Until fairly recently, couples in Illinois who were unable to conceive on their own had few options when it came to growing their family. Thankfully, modern medicine provides couples who have fertility challenges with many wonderful options for bringing a child into their loving home.
A couple or individual exploring the possibilities may have some questions about which option is right for them. Those who long for a child must navigate the emotional complexities of their situation, and at the same time make careful legal decisions that will set up their family for success. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help you understand the legal aspects of each of these options, allowing you to make a decision with confidence and security.
This post discusses a few of the most common options for couples struggling with infertility and examines the advantages of each.
Successful adoption is a joyful and celebratory occasion, but it requires extensive legal preparation and the skill of a knowledgeable attorney who can navigate the law with utmost accuracy. There are several types of adoptions available to couples who want to grow their family.
Stepparent adoptions – When a parent enters a new relationship with another adult, that adult may adopt the child(ren) of the biological parent. If the other biological parent of the child(ren) is still alive, his or her parental rights must be legally terminated before the adoption can take place.
Related adoptions – When biological parents are unable to provide for their child(ren), family members such as uncles, aunts, grandparents, or siblings may wish to care for the children and preserve existing close relationships.
Co-parent adoptions – An individual in a same-sex relationship will often wish to adopt the child(ren) of their partner, creating a legal bond that reflects the commitment of the family.
Agency adoptions – Private agencies help children get placed with loving families and often work with the Illinois Department of Family Services (DCFS). This includes children adopted through foster care programs.
Independent adoptions – Sometimes, a birth parent or parents choose to place their child with an adoptive family, without the aid of an agency.
In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a kind of assisted reproductive technology, in which a woman’s eggs are retrieved from her ovaries and then fertilized with sperm. Once an embryo is successfully created, it is transferred to the woman’s uterus in an attempt to create a pregnancy.
IVF can take place with many unique combinations of eggs and sperm:
A mother’s eggs and father’s sperm
A mother’s eggs and donor sperm
Donor eggs and father’s sperm
Donor eggs and donor sperm
Before, during, and after the egg retrieval and implantation of embryos, the intended mother is treated with hormones that facilitate the likelihood of a successful retrieval, implantation, and pregnancy. There are many private organizations that will work with a couple’s legal team to find the right option for them.
A number of families who are unable to conceive using IVF will use a gestational surrogate. A gestational surrogate is a woman who, using some combination of the intended parents’ eggs and sperm, carries a pregnancy to term on behalf of the intended parents.
In Illinois, there are specific legal requirements that both the surrogate and the intended parents must meet in order to be eligible for a surrogacy agreement. You can read more about gestational surrogacy by visiting our post on the topic.
Consult a Kane County Family Law Attorney
Choosing the appropriate strategy for growing your family doesn’t have to be confusing. The St. Charles family lawyers at Goostree Law Group can help you explore your options and feel empowered to make the best choice. Contact our offices today at 630-584-4800 to schedule a free and confidential consultation