Adoption Law

Adoption law provides a means for parents to voluntarily assume the legal rights and responsibilities of a child not born to them. Following an adoption, all legal ties between the child and the birth parents are permanently severed. The new adoptive parents and the child are treated just like a natural family in the eyes of the law. The adoptive parents decide important matters involving medical treatment, education, and religion, as well as ordinary day-to-day issues that arise in the childís life.

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  • Rights of Lineal Relatives After Adoption

    When a person is adopted, the legal relationship between that individual and birth parents and other individuals is altered. In many states, adoption creates new lineage that basically substitutes a personís natural family for his or her adoptive family. Questions regarding the rights of extended family members to children who were adopted out of the family often arise in the will and estate area of law.

  • Adoption and Divorce

    When a couple decides to get divorced, they agree to sever their legal relationship with each other. However, both parties still have legal rights and responsibilities related to their children, whether they were born of the marriage or part of an adoption. In most situations, the fact that the children were adopted will not differ from whether the children were born of the marriage. However, there are some exceptions.

  • Is It Possible to Reverse an Adoption?

    While adoption can help place a child in a home with parents who want to care for the child, adoption does not always work out. The process is different to stop an adoption that has not yet gone through versus reversing one once it has been finalized. It also depends on the person who wishes to reverse the adoption.

  • Discouraging Adoption Fraud and Misrepresentation / Duty to Report Abuse and Guarding of Confidentiality

    Especially in the case of adoption, the Code specifically requires an attorney to actively discourage adoption fraud or misrepresentation and prohibits the attorney from engaging in such conduct.

  • Setting and Communicating Attorney Fees

    Both Codes require that an attorney enter into a written fee agreement with a client and requires the attorney to carefully explain and ensure that the client understands the fee agreement. The fees collected by an attorney with respect to an adoption or surrogacy cannot be illegal or unconscionable and must be commensurate with the services provided.

  • Appraising All Parties of Their Rights and Obligations

    Adoptions and Surrogacy Agreements raise substantial ethical considerations. Particularly in the case of Surrogacy Agreements, the parties are essentially contracting with one another for the use of another womanís uterus.

  • What Benefits Is My Same-Sex Spouse or Domestic Partner Entitled to?

    Due to a number of important Supreme Court decisions in the 21st century, married same-sex spouses are entitled to a number of benefits that were previously outside their reach. While domestic partners may be entitled to some benefits, married spouses are typically eligible for more benefits. Marriage is a factor in many federal benefits.

  • Illinois Adoptees Can Receive Original Birth Certificates Thanks to Illinois Adoption Law

    Relatively new laws in the Illinois legislature have made it easier for persons who have been adopted to receive their original birth certificates. Both adoptees and surrendered persons born in Illinois may request a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate.

  • Making the Decision to Adopt

    There are many questions you need to ask yourself before making the life-changing decision to adopt a child.

  • What Are the Possible Legal Issues Related to Sperm Donors?

    More and more Americans are turning to in vitro fertilization as a means of conceiving. Sometimes the sperm donor for these procedures is known, sometimes he is not. In either instance, what are the possible legal issues related to both the mother and biological father as the sperm donor?

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