Understanding the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015
As of January 1, 2016, a number of changes concerning divorce and parenting laws have taken effect. But these are not the only family laws that have changed as of the beginning of this year. Indeed, as lawmakers sought to overhaul the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) so that it better reflects the needs and goals of divorce and parenting in the twenty-first century, lawmakers also took a close look at the Parentage Act and the ways in which it, too, was outdated.
The new Parentage Act of 2015 will impact many families in DuPage County, and members of the Muslim community should recognize the significance of these legal changes. While some of the issues raised in the new parentage laws are not as likely to impact Muslims as substantially as other DuPage County residents, it is nonetheless important to have an idea about how these laws work. A report from the Illinois Judicial Conference & DePaul University College of Law summarizes the key elements of the Parentage Act of 2015.
Parenthood and Gender Neutrality
The first shift from the Parentage Act of 1984 to the Parentage Act of 2015 is that the new law is gender-neutral. In other words, it provides the same protections for both of a child’s parents, regardless of the gender of those parents. The law states:
“The parent-child relationship, including support obligations, extends equally to every child and to his or her parent or to each of his or her 2 parents . . . . Insofar as practicable, the provisions of this Act applicable to parent-child relationships shall apply equally to men and women as parents, including, but not limited to, the obligation to support.”
Establishing the Parent-Child Relationship
The Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 also makes some changes to the methods a court will use to establish a parent-child relationship, but the new language of the law pays more attention to gender equality.
Under the new law, some of the ways in which a parent-child relationship exists between a woman and a child include the following scenarios:
- The woman gave birth to the child (but not under a valid surrogacy contract);
- The woman’s parentage has been adjudicated;
- The woman adopted the child; or
- The woman has a valid gestational surrogacy contract under the Gestational Surrogacy Act or another related law.
The ways in which a parent-child relationship is established between a man and a child include but are not limited to:
- The man’s voluntary acknowledgement of paternity;
- The man’s parentage has been adjudicated;
- The man adopted the child; or
- The man has a valid gestational surrogacy contract under the Gestational Surrogacy Act or another related law.
The new Act also makes changes to language concerning presumptions of parentage, rebutting the presumption of parentage, and time limits for declaring the lack of a parent-child relationship. Generally speaking, many of the changes in the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 are aimed at creating language that focuses more closely on gender equality than did the previous Act.
Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Muslim Family Lawyer
For Muslims in Oakbrook Terrace, it is important to understand the changes to the Parentage Act and the ways in which they might impact your family. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we are dedicated to assisting members of the Muslim community with Illinois family law questions and concerns. If you would like to know more about the Parentage Act of 2015, an experienced Oakbrook Terrace family law attorney can assist you. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office today to learn more about our services.