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Can I Give Up My Parental Rights if I Do Not Want a Child?

 Posted on September 07, 2022 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

IL family lawyerBeing a parent can be one of the most joyous and rewarding things a person can do, but parenting is not without its challenges. Fathers often face particular challenges when they are not married to the mothers of their children and may sometimes feel as though the legal system’s hurdles are too much to overcome. Other times, a mother or a father may feel totally unequipped or unprepared to raise a child he or she did not want to bring into the world and may wonder whether relinquishing parental rights is an option. Wherever you are in your parental journey, you can get legal advice from an experienced Illinois family law attorney who can help you understand your options and assist you in making wise decisions.

When Can a Parent Voluntarily Give Up Parental Rights?

The feelings and emotions of parents are often complex and influenced by many factors, all of which are real and legitimate. Parents who are very young or who hardly know each other may be devastated by an unplanned pregnancy and understandably feel reluctant to take responsibility for a child they do not want.

However, parents do have automatic legal responsibility for their children. For example, even if a father does not want a relationship with his child and declines the opportunity to exercise parental responsibilities and parenting time, a court can still determine the child’s paternity and require the father to pay child support.

The only time this changes is if a child is adopted by someone else or if parental rights are terminated in some other way (such as by a court determining a parent to be dangerous or unfit). A child can only have two legal parents, so if a stepparent or other couple wishes to adopt a child, a parent can give up his or her parental rights or have them terminated by a court. Generally, a parent can only voluntarily give up parental rights because there is another willing adoptive parent.

However, it is important to remember that relinquishing your parental rights is a permanent step that cannot be revoked at a later time. It is, therefore, vitally important to think about taking this step very carefully. Even though you may feel ill-prepared to parent well at this time, you should only consent to terminate your parental rights if you are sure you will not change your mind later on.

Contact a Naperville, IL Parental Rights Lawyer

Sometimes parents consider giving up their parental rights because they cannot bear the idea of seeing a stepparent raising their child or because they feel overwhelmed by the legal system. Whatever your situation, make sure you consult with an experienced DuPage County parental rights attorney before making any decisions that could permanently affect your legal relationship with your child. Call the offices of Calabrese Associates, P.C. now at 630-393-3111 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.




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