Unmarried Fathers and Their Rights in Illinois

A child is a beautiful gift. Both parents are typically happy to bond with their child and give him or her the best life possible. However, there are situations when a father is not present when his child is born—an alleged father may be unaware that he is actually the biological father of a child.

In any case, there are several ways for the father to establish the best relationship possible with his child, as long as he holds himself accountable for the child’s well-being.

History of the Rights of Unmarried Fathers

For many years, unwed fathers have had less constitutional rights regarding their child than the unwed mother or married parents. During this time, many unmarried fathers fought for visitation rights so that they could establish a positive and mature relationship with their children.

Since 2008, more than 40 percent of all childbirths in the United States have been to unwed mothers. Now, more than ever, unwed fathers are hoping to develop a positive relationship with their children to provide a father figure in children’s lives.

Rights of Unmarried Fathers in Illinois

A “putative father” is defined as a man whose legal relationship to a child has not yet been established but may be presumed to be, or he declares to be, the biological father of the child to the woman whom he did not marry.

A man is presumed to be the natural or biological father of the child if the man was married to the child’s mother, if his name is on the child’s birth certificate, or an acknowledgment of paternity was signed by both parents.

The Putative Father Registry was established to determine the identity of an alleged father of a minor child who is expected to be involved in an adoption process. A father can register with the Department of Children and Family Services no more than 30 days after the child is born. The registration must be in writing and signed by the father who is presumed the biological father of the child.

Contact Your Wheaton Family Law Attorney

Unmarried fathers typically have a more difficult time establishing paternity and receiving rights to visit their child or children. Attorney Anthony Abear has approximately two decades of experience in the family law and divorce practice. With his experience and vision, he is always willing to assist you with your questions about your own case. If you are an unmarried father and have questions, please call Abear Law Offices at 630-904-3033 to schedule your free initial consultation with a skilled Wheaton family law lawyer today.