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Protecting fathers’ rights in Illinois

Protecting fathers' rights in Illinois

In Illinois, a putative father is a man who believes that he has fathered a child but who was not married to the child's mother when it was born. For protecting fathers' rights in Illinois, a man who believes that he is the legal father of a child must first register with the Illinois Putative Father Registry. This must be done within 30 days of the child's birth and may be done prior to the child being born. This applies to protecting fathers' rights in Illinois in all areas, including Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, etc.

In addition to registering, a father must also begin legal proceedings to establish paternity within 30 days of the child's birth. This may be done by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form or by asking a judge to make a ruling. Assistance in taking such action may be available for free under certain circumstances.

If these steps are not taken, a father may lose parental rights to his child. When such a ruling is made, the child's mother may not place the child for adoption over the objection of the father. In the event that a putative father moves or does not keep his address or other information up-to-date, he may not be notified of any adoption proceedings involving the child.

A family law attorney may be able to preserve the rights of a father in a child custody case. An attorney may help a father establish paternity and ensure that he has the ability to maintain a relationship with the child. Assuming that the child's best interests are being met, most courts will rule to keep the father in the child's life. Therefore, an attorney may be beneficial in establishing that maintaining the parental rights of a father is in the child's best interest.

Source: Illinois Putative Father Registry, "What is a “Putative Father”? ", September 09, 2014

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