In Illinois, we only have two vehicles to do that. One is going through an adoption, terminating your parental rights. Second is if you are involved in a juvenile court proceeding, DCSF is involved, and the child winds up being adjudicated and neglected or abused, it is possible then for the parent to give up their rights or have their rights terminated. Those are the only two ways in Illinois to get parental rights and responsibilities.
There is another vehicle called guardianship, but that’s a whole different aspect of everything. Most of the time, if I’m talking to grandparents or other people, I want to look at the statute that addresses parenting time and standing, which means that ability to come into court. You have the right to come into court, which not everybody does on a family law case.
With 30 years of experience in family law, Laura M. Urbik Kern is a certified mediator and family lawyer who concentrates on dissolution, family and juvenile law, child support, and complex domestic relations cases.