An Illinois court may find a parent unfit in certain legal proceedings. The court has a duty to every child to ensure he or she is properly taken care of. If a court finds you an unfit parent, it could take your children away from you and possibly terminate your parental rights.

The Illinois General Assembly states an unfit parent is one who the court finds to not be a good parent and that his or her child will be put up for adoption. This also means a termination of parental rights.

The court may find you an unfit parent if you have not been in your child’s life or even tried to be in his or her life. If you abandon your child outside of the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act guidelines, you may also be unfit. In addition, the court will find against you if you desert your child for three or more months.

Neglect can also lead to an unfit parent ruling. Neglect includes repeated incidents of not providing for your child or another child of yours. The death of another child of yours due to neglect immediately ends with an unfit parent ruling. Being cruel to your child in any way also falls under this definition. Two or more documented incidents of abuse also will end up with an unfit parent ruling.

The court also will look at whether you failed to protect your child from harm. Being found by the court to be depraved (typically, as a result of a murder or related conviction) is grounds for this type of ruling.

The court will take every step possible to ensure you are truly not fit to parent the child. This information is for education and is not legal advice.