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amicuscuriae70, Law Professor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 69
Experience:  LLM with 12 years research-Please click ACCEPT so that I may get paid for my answers.
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Can I re-establish parental rights

Customer Question

My son Ryan is 12. I signed away my parental rights and allowed the husband of my ex wife to adopt him several years ago because I was led to believe by his psychiatrist he was seeing and being treated by for ADHD that it was in is best interest.   My mother has still been visiting with my son and my son has expressed interest in seeing me or at least talking to me on the phone. My ex will not allow it. Ryan, according to my mom, is mistreated by my ex, her husband and neglected because they have twin 4 year olds and a 2 year old. He is a "mental case" according to my mom because of this. Is there anything I can do in order to restore my rights or get custody of him since it seems that is his desire.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  amicuscuriae70 replied 8 years ago.
Once you sign away your parental rights it is nearly impossible to get them back. You may be able to get some type of visitation rights established. You would have to prove that the new husband is "unfit" to re-establish your parental rights. Hold on and I will get you some information on the legal definition of "unfit". Can you prove him unfit? You see a parent has paramount right to his kid, but you signed yours away and allowed another man to adopt your kid years ago and I am afraid you will have to agree and live with that now unless you can show that circumstances have changed since then with the parents your child is living with.

Please read this:

Then give me the state in which you reside and I will give you specific statute law of the state pertaining to the state law for custody/unfit parenthood:
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't know that he is unfit because I don't know him. What I do know is that they keep my son drugged up on meds for what I believe to be a misdiagnosed case of ADHD. He had gone through a divorce and his mother's remarriage all within about 6 months time (maybe a year) and his mother has brainwashed him. They have 3 other children now and barely allow Ryan to even speak. He says he can't have anything because the twins take everything from him and when he tries to stick up for himself he is told to shut up. To me that makes them unfit but I don't know the legal definition. Do I have to prove them unfit to get some sort of visitation rights? At what age would my son have some say in where he lived or whether or not we had visitation together?
Expert:  amicuscuriae70 replied 8 years ago.
What state do you reside in so I can advise you on different avenues to take in this case legally. I have all kind of things going through my mind legally and through the back door to help you.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I live in Illinois. I'm in Normal, she is in East Peoria. Our divorce and the signing away of parental rights was in Woodford County
Expert:  amicuscuriae70 replied 8 years ago.
The age of majority in Illinois is 18, unfortunately, legally. But, what you have on your side, always is that when children become of the teen ages they begin to influence their parents' a lot. If he wants a relationship with you he will influence his mother.

What I suggest legally is for you to file a petition for visitation with the courts even though you have no legal rights to your child.

  1. the child is one year old or older,
  2. the grandparent can file a petition if one parent is unreasonably denying visitation, and at least one of the following conditions exist–
    • the child's other parent is deceased or has been missing for at least three months,
    • a parent of the child is incompetent as a matter of law,
    • a parent of the child has been incarcerated in jail or prison for the three months prior to filing,
    • the mother and father of the child are divorced or legally separated and at least one parent does not object to the grandparent having visitation,
    • the child was born out of wedlock and the parents are not living together (paternal grandparents must establish paternity),
  3. grandparent visitation rights end upon termination of parental rights or non-relative adoption of the child.

The grandparent may not use visitation to allow the parent who lost paternal rights to the child to unlawfully visit with the child.


I suggest you have your parents file for grandparents visitation but, not on the basis that you lost your rights because if they do they will lose.


Read this:


Expert:  amicuscuriae70 replied 8 years ago.
Grandparents have rights only according to certain stipulations but, cannot use their rights to appropriate visitation to a parent that has lost their visitation. Your parents will have to prove that they are fighting for visitation because they are not allowed to see the child and it is separate from the fact that you have given away your parental rights.

They are in fact concerned as you are concerned with your child's welfare. You cannot be living with your parents now or when the lawsuit commences.

The law is not always on our side, unfortunately. We must take the best options we have and use them to do the best we can. This is all I can offer legally for now.

If you don't want to go to court, then try to have your parents' establish an amicable relationship with your ex so that you can try to influence her for the betterment of your child's sake. This is the only way since she will not listen to you. I am very sorry for your situation.

Please let me know if I can answer anymore of your questions.
Expert:  amicuscuriae70 replied 8 years ago.
I have posted a lot for you to read:

The only option now it to:

a; have your parents file for grandparents rights not based on the fact that you lost your parental rights, but based on the fact they are denied their rights to visit the child.
b; not go to court and have your parents have a relationship with your ex so that you can have some infuence in his life.


Read this on grandparents rights and if you think it will benefit, then have your parents file a petition to the court:


This is considered a back way in for you.


Please let me know if I can help you further and good luck. I do understand you frustration.

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