Understanding the Pros and Cons of Open Adoptions
Many people may not have heard the term “open adoption” before. The concept of an open adoption is a relatively new one–it started gaining popularity in the United States in the 1980s and 90s. Now, it is estimated that the vast majority of domestic adoptions (nearly 95 percent) involve some degree of openness. Open adoptions are gaining popularity due to the benefits they provide for birth parents and the children themselves.
What Is an Open Adoption?
In a traditional or closed adoption, the identities of the birth parents are kept confidential, and they have no contact with the adoptive family before or after the child is adopted. In these cases, the thought process tended to be that if the birth parents knew where the child was, they might attempt to take the child back at some point. However, this would be against the law, because once a child is adopted, the adoptive family is considered the child’s legal family.
In an open adoption, one or both of the birth parents are involved in the child’s life to varying degrees or have some form of contact with the adoptive family. There are no set types of open adoptions; rather, each open …
Changing Your Name After a Divorce in Illinois
There are many reasons why a person would want to change their name or the name of their child–adoption, marriage, establishing parentage–but for many people, a name change can be the last step in the divorce process. Many people–women, especially–change their last name to match their partner’s when they get married. In the event that you get divorced, changing your last name to what it was prior to the marriage is a way that many people emotionally detach themselves from the marriage and their ex-spouse. The easiest way to change your last name in the event of a divorce is to add it to the divorce decree, but you do not have to do it then. You can change your name at any time after the divorce.
Seven Steps to Changing Your Name After a Divorce
Changing your name in Illinois is a relatively easy process. As long as you have been a resident of Illinois for at least six months, and you have not been convicted of a felony or a sex crime, you can proceed with the steps to change your name.
1. Prepare the Forms Required
There are two forms required to change your name: a petition …
Understanding International Adoptions
When it comes to adoptions, there are a couple different methods that prospective parents can choose from. One of the first decisions you have to make is if you want to go through a domestic adoption, meaning you are adopting a child within the United States, or an intercountry adoption, meaning you are adopting a child from another country and bringing that child back to the United States to live with you. Both types of adoptions can be difficult and tedious, but intercountry adoptions have specific rules and regulations that domestic adoptions do not.
Hague vs. Non-Hague Adoptions
Two types of intercountry adoptions exist for U.S. citizens: Hague and non-Hague adoptions. The country you decide to adopt from will determine which process you will adopt by.
The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, also known as the “Hague Adoption Convention,” is an international treaty that was created to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents involved in adoptions.
Countries involved in the Hague Adoption Convention include:
- United Kingdom
- Sri Lanka
- South Africa
If a country is …
Adoption vs. Guardianship
There are two legal routes of establishing care for a child whose parents cannot provide them with an adequate home: adoption and guardianships. In some cases, adoption, which severs any legal relationship between a child and its mother, is not in the best interest of the child. This is when guardianship comes into play, usually as a temporary legal status.
In an adoption, the adoptive parents are given all of the legal rights and responsibilities that previously belonged to the birth parents. The birth parents either have to voluntarily give up their parental rights or have them involuntarily terminated. Adoption is a lifelong, permanent legal relationship.
An adopted child has all of the same legal rights as birth children if the adoptive parents die and do not have a will, meaning the child is entitled to any inheritance or survivor’s benefits in the event of a death. In an adoption, all decision making is up to the adoptive parents, including decisions about schooling, medical treatments, or visitation of birth parents, depending on the terms of the adoption.
Adoptive parents are financially responsible for the support of the adopted child and can decide the child’s legal name, meaning they …
Enforcement of Divorce and Child Support Orders in Illinois
People may behave irrationally in an acrimonious divorce, willfully disregarding court-mandated child support or spousal support. Reasons may involve wild recriminations or appeals to a misguided sense of justice separate from the judicial system. Make no mistake, though—the law is the law. When an Illinois court enters a divorce decree into court records, it is the last word on the subject, barring a judge’s formal legal modification. When a former spouse refuses to comply with their court-ordered child or spousal support obligations, the power of the law may be used to enforce the divorce decree and impose penalties for non-compliance.
Fault Is Not a Basis for Refusing to Comply with a Divorce Order
If, when refusing to pay court-ordered child support or spousal maintenance, your former spouse attempts to cast blame, remember that Illinois is a “no-fault” state in matters of divorce. The court that has already awarded child or spousal support is of course already fully aware of this fact, so it is doubly beside the point to attempt to evade an order by engaging in informal relitigation.
After the divorce has been finalized, each party has a legal obligation to abide by the terms and conditions of the …