the two partners. Sometimes, it is hard to agree upon how to divide certain pieces of property, businesses, monetary assets, etc. so that both parties can separate happily. This is why many people do not enter a marriage without a prenuptial agreement. This is a legal and binding document signed before a marriage begins, and it predetermines who is entitled to what assets in case of a divorce.

What Can Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Illinois law says that issues related to a couple's children, such as child support and the allocation of parental responsibilities, may not be affected by a prenuptial agreement. Things that can be protected by means of a prenuptial agreement include:

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