Saturday, March 8, 2008

Termination of Parental Rights Does not End Child Support Obligation (Illinois Supreme Court rules)

Termination of Parental Rights Does not End Child Support Obligation
by Barbara Glesner Fines, Ruby M. Hulen Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City

In an unpublished opinion, the Illinois Supreme Court has held that the termination of parental rights does not extinguish a child support obligation unless the child is being adopted. Thus, a father whose parental rights are terminated must continue to pay support for a child in foster care. Relying on statutory language that refers to "a child sought to be adopted" the court held that merely being available for adoption is not sufficient to sever the responsibilities to the child. Three judges dissented. Illinois DHFS v. Warner, Ill., Illinois Supreme Court, January 25, 2008.

To view the opinion and for more information, go to the Family Law Prof Blog at


MLR said...

And now the West Virginia Supreme Court says the same:

James said...

you should read Ct. case law Heikkinen vs Sullivan says yes to end child support and no adoption needed.

MLR said...

ADOPTION OF MARLENE, 443 Mass. 494 (February 17, 2005)

I thought I had posted an article about the 2005 Mass. Supreme Judicial Court case that said pretty much the same thing as the Illinois case, but could not find it here or in my KidLawRich Yahoo! group. (

The Marlene court ruled that the signing of an adoption surrender by an estranged father, during the pendency of a termination of parental rights case, did not terminate the father's obligation to continue to support the child, when the child's attorney moved for a support order. (

MLR said...

See my answer to a similar question:

termination of parental rights illinois said...

If you are in the situation of the parents and you are denied of parents right however you are still oblige to pay for child support, how cruel could that be. But of course, there could really be something not good going when a person is denied with parent's right.

Anonymous said...

(citing In re Alexander C., 67 Conn. App. 417, 424, aff'd, 262 Conn. 308 (2003.) Stephen M., 109 Conn.App. 644 (Aug. 12, 2008). (reversal)

In this case a parent in CT is allowed to terminate and remove child support. See case above. Ct is apparently very liberal.

MLR said...

The issue came up on again today. See my answer, Atty. Jaye Samuels ('s answer and my comment, citing ADOPTION OF MARLENE, 443 Mass. 494 (2005) (, here: