A Chicago woman has become the first person to adopt her own children under a recent Illinois law that she inspired.The law would only be helpful with the minor children; I don't think termination of parental rights (TPR) would matter in adopting the adult children (see this post for more about adult adoption).
The law, passed in 2009, allows for parents who have lost custody of their children to rehabilitate themselves and regain it, in the event that the adoptive parent is a blood relative and passes away. Lawmakers said they were unaware of similar laws elsewhere.
Two weeks ago Yolanda Miller, 49, adopted four of her 11 biological children, who range in age from their late teens to mid-20s.
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In 2005, Miller’s mother died. Miller had her children move in with her, but since she wasn’t their legal guardian, she “knew anybody at any time could take them away from me.”
Seven years sober, Miller was the natural choice to be her children’s caretaker, but regaining custody meant one judge would have to override the previous decisions to take it away, said Linda Coon, Miller’s lawyer and the chairwoman for the Chicago Bar Association’s legislative subcommittee for adoption law.
When she took on the case, Coon said she wanted to establish a process for Miller’s specific situation so that the outcome would not have to depend upon how willing a judge was to change a previous decision.
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Since becoming sober, Miller has had one child whom she never lost. Her other children, now grown up, live in various cities in Illinois and Wisconsin. She plans to adopt the five additional adult children as soon as they can all be in the same place at the same time for a family reunion of sorts in court.
“I’ve always believed that I was going to get my children back once I got my life back together,” she said at the press conference.
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