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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.


April 2023 | Ann Garcia, Patient Advocate - Resource List

Whether you decide to obtain guardianship for your child is an individual family decision that should be considered carefully. If your child is 18 years old and is unable to make decisions about finances, medical care, or other important matters, you can apply to a local court for guardianship so that you have the legal right to make decisions on your child's behalf. A judge will determine if guardianship can and should be granted, but keep in mind that most forms of guardianship involve a loss of rights for the individual with a disability, such as the ability to marry, sign contracts, or vote. If your child needs help in some areas but not others, alternatives to guardianship might be a better solution. 

You can apply for different kinds of guardianship, including Guardianship of the Person, which will enable you to make decisions about your child's activities, education, medical care, residential placement, and services; or Guardianship of the Estate, which will give you the right to manage your child's property and finances. 

General Guardianship Information

The Arc

Decision-Making Resources

Center for Future Planning

Equip for Equality


Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission

Guardianship Fact Sheet

Guardianship Frequently Asked Questions

Guardianship Training

A Guide to Adult Guardianship in Illinois

A Practitioner's Guide to Adult Guardianship in Illinois

Illinois Legal Aid Online

Adult Guardianship

Illinois State Bar Association

Serving as a Guardian for an Adult with Disabilities



Center for Guardianship Certification

Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission

Illinois Guardianship Association

National Guardianship Association


Guardianship Information by County

Cook County

DuPage County

Kane County

Lake County

McHenry County

Will County


Legal Resources*

Pro Se Adult Guardianship Help Desk (Cook County)

Can assist prospective guardians with understanding the guardianship process and paperwork.

Center for Disability and Elder Law

Can provide legal representation in adult guardianship cases for low-income families in Cook County.

Greenlight Family Services

Offers sliding scale fees for legal representation in adult guardianship cases throughout Illinois.

Special Needs Alliance

A national network of special needs attorneys. 


If you would like help locating an attorney in the Chicago area who specializes in guardianship, please contact our office (847-318-2303) and ask to speak with one of our patient advocates, Ann Garcia or Jennifer Smid. 

*This list is given for informational purposes only. The Adult Down Syndrome Center does not recommend or endorse any particular attorney, organization, or law practice. 


Find More Resources

We offer a variety of resources for people with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers and the professionals who care for and work with them. Search our collection of articles, webinars, videos, and other educational materials.

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.