“Contested adoption” is a phrase no hopeful parent wants to hear. Most people know that contested adoptions happen, but they would rather not think about it. Surely, it won’t happen to them, right?
Unfortunately, any hopeful parents pursuing adoption in Illinois need to face the possibility that they could end up in a contested adoption. If this happens, it’s better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. Perhaps you’re an optimist who would rather not consider potential negative outcomes. While this may be a good approach to some areas of life, it’s better to consider and prepare for all possibilities when it comes to adoption.
We are here to help. As your adoption attorneys, we want to make preparing for and responding to a contested adoption in Illinois less scary for you. Gillespie Law Group, LLC has been serving adoptive families for more than 25 years. Our goal is to make you feel supported and confident on your way to building your family through adoption. And, if that means litigating a contested adoption, we’re ready.
You may be reading this early in the process, preparing yourself for all outcomes. Or, you could be in the midst of an Illinois contested adoption right now, in search of an attorney to protect you and your family. You can contact us at any time to begin work on your contested adoption in Illinois.
Either way, this informative guide should help you understand the most important aspects of how to win a contested adoption. The most important takeaway is this: Your family’s success in a contested adoption will come down to the expertise and experience of your adoption attorney.
What is a Contested Adoption in Illinois?
A contested adoption happens when someone with a claim to parental rights — a biological parent, family member or other person — disputes the placement of a child with adoptive parents. However, a contested adoption is different than a disrupted adoption.
In a disrupted adoption, the biological parents may change their mind before ever giving official consent. In a contested adoption, the child has typically already been placed with the family and a claim is made — like a birth father contesting adoption, for example — before the adoption has been finalized in court.
When a contested adoption occurs, the adoptive family will need to go to court for a contested adoption hearing to defend their stance that the child should be placed with them. These cases can be complicated and highly emotional. Representation from an experienced attorney often makes or breaks a family’s chances of winning a contested adoption case.
The team at Gillespie Law Group is always ready to answer your questions and provide guidance during a contested adoption. Our years of practice have prepared us to represent you successfully.
Why Do Contested Adoptions Happen?
There are many different reasons contested adoption cases may occur. For instance, contested stepparent adoptions are somewhat common, occurring when the non-custodial parent refuses to relinquish his or her parental rights so that the stepparent can be granted those parental rights through adoption.
Contested adoptions can also occur in private infant adoptions, also known as agency adoptions. A birth father contesting an adoption may try to maintain his parental rights if he disagrees with the birth mother’s decision to place a child for adoption.
How to Win a Contested Adoption in Illinois— Find a Good Attorney
Each contested adoption case is unique. How a case proceeds depends on the unique details of your situation, as well as the details of the biological parents’ situations. Does the father contesting the adoption have a legitimate claim to fatherhood? Does he meet the state’s requirements for fulfilling the roles of a parent? Are your state’s laws protective of adoptive parents who have already had a child placed with them?
All of these questions are very important in a contested adoption case in Illinois. But, they can be confusing to navigate on your own.
Which leads us to the most important question in this situation: Who is defending your case?
A contested adoption case is unique in the world of adoption law because it involves litigation, which essentially means there are two sides set against each other and an argument is required. Many adoption attorneys are not accustomed to, or comfortable with, litigation. Conversely, many litigation attorneys have nearly no knowledge of adoption. Winning a contested adoption requires expertise in both.
That’s what makes us unique. Our team has decades of experience with adoption and litigation. Not only are we well-versed in adoption law — adoption attorney Genie Miller Gillespie compiled and helped write the book on adoption law in Illinois for other attorneys — we also understand how to win an argument in court. Mac Gillespie brings years of litigation experience to our team. Our adoption knowledge combined with litigation experience make for a unique pairing that we put to use for your benefit.
In order to win a contested adoption in Illinois, we will go above and beyond to ensure that your best interests are protected. That means keeping you informed throughout the process, investigating the person making the claim contesting the adoption, preparing you for any questions you may be asked in court, and sticking with you from beginning to end.
We believe in the beauty of family — no matter how it’s built — and will passionately support you in any contested adoption in Illinois.
Contact Us Today
Are you preparing for a contested adoption or in the midst of a contested adoption case? Let’s talk.
We’ve represented many families in complicated situations, and we can help you, too. We are happy to provide representation, guidance and encouragement during this stressful and important time in your life.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation by reaching out online or calling 312-332-6339. Let’s figure out how we can serve you.