Domestic and International Adoptions in the Chicago Area

Understanding the process of growing your family

Adoption is exciting for couples in Chicago who want to grow their families and open their homes to a new child. However, it can also be a legally complicated, intimidating process without proper legal guidance. At Downs Law Offices, we understand that you have a lot on your mind while preparing your home to welcome an adopted child. Our adoption lawyers handle the details for you, let you know what to expect and advise you as to what you can do to make the process go more smoothly. We are deeply committed to the adoption process and all the good it does, and we are proud to have helped families throughout Illinois navigate it to a fulfilling conclusion.

What does adoption mean to you?

Adoption is the legal process of creating a parent-child relationship between two people who are not biologically parent and child. In nearly every way, the legal relationship between an adopted parent and child is identical to that of a natural parent and child:

  • Custody rights
  • Support obligations
  • Inheritance rights
  • Rights to government benefits

However, because a child can only have two legal parents, adoption also means extinguishing the parental rights and duties of one or both natural parents. In most cases the biological parents consent. However, if one or both parents refuse, a family attorney may need to take your case to court and show a judge why those rights should be terminated.

Types of adoptions and issues they raise

You can embark on various paths to adopting a child. As each adoption requires the intervention of an Illinois court, however, you should always seek advice from your own experienced Chicago attorney:

  • Agency adoptions - In these cases, a licensed adoption agency acts as an intermediary between you and the biological parents. However, you should still retain an attorney to review documents and represent you in court.
  • Private adoptions - In a private adoption, you deal directly with the biological parents. Having experienced legal representation is especially important in these cases.
  • International or interstate adoptions - Adopting a child from another state requires coordination between the family court in that state and the court in Illinois. International adoptions are even more complex, as they usually require you to work with a foreign court, the U.S. State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Contested adoptions - When the biological parent or parents do not want to voluntarily surrender their parental rights, a contested adoption may result. A contesting parent frequently poses an obstacle in stepparent adoptions as well as some relative adoptions. These cases may require a court trial before they can be finalized.

You can rely upon the attorneys of Downs Law Offices to give you counsel and confidence as you move through the adoption process in Chicago. We have the skills and experience to handle the full range of cases, from uncontested domestic adoptions to complex foreign or contested adoptions.

Legal guidance for your growing family

If you are considering adoption or have started the process and need legal counsel, call Downs Law Offices today at 312-781-1963 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We are centrally located on the Loop at the corner of North Upper Wacker Drive and West Randolph Street.