Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office


Plainfield Office


Understanding Voluntary and Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights in Joliet

Posted on

Will County Family Law AttorneyWhen a parent-child relationship is officially established through birth or a paternity action, the parent gains parental rights. Among these rights are the right to seek parental responsibilities and parenting time. In some situations, these rights are terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Illinois courts consider the parent-child relationship to be one the most sacred relationships in a child’s life. Because all child-related family law decisions are made with the child’s best interests at heart, parental rights are only terminated in a narrow set of circumstances.

Giving Up Your Parental Rights Voluntarily

Voluntary termination of parental rights usually coincides with an adoption case. Children may only have two parents. If a stepparent, grandparent, or other adult wishes to adopt a child, the child’s parent may need to give up his or her parental rights to allow the adoption to proceed. Once parental rights are terminated, the parent loses the right to parenting time with the child. The parent is also absolved of his or her child support obligation.

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights Due to Parental Unfitness

Parental rights may be terminated against a parent’s will if the parent is found to be “unfit.” This is considered a last resort. Parents are only declared unfit if it can be demonstrated that the parent having contact with the child is not in the child’s best interests. There must be ample evidence of a parent’s inability to care for the child and keep the child safe.

A parent may be found to be unfit due to:

  • Child abandonment

  • Child sexual abuse

  • Persistent child neglect or physical abuse

  • Death of a child by physical abuse

  • Continued failure to provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter despite having the means to do so

  • Lack of interaction with the child for at least one year

  • Lack of reasonable concern or interest in to the child’s welfare

  • Failure to protect the child from dangerous situations

  • Drug or alcohol addiction lasting at least one year

  • Mental inability that prevents the parent from fulfilling parenting obligations

  • Certain criminal convictions

Contact a Will County Parental Rights Lawyer

Parental rights may be involuntarily terminated if the parent is deemed “unfit” due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other reasons. Parents may also be able to willingly give up their parental rights in certain situations.

If you want to petition the court to terminate a parent’s parental rights or your parental rights are being threatened, contact the Joliet family law attorneys at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. for help. Call our office at 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.



  • Badges and Associations
  • Badges and Associations
  • Badges and Associations
Back to Top