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Shelley B. Ballard - Skokie, IL

5250 Old Orchard Rd.Suite 300 Skokie, IL 60077

Super Lawyers®

1

Updated: 01/24/2022

Skokie Adoption Law Lawyer

Overview

SHELLEY BALLARD (formerly Shelley Bostick) has practiced adoption law since 1988, shortly after becoming a parent by adoption herself. She has handled hundreds of adoptions of every category as both a solo practitioner and as a partner in a small law firm.

In addition to representing clients in adoption matters, Shelley has been actively involved in legislative efforts to improve adoption since the early 1990s...

SHELLEY BALLARD (formerly Shelley Bostick) has practiced adoption law since 1988, shortly after becoming a parent by adoption herself. She has handled hundreds of adoptions of every category as both a solo practitioner and as a partner in a small law firm.

In addition to representing clients in adoption matters, Shelley has been actively involved in legislative efforts to improve adoption since the early 1990s. She has helped draft and lobby for many pieces of legislation affecting adoption in Illinois over the years, including the "Baby Richard Law" enacted in 1994 that created the Illinois Putative Father Registry and added several safeguards to the Illinois Adoption Act to reduce contested adoptions. She was recognized by the Illinois House of Representatives in a formal House resolution for this effort. Shelley authored the Illinois Bar Journal's lead article in its December 1994 issue, entitled The Baby Richard Law: Changes to the Adoption Act, an article that was instrumental in upholding the constitutionality of the law when it was challenged in the courts. In addition, she contributed the chapter on adoption for the ISBA Family Law Handbook, published by the Illinois State Bar Association and has for many years written the chapters on Interstate and Adult Adoption for the Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Shelley also regularly addresses adoptive parent groups and legal professionals on various legal issues affecting adoption.

Shelley relocated to North Carolina in 1998 and operated a solo practice focused on adoption and reproductive technology law until 2002, when she returned to Chicago. While in North Carolina, Shelley was involved in the successful 2001 legislative effort to revise North Carolina adoption law to shorten the revocation period for adoption consents, allow openness in agency adoptions and permit advertising by approved adoptive families searching for a child to adopt. She also taught an introductory adoption seminar for Central Piedmont Community College and authored several adoption articles that appeared in the Charlotte Parent, Carolina Parent and Carolina Youth Alliance magazines.

Shelley graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering in 1979, and cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law in 1987, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif (top 10% of her class). Since 1990, she has been a Fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (formerly the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys), a national organization of attorneys devoted to the ethical and competent representation of parties in adoption and collaborative reproduction matters. From 2004 to 2015, Shelley was a member of the Board of Directors of the On Your Feet Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to birth parents who have placed children for adoption, serving as President of the Board from 2009 to 2011. She is an active member of the Chicago Bar Association Adoption Law Committee, and served as its Chair during 1993-94 and 2005-06. Shelley served as one of the regular Guardians ad Litem for the children being adopted in the Cook County Adoption Court from 2012 to 2017. From 2014 to 2020, she was an Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University Law School teaching a bi-annual seminar on adoption law. In 2015, Shelley joined the Board of Directors of the Midwest Adoption Center, a nonprofit organization that provides services to persons touched by foster care and adoption, including search and confidential intermediary services, and she now serves as its Secretary/Treasurer. Finally, Shelley has been recognized as a top lawyer in adoption by the Leading Lawyers Network, Lead Counsel and Super Lawyers.

About Shelley B. Ballard

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Attorney

Practice Areas

  • Adoption Law
  • Agency-assisted
  • Interstate
  • Co-parent
  • Adoptive Parent Representation
  • Agency
  • International
  • Foster Care
  • Birth Parent Representation
  • Private/Independent
  • Step-Parent, Related & Adult
  • Contested Adoptions
  • Agency Representation

Qualifications

Specialties and Certifications

  • Cook County Adoption Court, Guardian ad Litem for minors, 2012 – 2017
  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Panel Attorney, 2002 to Present

Other Affiliations

  • Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (formerly American Academy of Adoption Attorneys)
  • Chicago Bar Association Adoption Law Committee (twice past chair)
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • On Your Feet Foundation (Honorary Board member and Past President)
  • Midwest Adoption Center (current Board member and Secretary-Tresurer)
  • Loyola University of Chicago Law School, former Adjunct Professor (6 years)
  • Cook County, Illinois, Adoption Court Guardian ad Litem for children (5 years)
  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Panel Attorney
  • Leading Lawyers Network, Advisory Board
  • Super Lawyers
  • Lead Counsel

Classes and Seminars

  • Adjunct Professor, Annual Seminar on Adoption Law, Loyola University Law School, 2014 - Present
  • Annual Adoption Seminar, Chicago Bar Association, Frequent Speaker
  • ABCs of Adoption Seminars, Resolve of Illinois, 1990’s to early 2000’s

Pro Bono Activities

  • On Your Feet Foundation, Board of Directors, Member, 2004 - 2015. President, 2009 - 2011. Lifetime Director, 2015 - present, 2004 - 2015
  • Midwest Adoption Center, Board of Directors, 2015. Secretary/Treasurer, 2016 - present

Education

  • Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 1987
    Honors: cum laude
    Honors: Order of the Coif (top 10% of her class)
  • Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, 1979
    Honors: magna cum laude

Articles

Published Works

  • The Baby Richard Law: Changes to the Adoption Act, Illinois Bar Journal, December, 1994
  • Chapter on Adoption, ISBA Family Law Handbook, Illinois State Bar Association, 2011
  • Chapters on Interstate and Adult Adoption, Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2016

Office Information

Address

5250 Old Orchard Rd.Suite 300 Skokie, IL 60077

Fax

  • 844-201-0363

Office Hours

9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday

Achievements

Other Sources of Feedback About Shelley B. Ballard

Included on the 2024 Illinois list


Past Lists

  • 2023 Illinois Super Lawyers list
  • 2022 Illinois Super Lawyers list
  • 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers list
  • 2020 Illinois Super Lawyers list
  • 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Shelley B. Ballard on Super Lawyers

Honors

  • Super Lawyers 2019
  • Recognized by Leading Lawyers Network as a Top Lawyer in Adoption and Reproductive Technology
  • Recognized by the Illinois House of Representatives in a Formal House Resolution
  • Lead Counsel Rated

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