We Make It Easier To Grow Your Family
Adoption is a statutory procedure under state law in which a permanent and legal parent-child relationship is established between a child and one or two adults who are not the child’s biological parents. Frequently, adoptions are used to give legal weight to a close relationship that already exists. It is important to hire a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the adoption process in order to avoid the pitfalls that can occur in this very personal and emotional proceeding. Time is of the essence in every adoption proceeding, and our attorneys strive to provide services that facilitate the interests of our client while maintaining a concern for the child’s best interests.
At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., we assist stepparents, grandparents, relatives and others who wish to adopt a child. Our adoption lawyers represent clients in Peoria and Tazewell counties and throughout Central Illinois. Attorneys Susan Butler, Kelly Giraudo and Tamara Meister will provide you with the support, advice and representation you need throughout the adoption process.
Stepparent Adoptions And Adoptions By Relatives
In most adoptions, there is already a relationship in place between the person seeking to adopt and the child. A related child is defined by Illinois law as a child to whom one or both adoptive parents are related as parent, grandparent, brother, sister, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, great-uncle, great-aunt or cousin of the first degree.
Additionally, Illinois law allows the adoption of a child by two unrelated persons, either of the same gender or opposite genders. This is typically called a co-parent adoption.
The parental rights of the legal or biological parents of the child being adopted must be terminated before the court can consider whether the adoption of the child is in the best interests of that child. In most adoptions, the biological parents voluntarily consent in writing to the adoption; however, there are cases in which the adoption is highly contested. In other cases, the court may determine that the consent of a parent, usually an alleged father, is not necessary because he has failed to take the necessary steps to establish his parentage, or may terminate his rights by default if he fails to respond to notice of the adoption. We have substantial experience representing people in uncontested and contested adoptions.
While we are dedicated to helping our clients resolve family disputes amicably, we understand that this is not always possible. If litigation becomes necessary, we will be ready to aggressively advocate for your rights.
Adopting A Child Through An Agency, Surrogate Or Other Means
There are many ways to adopt a child. A surrogate or a sperm donation can help a couple who cannot have children on their own. An agency can assist an individual or a couple in building a family. In every case, however, it is important to establish the parental rights of both parents. We can guide you through the adoption process and work to protect your rights as a parent.