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A Guide to Select Government Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • adoption
  • adopted children
  • interracial adoption
  • intercountry adoption
  • special needs adoption
  • adoptive parents
  • foster parents
  • family social work
  • adoptees
  • privacy, right of

Related Topics:
  • infertility
  • foster homes
  • orphans
  • parenting

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov "intercountry adoption"
  • site:mil adoption

Federal Government Information
Child Welfare Information Gateway

This website contains useful information for professionals, birth and prospective adoptive parents and adoptees.

Adoption USA: a Chartbook Based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents

This survey covered a wide range of issues, including family structure, motivations for adopting, demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and information on domestic and international adoptions.

Intercountry Adoption: Where Do I Start?

This is a good overview of the process of adopting a child from another country and includes some of the U.S. requirements and limitations.


This website from Citizen and Immigration Services declares, "Adopting a child from another country is often a complicated journey, and the information on this site is designed to help you as you move forward."

Preparing and supporting foster parents who adopt

This pamphlet some of the history, issues and concerns for families looking to transition from fostering to adoption of a child.

The adoption home study process

This pamphlet describes the process involved in becoming an adoptive parent.

MedlinePlus: Adoption

A website from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health featuring a wealth of information and topics related to adoption. Categories include: coping, research, directories, organizations, law and policies, and statistics, among others.

Illinois Government Information
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

DCFS website offering adoption-related statistics and resources.

Illinois Vital Records - Adoption Records

Illinois Department of Public Health website containing the Illinois Adoption Registry, a medium through which registrants can authorize or prohibit the release of identifying information. Includes the necessary forms to acquire information or to exchange medical information, as well as other useful phone numbers and related internet links.

Legal Information
Illinois Adoption Law

A comprehensive guide to Illinois Adoption Law published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Included relevant forms. 2002
LEGL REF KFI 1304.5 .I45 2016

Handling Child Custody, Abuse and Adoption Cases

Chapter 14 of this treatise contains a thorough examination of adoption case law. Kept up to date via supplements. 1993, 2003
LEGL REF KF 547 .H38 1993 v.2 and supp.

Children and the Law: Doctrine, Policy and Practice

Chapter 7 of this casebook discusses the origins of adoption and adoption in general. It also offers case law and sample problems for students on such topics as: who may adopt?, adoption intermediaries, the consent requirement, open adoption, international adoptions, post-adoption disputes, and adoptees' rights.
LEGL REF KF 479 .A7 A25 2000

"Pondering the Politicization of Intercountry Adoption: Russia's Ban on American "Forever Families""

This article looks at the reasons behind Russia's ban on intercountry adoptions with the U.S.
Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law, 22 Cardozo J. Int'l & Comp. L. 497 via  Nexis Uni

"SYMPOSIUM: The Corrupting Influence of the United States on a Vulnerable Intercountry Adoption System: A Guide for Stakeholders, Hague and Non-Hague Nations, NGOs, and Concerned Parties"

This article explores the influence of the United States, both as a world power and as the dominating country of placement for intercountry adoptees, on the intercountry adoption infrastructure.
Utah Law Review, 13 Utah L. Rev. 10652013 via  Nexis Uni

"Child Laundering: How the Intercountry Adoption System Legitimizes and Incentivizes the Practices of Buying, Trafficking, Kidnapping, and Stealing Children"

This article describes the funneling of money into and through the intercountry adoption system, which is only too happy to look the other way in order to find adoptees for prospective adoptive parents.
The Wayne Law Review, Spring, 2006, 52 Wayne L. Rev. 113 via  Nexis Uni

"Re-Honing: the Underground Market for Adopted Children and How Current Laws Fail to Protect the Innocent"

Occurring predominantly with adoptions of foreign children, re-homing happens when bonding fails or other issues cause adoptive parents to no longer want the adoptee. Left to the states, re-homing is largely unregulated and often results in a wide array of child endangerment situations.
Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy, 2016, Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy, 6 Wake Forest J. L. & Pol'y 549, via  Nexis Uni

"Fathers and Feminism: The Case Against Genetic Entitlement"

This article on parental rights and, tangentially, adoption rights cuts right to the heart of the question "What defines a parent under the law?"
February, 2017, Tulane Law Review, 91 Tul. L. Rev. 473, via  Nexis Uni

"A Child's Right to a Family Versus a State's Discretion to Institutionalize the Child"

This article presents discusses the unintentional encouragement of institutionalization over substitute family placement by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and offers remedies.
Spring, 2016, Georgetown Journal of International Law, 47 Geo. J. Int'l L. 937, via  Nexis Uni

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