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DuPage County family law attorneysTerminating a parent’s rights to their child is not something that occurs regularly, but it is sometimes necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. How, exactly, does one go about doing this? Can it be applied in all situations, or are there only certain scenarios in which a parent’s rights can be terminated? The following answers these questions, and it provides important details on how an experienced family law attorney can assist you with the process, should it be warranted in your case.

Terminating a Parent’s Rights for Stepparent Adoption

Perhaps the best scenario in which a parent’s rights may be terminated is when there is a prospective adopting stepparent who wants to become the child’s legal guardian. Mostly, this is done with the consent of the biological parent. However, there are scenarios in which the family must go through the courts to prove that the biological parent is unfit, unsafe, or otherwise incapable of providing the love and support that the child deserves. In either scenario, the guidance and assistance of an experienced attorney is highly recommended. Note that grandparents, siblings, and other family members may adopt a child if both parents are willing to terminate their parental rights.


DuPage County family law attorneys, terminating parental rightsDespite court and family efforts, there are times when it is in the best interests of a child to terminate a parent’s rights. This means that a parent will no longer be legally responsible for a child, does not have to pay child support, and cannot make any decisions regarding a child’s welfare. However, Illinois has a fairly unique and strict set of rules regarding when one parent is allowed to petition for the termination of the other parent’s rights. 

Parental Right Termination Law 

In Illinois, one parent is not allowed to simply petition for the termination of another parent’s rights. Under Illinois law 750 ILCS 50/1, a parent’s rights can only be terminated in conjunction with the Adoption Act or in a juvenile case. State legislators determined that it is in the best interests of a child that both parents retain their rights, except in extreme circumstances—a negligent parent still has an obligation to pay child support, even if he or she is absentee.

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