• Local Family Law Attorneys serving the Metro East

    Resolving family law matters in AltonCollinsvilleEdwardsville, Troy and Madison & St. Clair Counties

    At Levo-Donohoo, we’re experienced at resolving family law issues including adoption and guardianship. Adoption and guardianship are big steps, and they must be weighed carefully. We make sure you understand the process to ensure you’re making the best possible decision. Additionally, we can help with everything from starting the process of adoption or becoming a legal guardian to signing the final documents to make it official. Are you adding to your family? Contact us for more details about the adoption and guardianship processes before you get started.

  • Guardianship: What is a legal guardian?

    As defined by the State of Illinois, a legal guardian is “a person, institution or agency appointed by the probate court to manage the affairs of another, called the ‘ward.’”

    When it comes to guardianship, many types of people may be eligible to have a legal guardian such as minors. Minors, persons under the age of 18, may have a legal guardian of their own choosing, or one appointed by probate court, to help manage affairs including monetary, legal, educational and other scenarios. Usually, a minor becomes able to handle his/her own affairs following their 18th birthday. However, minors aren’t the only people that benefit from guardianship. A guardian may also be appointed for a person that experiences:

    • Mental Deterioration
    • Physical Incapacity
    • Mental Illness
    • Developmental Disability
  • The Guardianship Process

    Persons over the age of 18 may only be appointed a guardian by a circuit court due to some sort of mental or physical disability. The process for obtaining legal guardianship is as follows:

    • A report must be obtained and signed by a physician that outlines the nature of the disability, reasons for guardianship, and recommendations for living arrangements.
    • Legal representation is obtained to assist with the legal process of guardianship.
    • A guardian ad litem is appointed to advise the court on an individuals’ need for guardianship. It is the guardian ad litem’s responsibility to act only in the clients’ best interest.
    • Following the report, various documents must be prepared for court. These include a petition, rights notice, summons, notice to interested parties, order, oath, bond, statement and order. Learn more about these and other terms by clicking here.
    • Following the completion of the correct court preparations, a hearing will be set where the process will move forward.
  • How does the adoption process work?

    If you have the means and the desire, adoption is one of the most selfless actions you can take. By completing the adoption process, you’ll be adding another member to your family while taking advantage of the opportunity to clothe, feed and care for another human being. Many people choose to begin, and add to, their families in this manner.

    To be eligible to adopt a child, you must:

    • Not have a disability
    • Have lived in the State of Illinois for at least the last 6 months
    • Has a good reputation in the community
  • To be eligible to be adopted you must:

    • Have been surrendered to an adoption agency, which consents
    • Be authorized by a court that has consented to the adoption
    • Placed in the custody of the prospective parents by the biological parents
  • *For more detailed information on guardianship, adoption and the related legal processes, please contact our staff.*

    ***THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. THE CHOICE OF A LAWYER IS IMPORTANT AND SHOULD NOT BE BASED SOLELY UPON THIS ADVERTISEMENT. FAVORABLE RESULTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED.***