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Posted on in Adoption

adoption, father's rights, Geneva family lawyerThere are countless reasons that parents may consider putting their child up for adoption. In most cases, they believe that doing so will give their child a much better opportunity at a happy, healthy life. A large percentage of adoptions in Illinois involve single mothers who feel that they are not able to provide properly for their child. The choice of a single mother to make her child available for adoption is, undoubtedly, a difficult one, but what about that child’s father? Does he have any say in the process?

Your Rights as a Legal Father

If you are the legally-recognized father of a child that is being placed for adoption, the proceedings may not continue without your consent. In most cases, you must be willing to voluntarily terminate your parental rights. It is possible for your parental rights to terminated against your will, but only if you are found to by the court to be an unfit parent. Grounds for such a finding include abandonment of the child, failure to maintain interest, concern or responsibility, neglect, repeated physical or emotional abuse, substance abuse, and other negative behaviors.

denial of paternity, paternity, Illinois family lawyerWhen a married couple announces the birth of a new baby, it is generally the cause for great celebration. Friends and family excitedly share the news and join with the mother and father in welcoming the new addition to the family. What if the father, however, is not really the father? The law, as one might expect, does not really address how a family is supposed to deal with such a situation, but it does offer some legal guidelines for the parents on how to proceed.

Legally Married, Legal Father

Illinois law regarding paternity assumes that a child born or conceived during a marriage is the child of the married couple, establishing legal parental rights for both the mother and the father. In a vast majority of cases, such an assumption is correct and simplifies the legal process. However, situations may arise in which the husband of the marriage is not, in fact, the biological father of the child, such as infidelity or a new relationship by the mother during an extended divorce process.

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