A recent ruling in the Illinois Appellate Court decided the controversial issue if a father was an unfit parent and should have his parental rights terminated.
The minor child A.F., allegedly suffered a fracture to her right femur and her left tibia by means other than accidental while in the care of her father. The State of Illinois filed charges against her father for subjecting A.F. to an environment injurious to her welfare due to the fractures the child suffered. Then, the State filed supplemental charges against A.F.’s father based on the allegations that “…the father having disregard for the minor’s pain or risks of moving the minor’s fractured limb.”
A.F.’s father stipulated to the allegations of the original petition, and that they could be proved by the preponderance of the evidence. That same day, the trial court entered an order finding that A.F. was neglected. Soon thereafter, the trial court entered an order finding the father unfit based on the physical abuse of A.F.
Also, these injuries that A.F. suffered gave rise to criminal proceedings against A.F.’s father. Initially, the father was charged with a Class X Felony of aggravated battery to a child, but based on a plea agreement, the father plead guilty to a Class 2 Felony of aggravated domestic battery. Based on the plea agreement, the Class X felony charge was dismissed, and the father was sentenced to a term of seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Then the State petitioned the court to have the father’s paternal rights terminated. The father’s paternal rights were petitioned to be terminated under 750 ILCS 50/1(D)(i), because the father was convicted of Aggravated Domestic Battery to a Minor. The father filed an answer to these claims and admitted to his conviction but claimed that he was rehabilitated and denied that it was in the best interest of the child to have his parental rights terminated. Continue reading