The Parentage Act of 2015: Revamp from 1984 - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
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The Parentage Act of 2015: Revamp from 1984

Posted on in Family Law
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b2ap3_thumbnail_Parentage-Act.jpgThe field of family law is changing in Illinois. The House and Senate have passed numerous amendments to current laws to reflect the ever changing dynamics of family law, especially as the United States is showing a significant departure from traditional family units in favor of more varied family make-ups. The nuclear family has changed and the law has been slow to keep up, but finally is reflecting the new social norms in the family arena.

One of the major amendments to family law is the update and redrafting of the Parentage Act of 1984. With it being more than 40 years since its initial passage, the law has been in significant need of a reboot, especially with same-sex parents now becoming part of the new normal. The Illinois General Assembly recently passed the Parentage Act of 2015, and is currently waiting for the governor’s signature.

Main Amendments to the Parentage Act

The main changes that were made to the Updated Parentage Act look to mirror the societal norms regarding family dynamics that are currently in place by incorporating gender-neutral speech and providing opportunities for parentage to those who are not biologically linked to the child in question. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that all roads end at “the best interest of the child.” In other words, regardless of the changes in the family dynamic, if the child is being raised in a household where his/her needs are being met and there is no harm or threat of harm to the child in question, then the child’s best interests are being served.

Gender-Neutral Language

With the major updates in the language to incorporate gender-neutral language, parentage is imagined as a two-person scheme, regardless of the gender of the parents in question. Gender-neutral an important facet of the Act, as well as showing that the parent-child relationship is established regardless of the legal relationship between the parents or even if the parent him/herself is a minor.

Establishment of the Parent-Child Relationship

The most important aspect of the changes is the determination of the parent-child relationship. The law establishes a parent-child relationship between a woman and a child through:

  • Birth, except where gestational surrogacy has utilized with an effective contract in place;
  • Adoption by the woman of the child;
  • Court’s adjudication of the parentage of the woman to the child; and
  • An irrebuttable presumption that the woman is the parent of the child.

The law establishes a parent-child relationship between a man and a child through:

  • An irrebuttable presumption that the man is the parent of the child;
  • A signed, voluntary acknowledgment of parentage by the man;
  • Adoption by the man of the child;
  • Adjudication that the man is the parent of the child; or
  • A gestational surrogacy contract that is valid under the Gestational Surrogacy Act.

Presumption of Parentage

Further, regardless of gender, parentage is presumed for the person when:

  • The person and the mother of the child are married, are in a civil union, or in a similar legal arrangement;
  • The person and the mother of the child were married (or in a similar legal relationship) and the child was born within 300 days after the termination of the legal relationship;
  • The child was born to the mother and the person was in a relationship with the mother even if the marriage, civil union, or other legal relationship was found invalid; and/or
  • If the person is on the baby’s birth certificate and was in a legal relationship with the mother, such as a marriage or civil union.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County
Parental rights are fundamental. If your parental rights are being threatened, it is important to speak with the experienced family law attorneys at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices. Contact our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.


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