What is adoption?

Adoption is a legal process which permanently gives parental rights to adoptive parents. It means taking responsibility for the child’s health, safety, and education. It is a lifelong commitment to a child.  The birth parent’s rights and responsibilities are terminated, and the adoptive parent can be named on the birth certificate. The child can have inheritance rights from the adoptive parent. Adoption creates a true sense of security and belonging for a child.

Adoption Services

The Center can help all families become a “legal” family through adoption. The Center offers relative, non-relative, second parent, step-parent, adult and DCFS foster parent adoption services. Our lawyers and social workers can help you:

  • Understand your options and obligations
  • File cases in court
  • Conduct a home study
  • Assure that you will be informed throughout the process.

Adoption services are offered to families interested in adopting a child who is currently in their care. If you would like to adopt, but don’t yet have a child in your care, please contact Sandra Casillas by calling our office or emailing her directly at

Please call for a free consultation on adoption for your family at 773-728-7800.

Second Parent Adoption

Family is everything. Each family looks different, loves different, and came to be in different ways. One thing all families have in common is the need to be legally protected as a family. Within the LGBTQ+ community, it is often in the parents’ best interests to pursue a second parent adoption for their child(ren). While both parents are most likely already providing care and parenting the child(ren), often times only one parent has legal parental rights. Second parent adoption formally recognizes the second parent legally with all the same parental rights as the first parent. It does not terminate the first parent’s rights. With the first parent’s consent, second parent adoption gives the adoptive parent the same rights and responsibilities to make decisions regarding the children’s safety and well-being. 

While it may not sound consequential to become legally recognized as a family, it becomes exceptionally important when traumatic events occur in your family. Without being legally recognized as a parent, the second parent does not have any more legal rights than a stranger would, regardless of how long the parent has been living with and caring for that child. Completing a second parent adoption protects the family and allows them to focus on their loved ones rather than a custody battle. Second parent adoption protects everyone involved if events such as sickness, death, separation or divorce occur. It allows parents to continue providing care and making important decisions for their children.

The Center for Law and Social Work can help all families become a “legal” family through adoption. The Center is happy to assist you in your second parent adoption. Our lawyers and social workers can help you understand your options and obligations, file cases in court, and assure that you will be informed throughout the process. Please call for a free consultation at 773-728-7800 or email us at You can learn more about our services at