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West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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What If My Illinois Adoption is Contested?

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County adoption lawyerMany couples choose adoption as a way to expand their family if they cannot have biological children of their own. On the other side of the subject, some parents choose to give up their child for adoption if they cannot adequately provide for the child’s needs.

Regardless of the reasons for an adoption, it is one of the biggest decisions that anyone will make in their lifetime. In some situations, an adoption can be contested. In the majority of cases, this happens when the biological father does not know about the child until the adoption process already started, or in which a biological father changes his mind about the adoption while it is in progress. 

Consent and Best Interest Hearings 

In cases where an adoption is contested, all involved parties must attend a consent hearing in court at which time a judge will listen to evidence presented by both sides. For instances when the biological father contests an adoption, he does not give consent to the adoption and he declares that he is willing and able to assume legal responsibility of the child. During the hearing, the father can show examples of his actions throughout the pregnancy, as well as after the child’s birth. For example, pictures or documentation of him going to doctor appointments or at the hospital after the birth, etc. However, if the biological father does not provide child support or contact the child for more than a year, he may lose his right to contest the adoption on the grounds of abandonment.

If the judge decides in favor of the biological father, he will be allocated parental responsibilities (custody) regarding the child, and the adoption will be stopped. Alternatively, the court may allow the adoption to proceed, or the judge could order a “best interest” hearing to decide what is in the best interest of the child. This hearing will give the biological father as well as the prospective adoptive parents a chance to speak and provide additional evidence. Ultimately, the judge will determine which home would be the best living situation for the child.

Tips for Preventing a Contested Adoption

A contested adoption can be complicated and stressful for everyone involved. However, there are several ways to avoid it. In some cases, a birth mother may not wish to disclose details about the birth father, partly out of fear that he may object to the adoption. Proper identification of the biological father is necessary for giving his consent or exercising his rights as a parent. This can cause conflict if he finds out at a much later date. It is important to remember that fathers and mothers have the same parental rights and are both entitled to exercise those rights.

In determining whether a contested adoption should proceed, the court will look at whether the biological father provided financial support, such as medical bills, during the mother’s pregnancy or for the child after birth. In addition, the more involved the birth father is on an emotional level with the child, the better the chances are the court will find on his side.

The prospective adoptive parents can also offer assistance in locating the birth father, even though they may be hesitant to inform the father, especially if it is a child he may not know about. Being open, honest, and supportive can make the adoption process go smoothly and help maintain positive relationships for everyone.

Contact a St. Charles Adoption Attorney

Adoption is a wonderful option for parents who want a family, and it can change the life of the child being adopted as well. If you are considering expanding your family, it is important to understand the legal process. The Law Office of Vogel and Mourelatos, LLC has experience in all kinds of adoptions. Their compassionate lawyers can help you achieve your dream of having a child even if the adoption is contested. For an initial consultation, call a Geneva adoption lawyer today at 630-200-4882.





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