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Termination of Parental Rights in Illinois Adoption Cases

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Lombard Family Law AttorneyIn the eyes of the law, a child can only have two parents. Although stepparents and other family members often play essential roles in a child’s life, they do not have the same rights and responsibilities as parents unless they formally adopt the child.

Whether you are interested in a relative adoption, private adoption, or another type of adoption, it is important to understand how the termination of parental rights may play a role in your case.

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

In some cases, a child’s parents willingly give up their parental rights. A parent may make the decision to surrender their parental rights if they suffer from severe substance abuse or other personal problems that make them unable to care for a child.

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

In other cases, a parent’s parental rights are revoked against the parent’s will. Illinois courts only revoke parental rights if it is in the child's best interest. The courts want to keep families intact whenever possible. However, there are some situations in which it is better for the child if the parent’s parental rights are terminated.

The termination of parental rights almost always coincides with an adoption case. Courts rarely terminate parental rights if there is not another adult willing to step in and assume the role of the child's parent.

Examples of situations in which a parent's parental rights may be involuntarily terminated include but are not limited to:

  • The court determines that the parent is unfit, meaning that the parent is unable or unwilling to provide the care and love the child needs.

  • The parent is convicted of physical or sexual assault against the child.

  • The parent is incapacitated by severe illness or injury.

In order for the court to deem a parent unfit, there must be ample evidence showing the parent’s unfitness. A mere allegation against a parent is not enough to warrant the termination of parental rights.

Contact Our Wheaton Family Law Attorneys For Help

Illinois courts have the authority to terminate a parent’s parental rights in certain situations. Once a parent's parental rights are terminated, the parent no longer has the right to make decisions about the child's life or spend time with the child. The parent is also relieved of any financial responsibility or child support obligations toward the child.

Parental rights may be terminated voluntarily when a parent allows the child to be adopted. Parental rights may also be terminated against a parent’s wishes if there is evidence that doing so is in the child's best interest and there is another adult willing to adopt the child.

If you have questions or concerns about an adoption, parental rights or paternity case, child custody, or other family law matters, our Lombard family law attorneys can help.

Call our skilled team today at 630-426-0196 and set up a confidential consultation to learn about our services and discuss your needs.



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