Parental rights cannot be terminated by a private person. This can only happen by order of court upon a petition from DCFS or the State's Attorney's office. The only exception is by consent or finding of abuse in the course of an adoption procedure. If you have not yet been to court for child support, you have a right to seek support, regardless of the father's involvement in the child's life.
One more thing to consider: If the father of your child never signed the voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and was never declared to be her father in a court of law, then legally he is not the father, even though he might be biologically her father. If this is the case, then he is not entitled to visitation or other benefits of fatherhood but you are also not entitled to child support from him.
Go speak with an attorney if you need additional assistance.
I agree with the answer of my distinguished colleague. Parental rights cannot be terminated in a vacuum.
You need to retain experienced local counsel. Good luck.
Leonard R. Boyer, Esq. 201-.675-.5577. If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer" Please be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
The father can't sign over his rights just to get out of paying child support. He can voluntarily give up his parental rights if someone else is willing to adopt and support your child (like your husband) but that doesn't sound like the case here; otherwise it creates the very problem you're worried about, which is that there's not two parents supporting the child. If he owes back pay, it sounds like you already have a support order so he's already been determined to be the father. It doesn't matter if he wants nothing to do with your child, he still has to pay support if there's a court order requiring it.
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