Welcome to National Adoption Month! For the entire month of November, the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) is going to fill your social media feeds with positive stories of adoption. To kick things off, here are a few of mine.
I did my first adoption for AG several years ago. She contacted me to assist her with adopting an older teenager through the Illinois foster care system. The child she was hoping to adopt had been in multiple other placements prior to joining A’s home, but A was determined to be his last, forever home. As someone who has handled adoptions of all kinds, including children in foster care, for more than 27 years, I was very impressed with A’s willingness to adopt a child most others would have shied away from. This adoption, however, went so smoothly, that I have now helped A adopt three other older teenage boys, the most recent of which had been in thirteen (13!) different placements prior to joining A’s family. All of these children are thriving in A’s care. The oldest ones have gone on to college and trade schools, and the younger ones are doing well in school and getting excited about their futures. A is truly an amazing person and one of my all-time favorite clients.
Another amazing family I have worked with are the B Family who over the past several years have adopted five children from the same family to ensure the siblings would all be raised together. These children, by coincidence, shared the same last name as the adoptive parents prior to the adoptions, although they are not related, and this family’s positive attitude and the incredible support they provide to these children is wonderful to watch.
In addition to adoptions from foster care, I love all the other adoptions I do, including newborns, but have developed a special fondness for my adult adoptions as well. A few months ago, I was able to help four brothers, ranging in age from 44-52 be adopted by the stepfather who had raised them. It was truly a moving experience to witness – what a fabulous family.
We hope you enjoy these stories and encourage you to share your own positive adoption experiences this month and beyond.
— Genie Miller Gillespie is the current President of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and a Fellow practicing both adoption and ART law in Illinois