Genie Miller Gillespie, Attorney at Law
Legal Help Before, During, and After Adoption in Illinois

Chicago Step Parent Adoption Attorney

At my Chicago law office, I work with single parents and couples, foster parents, and other family members to help create stable, loving, caring homes for children. If you need assistance with an adoption in Cook County or anywhere in the greater Chicagoland area, contact my law office .

chicago adoption lawyer genie miller gillespieI'm Chicago adoption lawyer Genie Gillespie . In my 20 years of practicing adoption law, I've helped hundreds of children and parents build the bonds of family through relative and step-parent adoption, co-parent or second parent adoption, international and interstate adoption, and foster parent adoption . I even assist with adult adoption, something few other lawyers handle.

I help parents with the legal paperwork, with termination of parental rights (if necessary), and with future planning / back-up planning. You will find the help you need to achieve your family-building goals, as well as the support you need now and in the future to keep your family strong.

Step-Parent Adoption

Step-parent adoption is one of the most common types of adoption today. While a background check is still necessary, rarely is this a difficulty in the step-parent adoption situation. I can assist you with termination of parental rights of the non-custodial parent for a child under 18, help you get your background check completed, and prepare your legal paperwork.

As a step-parent adoption relieves the non-custodial biological parent of the responsibility of child support, most biological parents do not choose to stand in the way of the adoption and termination is generally not difficult. However, I am prepared to help you in court should your request be challenged.

Adult Adoption

Anyone can adopt another adult as long as they have lived in the same household for at least two years or are related. It does not even require the termination of another parents' parental rights, but it does give the adopted adult inheritance rights and other rights of a family member. A step-parent may choose this option to adopt a grown step-child without damaging an existing relationship with a biological parent.

Same-Sex Parent / Co-Parent/Stepparent/Related

Same-sex couples wishing to adopt a partner's child can do so in the same manner as a step-parent adoption. It is important to legalize the parental relationship in order to give the non-birth parent the authority to make legal decisions for the child and to represent the child's interests in school and medical settings.

Grandparent or Relative Adoption Genie Miller Gillespie Cook County Chicago Illinois IL Adoption Law Attorney

Keeping families together is always an admirable goal. When a teen or single woman becomes pregnant and feels unprepared or unable to care for the child, family members often come forward to provide a home and keep the child within the family.

Contact between the birth parent and the child may be maintained, or may not (depending upon the circumstances of the situation). Illinois does not allow open adoption so no formal agreement can be made, but I can help you structure contact through informal mediation, or a good faith agreement..

Interstate/International Adoption

Adoption laws differ from state to state and from country to country. I assist families who are adopting a child from another state or another country to manage the often confusing adoption process. In the arena of international adoption, the law may be undeveloped, or the country may suddenly open or close adoption across their borders. I stay on top of changing adoption laws and can support you through the sometimes lengthy process of an international adoption.

Back-Up Planning and Standby Adoption

Every parent wants to make sure their child is protected in the event of their sudden death or incapacitation. They draft a will and name a guardian and think that is sufficient. Usually it is sufficient; but not always. When you name a guardian in your will, you state your preference, but it can be contested by your family, if they choose.

The only way to ensure that your child comes under the guardianship of the person you name is to do what is known as a standby guardianship or standby adoption. Standby adoption is only available in two states in the U.S., and Illinois is one of them. It can be done when you are alive, and is a way to ensure that your preferences are carried out.

As your adoption attorney, I invite you to learn more about backup planning as a responsible parental choice for adoptive families. Contact my office for a consultation.