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Illinois couple mentioned in recent child custody debates

All states have rules and regulations regarding the adoption of children. In fact, Illinois is known for having some of the strongest adoption laws in the nation. In recent times, some couples, including one couple residing in the state, have reportedly circumvented adoption agencies and other governing bodies through a practice known as "re-homing," where an adopted child is transferred from one home to another and child custody rights are signed over to the new parents without first being processed through the state-regulated system.

Officials in another state are apparently seeking to outlaw the re-homing of children. There have reportedly been at least nine unregulated child transfers in that state over the past two years. Allegedly, an underground online network was uncovered in 2013 where parents who adopted children, then no longer wanted them, were seeking new homes without going through the appropriate regulatory processes.

The Illinois couple who is said to have gained custody of a 16-year-old girl through re-homing practices on the Internet reportedly lost custody of two of their own biological children to child welfare authorities. Some say the practice is dangerous because there are no safety checks without appropriate governing bodies. Since many states do not have specific laws forbidding the re-homing, couples considering the practice may find themselves facing legal challenges at some point.

Whether an Illinois resident is involved in a child custody dispute within one's own family or has taken part in a process that has worked outside the typical adoption agency system, professional assistance may be sought if the situation has developed complications that are legally challenging. An experienced attorney would be able to assess an individual situation and offer guidance as to how one might best proceed in order to exercise parental rights and protect the best interests of the child/children involved. A first logical step to take would be to request a consultation with an attorney in the area.

Source: concordmonitor.com, "Bill aims to ban unregulated child custody transfers, a process known as 're-homing'", Allie Morris, Feb. 17, 2016

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