Q:

What is the termination of parental rights in Illinois?

A:

Quick Answer

In Illinois as in any other U.S. state or territory, the termination of parental rights is the act by which all responsibility, right to contact and legal connection is severed in the eyes of the court. This is a common step in the adoption process, whether by a new family or by a step-parent, but it is not without its challenges.

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Full Answer

Either maternal or paternal rights can be terminated by a custodial parent if and when certain factors can be proven to the satisfaction of the court. These factors include, but are not limited to, criminal activities, abusive behavior, abandonment and long-term failure to meet court-mandated obligations, such as child support payments. Furthermore, an individual can choose to sign a waiver of parental rights, and this voluntary termination of rights only requires that the party in question held legal rights as a parent at one time. For mothers, this is established at birth, but Illinois requires that fathers have paternity established prior to terminating their rights as a parent. The specifics of the termination of parental rights can be found within Illinois statute 750 ILCS 50, and it is covered under the state's "Children's Law" legislation, including the "Adoption Act."

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What needs to be in a letter to appeal a family court order for termination of parental rights?

    A:

    Although each state's procedures vary, a notice of appeal typically includes the following: the name of the person appealing, the order being appealed and its filing date, the court that handled the case and the court being asked to review the case. Generally, it must also show that the first court misinterpreted the law, misunderstood the facts or the termination was not in the best interests of the child.

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  • Q:

    How do you terminate parental rights in Texas?

    A:

    According to the Texas State Legislature, parental rights can be involuntarily terminated if the parent endangers, abandons or refuses to adequately care for the child. If the parent is convicted of a crime or incarcerated, parental rights can also be terminated. Parental rights can be voluntarily terminated if the child is not genetically the parent's or if the child is put up for adoption within 48 hours of birth.

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  • Q:

    What are a father's rights to see his child?

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    By law, child custody and visitation rights for fathers are identical to those of mothers in every state. While mothers and fathers are technically equal under the law, About.com notes that fathers' visitation rights can sometimes be harder to exercise and enforce.

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  • Q:

    Do grandparents get visitation rights?

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    As the American Association of Retired Persons explains, grandparents do not have automatic visitation rights to see their grandchildren; however, some states allow grandparents to petition the court to grant visitation rights in specific situations. The criteria used by courts to grant visitation to grandparents varies by state but generally take into account the marital status of the parents and the prior relationship between the grandparent and grandchild.

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