Adoption in Chicago and Cook County

Chicago is a great place to raise a family. While many may come here seeking career opportunities and the chance to live in a fun city, they stay when they discover what a great place it can be for the kids. Others, of course, are from here and simply choose to stay.

If you are dreaming of starting a family in Chicago or the greater Cook County area through adoption, we can help. Gillespie Law Group, LLC has been working with Chicago, Cook County and Illinois families for decades in the adoption process. Until recently, our office was known as Genie Miller Gillespie, Attorney at Law. Today, we go by a new name, but have the same passion for adoption and families. Adoption in Chicago can be a long and challenging journey, but it is always worth it.

Contact us at any time to hear more about the ways we can help you complete a successful adoption in Chicago and Cook County.

Our goal as your adoption attorney is to make you feel confident, encouraged and equipped throughout the adoption process. That starts right now with this guide to adoption in Cook County. If you’re still trying to decide whether or not adoption is right for you, it will help to learn more about the process. That’s exactly what this guide will do.

You don’t need to be an expert on adoption in Chicago — that’s what we’re here for. Rather, we want you to be able to make the most informed decision on this very important choice for the future of your family.

 The Process for Adoption in Chicago and Cook County

As we mentioned, the adoption process can be long and challenging. There will be moments when it feels too difficult, and your patience is wearing thin. When that happens, we’ll be there for you to offer encouragement and direction. We’ve helped create hundreds of families — we know you can do it, too.

Your Cook County adoption process will differ depending on many factors, the biggest of which are the type of adoption you choose and the adoption professionals you decide to work with (more on both of those later). For now, we want you to understand the big-picture steps that are often involved in a Chicago newborn adoption:

  1. Choose a type of adoption that is best for you
  2. Decide on an adoption professional
  3. Complete your adoption home study and any other pre-placement requirements
  4. Wait for a match either by a) being chosen by a prospective birth mother in an agency adoption or b) receiving a referral for a child through foster care or international adoption
  5. Be placed with your child, either at the hospital, in your home with the help of a social worker or by traveling to their country of origin
  6. Complete post-placement requirements
  7. Finalize your adoption in court

Newborn adoption is the right option for many families. It can also be a longer and more legally complex process than some other types of adoption. There are some types of adoption — like stepchild adoption, relative adoption and adult adoption — that will have different steps than these. Stepchild adoption, for instance, will not involve the help of an agency (you already know the child you want to adopt) or placement (they are already with you). We are happy to assist families in all different types of adoption.

There are great informational websites about adoption that will give you an in-depth look at the process. Each step is important, and we can help you successfully navigate this process for your adoption in Chicago and Cook County.

Types of Adoption in Chicago and Cook County

You will make a lot of choices during a Chicago adoption process. One of the first choices, and also one of the most consequential, is the type of adoption. There are many types of adoption, such as:

  • Agency adoption
  • Foster care adoption
  • International adoption
  • Stepparent adoption
  • Adult adoption
  • Relative adoption

Your situation as your approach adoption in Chicago is unique. You may be considering adopting a child through one of these types of adoption. However, your situation may call for something different. There’s stepparent adoption, adult adoption, co-parent adoption and more. That means that the type of adoption that is best for you may not be best for someone else.

Consider carefully the pros and cons of each type. What matters most to you? Are you more concerned about a short wait time, or a lower cost? Do you want to adopt an infant or an older child? Do you value the possibility of open adoption?

These questions and many more will lead you in the right direction. Still feeling confused? We would love to help. Give us a call at any time if you have more questions about the different types of adoption.

Chicago Adoption Agencies

Hopeful parents need to work with an adoption agency for certain types of adoption, including domestic infant adoptions and international adoptions. This is a decision you’ll make early in the process that will have a lasting impact on your experience with adoption.

Agencies provide important services to adoptive families and prospective birth mothers during adoption. For you as a family, an agency will help you get started in your Cook County adoption. With their help, you’ll create an adoptive family profile that is shown to potential birth mothers, complete the adoption home study and prepare for a match. When a potential birth mother selects your family (or, in international adoption, when a match is accepted with a child), the agency will help you prepare for placement.

Whether or not you work with an agency, the services of the next type of adoption professional are required for every successful adoption.

Chicago Adoption Attorneys

Your adoption attorney will play a vital role in the success of your adoption. It’s important to work with an attorney who has both experience and understanding. That’s where we come in. We know Chicago adoption inside and out — better than anyone else. This comes from not only decades of experience, but also an in-depth knowledge of Chicago and Cook County adoption law. More than that, we have actually helped create and shape the law through our advocacy work and presence in the community.

Our services make you feel confident and secure during your Chicago adoption. We assist in finalizing the adoption through creating, organizing and filing all necessary documents, as well as working with your local adoption court for your adoption finalization hearing. Our office can also assist in many other aspects of the process, both pre- and post-placement.

We are there for our families in cases of contested adoption and other complicated cases as well. Not only do we have decades of helpful experience with adoption, but we also bring litigation expertise to the table that most other adoption lawyers do not have. If you want peace of mind about your Chicago adoption, then we would love to work with you.

Finalizing an Adoption in Chicago and Cook County

Adoption finalization is the last step of the process. Many families considering adoption don’t know much about finalization, which is unfortunate because it is so important. The adoption process doesn’t actually end the moment your baby is placed in your arms — there are still a few things left to do. Without proper finalization procedures, an adoption can fail.

We make sure that doesn’t happen.

We are happy to work with families all over Illinois who are finalizing their adoptions, and we are especially eager to work with families who are adopting in Chicago and Cook County. Cook County sees more adoption finalizations than any other part of the state. This matters for two primary reasons:

  1. We are a Chicago-based law group, which means we have established relationships with the best adoption agencies and adoption courts in the area.
  2. Judges in Cook County are much more familiar with adoption. This means they are able to take care of simple cases quickly, and are better prepared to issue a fair ruling in contested cases.

Even if you are adopting in another part of Illinois, you can take advantage of these benefits and choose to finalize you adoption in Cook County.

Contact Us Today

We hope this guide to adoption in Chicago and Cook County is helpful. As you can see, there’s a lot to learn. In the midst of all the information, don’t forget the most important thing: Adoption is beautiful, and you deserve to see your dream of parenthood become a reality.

Our goal is to serve and support families, which is what we’ve been doing for more than 20 years and would be honored to do for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your Chicago adoption. Call 312-332-6339 at any time. Together, we can help you create a family.