Publications

Articles on Parental Rights

Judicial registration and petitions for relief now available for administrative paternity orders

January
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Illinois Public Aid Code has been amended to provide for judicial registration of both administrative support and paternity orders.

An Overview of the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015

By Margaret A. Bennett
December
2015
Article
Page 28
The new Act, effective January 1, is a complete rewrite of Illinois parentage law that reflects changes in cultural norms and reproductive technology in the past 30 years.

Dispute over the disposition of pre-embryos resolved by honoring the parties’ prior agreement

September
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On June 18, 2013, the First District of the Appellate Court held that in disputes regarding the disposition of pre-embryos, the court would honor any prior agreement between the parties.

Custody of pre-embryos awarded to woman despite sperm donor’s objection

By Matthew Hector
August
2015
LawPulse
Page 10
An Illinois court awarded custody and control of frozen pre-embryos to the woman whose eggs were fertilized to create them.

Legal Parenthood: Old Doctrines, New Families

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
June
2012
Column
Page 330
Is the “superior parental rights” doctrine outdated?

Statutory Parenthood for Same-Sex Partners

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
December
2011
Column
Page 636
The Illinois Parentage Act should be amended to make it easier for same-sex partners to establish their parenthood.

Adoption law pointers

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2011
LawPulse
Page 434
The August Child Law Section newsletter includes an adoption law legislation roundup and helps lawyers help clients find birth parents and readopt after surrendering parental rights.

Civil Unions and Parenthood at Birth

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
September
2011
Column
Page 473
How should legal parenthood at birth be established when children are born into civil unions?

Terminating Guardianships and Returning Children to Parents: Pitfalls and Possibilities

By Julie M. Harcum
October
2007
Article
Page 542
Is it enough that a parent is "fit, willing, and able," or may a child be returned only if doing so serves his or her "best interest"?

Visitation By Biological Boyfriend-Father

By H. Joseph Gitlin
October
2007
Column
Page 556
A biological father from a wife's extra-marital affair can win visitation with his child.

Reforming Paternity Procedures: A Dannielynn in Illinois

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
June
2007
Column
Page 324
What would have happened if Anna Nicole Smith's daughter had been born in Illinois?

Supreme court to rule on putative father registry

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2006
LawPulse
Page 398
Some say the registry protects adoptive parents and children from belated, unwelcome interest by a biological dad. Others say it unfairly cuts a birth father out of his child's life. 
   

A finding of depravity in parental rights hearing supported by felony convictions

August
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 390
On May 24, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Peoria County finding the respondent unfit to retain custody of his two children and terminating his parental rights.

The New Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act

By Nancy Ford
May
2005
Article
Page 240
In Illinois, a recently enacted statute governs would-be parents' contracts with surrogate mothers. Here's a look at what the new law does and doesn't do.

State must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child

January
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On October 21, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court's determination that the circuit court had applied an incorrect standard of proof in a termination of parental rights proceeding, and remanded the case to the circuit court for a rehearing of the issue under the appropriate preponderance of the evidence standard.

Denial of “fitness to stand trial” hearing in a parental rights proceeding did not violate father’s due process rights

November
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 568
On August 20, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the Circuit Court of Cook County's decision finding the respondent father unfit to parent a child and terminating his parental rights.

A finding of parental unfitness must be specific as to each child

June
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 292
On March 18, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court's reversal of the trial court's finding of unfitness and termination of a mother's parental rights with respect to the youngest of her four children.

Former version of §1-5(3) of the Juvenile Court Act did not require trial courts to admonish parents of all factors that could result in the termination of their parental rights.

March
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 18, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and affirmed the circuit court's termination of the defendant's parental rights. 

State’s burden of proof in best interests stage of termination of parental rights proceeding is preponderance of evidence

June
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 280
On March 27, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, reversed and remanded the order of the circuit court of Cook County terminating the respondent's parental rights.

Adoption policies changed

January
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On October 23, 2002, the Department of Children and Family Services (department) amended rules relating to parental fitness and general adoption policies in title 89 of the Illinois Administrative Code.

Section 2-28(3) of Illinois Juvenile Court Act, which gives parties immediate right to appeal permanency orders, violates separation of powers clause of Illinois Constitution

December
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 634
On September 19, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the provisions of section 2-28(3) of the Juvenile Court Act, which gives parties an immediate right to appeal permanency orders.

When court terminates parental rights, appeal of that determination does not stay termination

November
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 584
On August 29, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed in part and vacated in part the decision of the appellate court in this child custody case.

Can Court-Imposed Grandparent Visitation Survive Wickham v Byrne?

By Michael K. Goldberg
September
2002
Article
Page 458
Only if the General Assembly stays within the limits imposed by the U.S. and Illinois Supreme Courts, the author warns.

Evidence of parent’s conduct following removal of children from her care is irrelevant to the determination of parental unfitness under “failure to protect” provision

June
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 288
On March 21, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court, holding that evidence of a parent's conduct following removal of children from her care is irrelevant under the "failure to protect" provision for determining parental unfitness in a termination of parental rights proceeding under the Juvenile Court Act, 705 ILCS 405/2-29.

The high court overturns Illinois grandparents’ visitation statute

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2002
LawPulse
Page 282
The Illinois Supreme Court rules that the grandparents' visitation law unconstitutionally infringes upon parents' rights.

Law permitting a parent to be declared unfit after more than one child is born with drugs in his or her system and the mother has the opportunity for treatment does not violate the equal protection or due process clauses of the Illinois Constitution

June
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 288
On April 3, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, affirmed the ruling of the trial court terminating the parental rights of the respondent after finding that she was an unfit parent.

Indigent mother has a constitutional right to court-appointed counsel to appeal ruling that she is an unfit parent, even if county is required to pay counsel’s fees

April
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 176
On January 25, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court and held that the separation of powers doctrine is not violated when, in a case concerning the fitness of a parent, the county is required to pay for an indigent mother's appellate counsel fees.

Parental rights may be terminated if state proves that parent was incarcerated and would likely remain so for two years and there was little contact with or support of children

January
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The state moved to terminate a defendant's parental rights and to appoint a legal guardian with the power to consent to the adoption of two of the defendant's children.

Legislation clarifies that failure to vaccinate a child for religious or medical reasons is not neglect or abuse; P.A. 92-375

December
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 624
In August, Gov. Ryan signed into law Senate Bill 1305, which amends the Adoption Act to clarify that a parent's failure to vaccinate a child due to religious or medical reasons, allowed by law, does not constitute child neglect or abuse.

No more dumpster babies?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2001
LawPulse
Page 620
A new law is designed to encourage desperate mothers to leave their newborns in safe places, not dumpsters and doorsteps.

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