The law is not static. Changes don’t always happen quickly or easily in Illinois’s legislature, but they happen. And the volume of measures that can be introduced in any given session means that bill tracking can be a challenge. In the end, it can be hard to know whether a proposal has made it through or died on the vine.
That’s one reason why anytime you are dealing with any sort of legal issue it’s important to be consulting with an experienced attorney. This is especially true where matters that affect the family are in play. Uncertainty about rights and obligations around parenting rights, child support and visitation can directly affect the immediate well-being of children and their chances for a brighter tomorrow.
This comes to mind in light of action that occurred during the most recent session of the Illinois General Assembly. The proposal known as HB6064 was introduced early last month. What it calls for is putting limits on possible state assistance for newborns unless the mother names the father or some other family relative who will provide financially for the infant.
Specifically, the measure would bar the state from issuing of a birth certificate for a child and stifle future state aid unless a father or some other support source is identified. Current law doesn’t establish paternity unless an unmarried father accepts the designation by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. Even then, support obligations and visitation rights aren’t set until a court order says so.
Supporters say the measure’s objective is to make sure that state help is getting to people who truly need it. Opponents, though, suggest it amounts to codifying into law the public shaming of unwed mothers.
As it happens the bill didn’t make it out of committee. Its sponsors tabled it. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be revived.