Experienced Adoption Lawyers
Our Illinois attorneys handle stepparent and other family adoptions and guardianships. In many instances, these are relatively straightforward matters and are essentially ratifications of existing family situations. In other cases, however, adoptions can be contentious, with a birth parent refusing to relinquish his or her parental rights.
At Urban & Burt, Ltd., our lawyers help clients who are seeking to adopt a stepchild or relative. We also represent clients who are trying to halt an adoption or guardianship proceeding that will result in the cessation of parental rights.
Issues in Guardianship and Adoption
Consent of Biological Parent
Biological parents, even if they were not married, must consent (or be found by the court to be “unfit parents”) to the adoption of their children by the other parent’s new spouse or other relative. When one parent has disappeared, the other parent must prove to the court that he or she has tried to locate the missing parent. Our law firm can help with this aspect of family adoption.
Guardians ad litem
Once the other parent has consented to the adoption (or cannot be found), the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to conduct a home visit and other evaluations to verify that the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the child. Our lawyers can assist with the selection of a guardian ad litem.
Our firm also helps stepparents or other relatives who are seeking custody or visitation of a stepchild after the death or disability of the custodial parent. Obtaining custody of a spouse’s child requires that certain conditions be met; our attorneys advise clients about these requirements.
An alternative that is often less expensive to custody is guardianship. Grandparents and other relatives can obtain guardianship of their grandchildren when parents are unable to care for their children because of illness, incarceration, substance abuse or other circumstances. This allows a grandparent to enroll the children in school, put them on an employer’s health care plan and make decisions about medical treatment.
Contact our Oak Forest adoption attorneys for a free 30-minute consultation. Call us at 708-381-5427 to learn how we can help with adoption or guardianship. We serve communities such as Midlothian, Orland Park and Crestwood.