Can You Reinstate Parental Rights in Illinois?

Updated on April 5, 2024
Updated: March 26, 2024

Are you seeking to regain parental rights? Our child advocacy attorneys in Illinois are dedicated to reuniting families. The state of Illinois supports the restoration process as it aims to bring families back together and, based on your specific circumstances, you may be able to file for restoration of parental rights.

If you wish to file a petition for parental rights restoration, reach out to Tommalieh Law in Illinois for a complimentary consultation. Call us at 708-232-0017 to discuss your case further. Our Orland Park custody attorneys will review the details of your case and advise you on how to move forward.

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

The termination of parental rights is a legal process in Illinois that requires careful consideration. It is only granted if it is determined to be in the best interest of the child. There are various factors that may lead a court to decide on parental rights termination.

Some reasons for termination include severe child neglect, child abuse (emotional, sexual, and physical), endangerment, abandonment, substance abuse, mental impairment, criminal conviction or imprisonment, and failure to provide child support. If you have lost your parental rights involuntarily, you may be able to fight for restoration if you can prove that you can now provide a safe and stable home for your children.

Illinois Law on Reinstating Parental Rights

Whenever possible, the state of Illinois wants to reunite families rather than separate them through involuntary termination of parental rights. The State of Illinois allows the possibility of reinstatement for rightful parents if they can prove substantial progress in rehabilitation and that they can provide a safe family environment for their child.

In Illinois, there is a chance that parents may be able to have their previous termination reinstated. This option only applies in certain cases and very specific criteria must be met before the courts can consider such requests. For the consideration of reinstatement, the parents must provide “clear and convincing evidence” that shows such action is in the best interest of the child.

This proof must include reasons why parental rights were terminated in the first place and provide evidence of any steps that had been taken to address those issues. Additionally, it must also provide further specifics as to why any risk factors for injury or harm had been eliminated before the reinstatement request so that it can be judged if continuing contact with the parent would not put the child in danger. If all of these prerequisites can be shown, then an Illinois court may grant parental rights reinstatement.

What Constitutes a “Good Cause” for Reinstatement?

The State of Illinois has a restoration law that allows parents whose parental rights have been terminated to have them reinstated under certain circumstances. To achieve this, one must provide evidence to the family judge that doing so is in the best interest of the child, and meet various other criteria. This evidence must be "clear and convincing" which is a strict burden of proof that must be adhered to.

One example of such criteria involves the period of time between termination and attempted reinstatement. The parent must wait at least three years following the initial termination of parental rights before filing for reinstatement.

a gavel on model of a family unit on a desk

Furthermore, the child for whom the reinstatement is being pursued must either be 13 years or older or must have an older sibling who meets this requirement, can demonstrate an understanding of what would occur with a successful reinstatement, and desires for it to happen.

Meeting these conditions allows parents in Illinois a chance of the restoration of rights if they are willing to prove their case with clear and convincing evidence that doing so would benefit all involved parties.

Steps to Initiate Reinstatement Process in Illinois

When a parent’s rights have been terminated in Illinois, the process of reinstatement can be challenging but is possible. The first thing you should do is obtain legal counsel, especially if the child is currently in foster care. It is essential to seek out an attorney who specializes in family law and understands these types of reunification processes. This lawyer will be knowledgeable about how to proceed with the case, will be able to provide advice throughout the process, and will understand the best approaches to restoration.

Once you have a lawyer on your side, you will file a Petition for Restoration of Parental Rights. This reinstatement petition will include pertinent information about your background, such as any criminal history or mental health diagnoses. You will also include evidence that you have been actively working to improve your situation and demonstrate that you are capable and willing to provide a safe and healthy permanent placement for your child.

This can be done by providing evidence of successful rehabilitation, such as drug or alcohol counseling, mental health treatment services, or other therapy programs. It is also important to demonstrate that your capacity to parent may have changed over time, that you are financially stable, and that you can provide for the needs of the child. 

Factors Considered by the Court When Deciding Reinstatement Cases in Illinois

In a parental restoration case, the parents must provide clear and convincing evidence of changed circumstances and ensure the child or children's complete safety in their care. Additionally, other factors must be shown to exist.

  • A minimum of three years must have elapsed between the initial termination and the request for parental rights restoration.
  • The minor child must be at least 13 years old.
  • The parent must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances since the original termination or the entry of the order and express a desire for reinstatement.

In summary, the law requires a child to have the cognitive ability to comprehend the implications of their parent's permanent restoration of rights, while also ensuring that the parent can demonstrate a safe and suitable home environment for the child.

Can an Attorney Help Reinstate Your Parental Rights in Illinois?

The loss of parental rights can be one of the most painful experiences for a parent. It is important to remember that the state of Illinois may provide options for reinstating parental rights under certain circumstances.

By speaking with a local family law attorney you can gain valuable information about your particular situation and the legal process of potential reinstatement. Our experienced family lawyers will be able to answer questions regarding any documentation and court appearances that may be required to make this process successful. 

Our child advocacy attorneys are dedicated to helping families reunite and restore parental rights. With the help of an experienced child advocate attorney, you can work to regain custody of your children and have their parental rights reinstated. Call Tommalieh Law today for a free consultation and case evaluation today!

Text Us
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram