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Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Quotes Chicago Attorney Leslie Fineberg in International Adoption Article
Illinois family law attorney Leslie Fineberg offers commentary regarding international adoption standards in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Concerns over International Adoption
Ten years ago, the international adoption process was not nearly as difficult. Attorneys who have an international adoption practice have noticed a dramatic decrease in the number of cases that they used to represent and the number they receive now.
The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption established standards and safeguards for how inter-country adoptions take place. The intent of these standards is to protect children from child abduction and trafficking, but it also makes the adoption process more costly and time-consuming. It has drastically reduced the number of people who can adopt from specific countries.
International Adoption in Illinois
Illinois residents completed 390 international adoptions last year. Between 1999 and 2011, residents adopted 11,181 children. Annual numbers rose each year and peaked in 2004 at 1,177. Since 2005, however, the annual number of adoptions has dropped every year. Illinois is one of the highest adoption states in the nation and accounts for four percent of U.S. adoptions in 2012.
Some countries have either slowed or completely halted adoptions to the United States, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, and Guatemala. While there can be many different factors contributing to the decrease in international adoption, such as countries simply promoting domestic adoption, the Hague Adoption Convention has seemingly closed some doors.
The Hague Convention
There are 88 countries included in the Hague Convention. Once the transition to the new standards of the convention was complete, the process of international adoption involved much more red tape. The convention set standards the member countries must follow, including that adoption agencies must be Hague-accredited to make sure children are treated and acquired properly. Some attorneys believe that the Hague regulations have made international adoptions more difficult.
Leslie Fineberg has seen more of her clients seeking open domestic adoptions instead of going the international route because the domestic route offers access to more information about an adopted child’s family and medical history. According to Ms. Fineberg, her clients “see the benefits an open adoption could have, and internationally, that’s not really an option.”
The time-consuming and costly hurdles that parents face in adopting children from Hague member countries may do more harm than good, as parents who don’t have the time and money to make it through the process stop adopting from those countries.
Helping You through the Adoption Process
Whether you decide to adopt domestically or internationally, Leslie Fineberg and the rest of the legal team at the Chicago family law firm of Nottage and Ward can provide the information and support necessary to get through the process as easily as possible. To learn more about the adoption services at Nottage and Ward, visit our website at: http://www.nottageandward.com/