Shelley Ballard

Title/s:  Owner/Attorney at Shelley B. Ballard P.C

Phone: 312-981-0272



Ms. Ballard is an attorney in private practice limited to adoption and reproductive technology law. She handles adoptions of every type, including agency, private, related, co-parent, intercountry, foster care, adult and standby. Ms. Ballard primarily represents adopting parents but on occasion, she represents birth parents. She also serves as one of the regular Guardians ad Litem appointed to represent the interests of the children being adopted in the Adoption Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Ms. Ballard is actively involved in legislative efforts in Illinois affecting adoption. In addition, she has contributed chapters on adoption the ISBA Family Law Handbook, published by the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Since 1990, Ms. Ballard 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.  She is a member and Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Midwest Adoption Center, a nonprofit organization that provides services to persons touched by foster care and adoption, including search and confidential intermediary services. Ms. Ballard is an Honorary Board Member and past President of the Board of Directors of the On Your Feet Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to birthparents who have placed children for adoption. 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 consistently recognized as a top lawyer in adoption by the Leading Lawyers Network.


JD, Northwestern University School of Law, 1987, cum laude, Order of the Coif
BS, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, 1979, magna cum laude

Courses Taught

Adoption Law Seminar