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   3Shelley B. BallardEvanston(312) 981-0272sb@sballardlaw.comsb@sballardlaw.comShelley B. Ballard PCwww.sballardlaw.comwww.sballardlaw.comballardshelley.jpgAdoption & Reproductive Technology Law
Shelley B. Ballardsb@sballardlaw.com
Shelley B. Ballard PChttp://www.sballardlaw.com
500 Davis St Ste 1006
Evanston IL 60201
Ph.(312) 981-0272 Fx.(844) 201-0363
Recommended by peers in:
Adoption & Reproductive Technology Law
Advisory Board Member
County:  Cook
Practice Description:  
Shelley Ballard (formerly Shelley Bostick) focuses primarily on adoption matters, having practiced adoption law since 1988, shortly after becoming a parent by adoption herself. She handled hundreds of adoptions of every category as a solo practitioner before merging her practice with that of Victoria Bush-Joseph and Terri Finesmith Horwich in 1995. Ms. Ballard helped draft several pieces of legislation affecting adoption in Illinois, 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 2011 ISBA Family Law Handbook, published by the Illinois State Bar Association and wrote the chapters on Interstate, Intercountry, and Adult Adoption for the 2011 Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Ms. Ballard also regularly addresses adoptive parent groups and legal professional groups on various legal issues affecting adoption.

Ms. Ballard 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 and rejoined the firm. While in North Carolina, Ms. Ballard 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.

Ms. Ballard 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 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. In 2004, Ms. Ballard joined the Board of Directors of the On Your Feet Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to birth parents who have placed children for adoption and served as President of the Board from 2009 to 2011. Ms. Ballard is an active member of the Chicago Bar Association Adoption Law Committee, and served as its chair during 1993-94 and 2005-06. She has been recognized as a top lawyer in adoption and reproductive technology by Leading Lawyers and is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.


Notable Cases and Results:  
Ms. Ballard helped draft several pieces of legislation affecting adoption in Illinois, 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. For this effort, she was recognized by the Illinois House of Representatives in a formal House resolution.

While in North Carolina, Ms. Ballard 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.


Year of Birth:  1957

Law School:  Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1987

Law School Honors/Involvement:  Cum laude; Order of the Coif

Undergraduate School:  Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, 1979

Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:  Magna cum laude

Bar/Professional Association Involvement:  
Chicago Bar Association
  Adoption Law Committee
    Chair, 1993-1994, 2005-2006
Illinois State Bar Association
American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Fellow
  Interstate Compact Committee
    Former co-chair

Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
  • Leading Lawyers, selected by peers in Adoption & Reproductive Technology Law, 2003-present


Community Involvement:  
On Your Feet Foundation, Inc.
  Board of directors
    President, 2009-2011


Published Legal Writing:  
Baby Richard Law, (co-author), 1994

Illinois Bar Journal's lead article: "The Baby Richard Law: Changes to the Adoption Act," Dec., 1994

Chapter on adoption law for the Family Law Practice Handbook published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1988

Chapters on Interstate, Intercountry and Adult Adoption for the 2011 Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education

Several articles in the Charlotte Parent, Carolina Parent and Carolina Youth Alliance magazines




Additional Office Locations:  
180 North La Salle Street, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601

50000335
Map to Office:   Click here to view map

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