Shelley Ballard has devoted her law practice to adoption after adopting her oldest child over 30 years ago, handing thousands of adoptions of every type (domestic, international, foster care, related, adult, surrogacy/gamete donation and contested cases), as well as acting as Guardian ad Litem to children being adopted. She is active in legislative efforts to improve adoption in Illinois and a contributor to the Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Handbook and the Illinois Adoption Law Practice Handbook, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. 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. She has twice chaired the Chicago Bar Association Adoption Law Committee (and is current vice-chair), has been a Fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys since 1990 and has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer and Super Lawyer. She is a former Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University School of Law, where she taught a seminar on Adoption Law for several years. Ms. Ballard graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering and cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law.