adoption practice areas

Adult Adoption

Adult adoption isn’t something you really consider until it’s necessary. It doesn’t cross most peoples’ minds, which means that you are most likely trying to learn about it on the fly.

We’re here to help. Adult adoption is more common than you may imagine, and it’s something we specialize in. Gillespie Law Group, LLC has more experience than most adoption attorneys in this area — more than 25 years of dedicated, successful practice. Formerly known only as Genie Miller Gillespie, Attorney at Law, our new name reflects our expanded practice, but our dedication to adoption is the same. We understand the ins and outs of how to adopt an adult in Illinois. You can contact us today to hear how our services could serve you.

This guide is meant to support you as you search for more information about adopting an adult and try to decide if it is right for you. A better understanding of the adult adoption process, the benefits adult adoption can have and the ways an adoption attorney can serve you during this time will put you in a better position to make an informed decision.

If you have more questions while reading, or want to know more about how the adoption of an adult would work in your specific situation, you can call us at any time. We would be honored to work for you.

What is Adult Adoption?

Simply put, an adult adoption is any adoption in which the adoptee (the individual being adopted) is at least 18 years or older. This process is not the same as establishing legal guardianship, which may be done in cases when an adult in your life is in need of a legal caretaker.

Since the majority of adoptions involved children from infancy to 17 years of age, adult adoptions are somewhat unique. Each state has its own adult adoption laws, and there can be differences from state to state that change how the process goes.

How Does the Illinois Adult Adoption Process Work?

The most significant difference between adoption for adults and other adoptions is that, in an adult adoption, the adoptee is the only one who has to give consent to the adoption.

If a mother chooses to place her child for adoption as an infant, it is her legal right to consent to the adoption. Even in older child adoptions, the biological parents still need to give consent or have a judge terminate their legal rights. However, in adult adoptions, it is up to the adoptee to give their consent.

Additionally, most (if not all) legal adoptions of adults are finalized without the assistance of an adoption agency. In the adoption of a younger child, an agency may be necessary to facilitate a match between a prospective birth mother and hopeful adoptive family. However, adult adoptions occur between adoptive parents and an adoptee who already know each other. Therefore, matching services are not needed and the people seeking an adult adoption can come straight to an adoption attorney.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for Adult Adoption?

The adult adoption process is primarily legal paperwork, which is why it is vital to work with a good adoption attorney. Each state has unique laws and requirements, and these requirements need to be met exactly in order for the adult adoption to be valid.

For instance, some states require an established parent-child relationship between an adoptive parent and adoptee. Others have a mandated age difference between the two that must be met. All states have official filing requirements for paperwork and other important documents. Understanding the ins and outs of Illinois adult adoption laws can be difficult. Working with an attorney is the best way to secure a successful finalization for your adult adoption.

We have more than two decades of experience serving adoptees and adoptive families. Our knowledge of adoption law is unmatched, as is our commitment to families. For these reasons, we would love to serve you in your adult adoption process.

Benefits of Adult Adoption

There are potential personal, legal and financial advantages to the adoption of an adult. Every situation is unique, but we typically see people seek an adult adoption for one of several reasons:

  • To legally establish a parent-child relationship that already exists personally (primarily stepparents and other relatives)
  • A foster child who aged out of the system before being adopted, but had essentially become a permanent member of their foster family
  • An adult who needs a legally recognized parent as a caretaker

Does one of these descriptions closely resemble your own situation? If so, adult adoption could be right for you.

Contact Us Today

Have more questions? We would be happy to talk with you. Contact us today to find out more about the Illinois adult adoption process, learn the benefits of adopting an adult for your specific circumstances of begin the process today.

Your initial consultation is always free. Call 312-332-6339 at any time. Together, we can find out the best way to complete your adult adoption.