adoption practice areas

Co-Parent Adoption

Co-parent adoption, also called second-parent adoption, is an increasingly popular way to establish parental rights. This corresponds directly with America’s growing support of LGBTQ families. Through the legal process of co-parent adoption, both parents can establish equal legal rights to the child with the help of an adoption attorney.

This aspect of adoption is not as fun to think about as some of the others. Your dreams of adoption center on the emotional weight of parenthood and the joy of raising a child. You probably don’t sit around imagining complex legal paperwork and other necessary procedures. But it’s important for anyone considering adoption to understand the significance of co-parent adoption.

We’re here to help with that. Gillespie Law Group, LLC has been serving families for more than 25 years. Many may be familiar with our office as Genie Miller Gillespie, Attorney at Law. We’re the same team with a new name and expanded services. We believe in adoption and that anyone who wants to become a parent should have a chance to do so. With support and guidance from the Gillespie Law Group, you can understand and successfully complete a co-parent adoption.

Contact us at any time for more information on how we can serve you.

What is Co-Parent Adoption?

A co-parent adoption is needed when one parent has established legal rights to a child but the other does not. This type of adoption creates equal legal standing with the two parents and could be necessary in a variety of situations. To complete a co-parent adoption in Illinois, you’ll need to work with an adoption attorney, which is where we come in. We’ve helped create families through a wide array of adoption services for more than 25 years, and we would be honored to help you.

Co-parent adoption is also sometimes referred to as “second-parent adoption.” While there’s nothing wrong with this term — and you may hear plenty of quality professionals use it — we prefer “co-parent adoption,” because you are equal as parents no matter who established legal rights to the child first. Still, it is very common to hear the same process called second-parent adoption in Illinois.

Why Would We Need a Co-Parent Adoption?

There are several situations a couple may find themselves in that require a co-parent adoption in Illinois. If one of the partners has a biological connection to the child, either from a previous relationship or through other reproductive technologies, that parent will have established legal rights. The other parent will need to go through the legal process of co-parent adoption to have the same rights.

Illinois does recognize both parents of a child born during a marriage, even if only one parent has a biological connection to the child. However, many other states do not recognize both parents. You never know where life is going to take you, which is why a co-parent adoption in Illinois is always a good idea. It provides full and certain legal protection no matter where you go.

In this case, 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, as well as other matters.

Another scenario that requires co-parent adoption would be if you work with an agency that will allow LGBTQ individuals to adopt, but not LGBTQ couples. We know; this seems odd. It’s not the best practice. However, it’s more common than you might imagine. The good news is that you can work with an agency like this and still establish equal parenting rights with our help.

If you find yourself asking questions like,

  • “How can my partner adopt my son?”
  • “What is the process for adopting a partner’s child in Illinois?”
  • “My partner wants to adopt my son. How does that work?”

Then you may want to consider a co-parent, or second-parent, adoption.

Whichever journey you take to co-parent adoption, the important thing is to establish equal rights as parents. This is an important step to take to make sure you have the power to make medical decisions, sign and access vital documents and make other important choices for your child. Even if you are married, you may want to go the extra mile to secure these rights, since some states still will not recognize both parents equally without a completed co-parent adoption.

The Legal Requirements of Co-Parent Adoption

You don’t have to be a legal expert on how second-parent adoption works. We have been helping families in this process for a long time. We’re passionate about adoption and proud to support families of all types, recognizing that love is love, no matter what. We play our part by navigating the complex legal requirements of co-parent adoption so that your family can be legally recognized as the unit you already know it to be.

Who Can Get a Co-Parent Adoption?

Illinois, our home state, is an adoption-friendly state. If you are seeking a co-parent adoption in Illinois, there is a good chance you will be able to get it. Other states may have more stringent requirements, but a co-parent adoption is most likely still possible.

In some states, couples must be married or in a registered civil union. This means that unmarried couples may be unable to attain a co-parent adoption in some states. In Cook County, where we are based, unmarried couples can complete a co-parent adoption.

Learn More by Contacting Us Today

If you are interested in learning more about co-parent, or second-parent, adoption, give us a call today at 312-332-6339. We can talk through the process, talk about your state laws and figure out the best way for Gillespie Law Group to serve you.