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|State2||Does the state allow for termination of rapists' parental rights3 over any child born from that rape?||Can all, some, or none of these parental rights be terminated?||Are there exceptions to the laws which allow for termination of rapists' parental rights?||Does the rapist have to be convicted before his parental rights are terminated, or if not is there a separate burden of proof required?4||Does the state require that rapists pay child support even after parental rights have been terminated?||Does the state allow for restrictions on rapists' adoptive rights?|
|District of Columbia||No||None||N/A||N/A||No||No|
|Florida||Yes||All||No||Clear and Convincing Evidence||No||Yes|
|Illinois||Yes||All||No||Clear and Convincing Evidence||Yes||Yes|
|New Hampshire||Yes (Law Effective January 1, 2015)||All||No||Conviction; or a finding beyond a reasonable doubt at a fact-finding hearing that the perpetrator committed an act of non-consensual sexual penetration of the mother, which resulted in the birth of the child.||No||No|
|South Dakota||Yes||Some||No||None Stipulated||No||Yes|
|Vermont||Yes||All||No||Clear and Convincing Evidence||Yes, if the Survivor Elects to Seek Child Support||Yes|
|West Virginia||No||None||N/A||N/A||Partially requires. Incarceration for rape in which a child was conceived is not an excuse for failing to support the child. See W. Va. Code Ann § 48-22-306.||No|
|Wisconsin||Yes||All||No||Conviction or evidence produced during a fact finding hearing, the procedure and manner for which is described under Wis. Stat. § 48.424.||No||No|
1. Instead of the word "termination" some states may use language which "restricts," "prohibits," "shall not grant" and/or "denies," among many other words, a rapist's parental rights. For the purposes of this database, the word "termination" and any variations thereof should be interpreted to mean any instance in which a state law denies or does not grant, in any form and for any period of time, the parental rights of a rapist because of the rapist's crime.
2. The information presented in this summary and on our website regarding the termination of rapists' parental rights is intended only as a general overview of each state's laws on the topic. There are additional aspects to each state's laws on this subject which are not included here--including who may petition for termination, when this petition may be filed, whether laws addressing this issue apply retroactively, and whether the termination is permanent or temporary, among others. Additionally, there may be alternate interpretations of the state laws presented here. For further information, please see RAINN's legal disclaimer on our state law databases.
3. States use varying definitions and terminology regarding the exact meaning of the phrase "parental rights." Unless otherwise mentioned in this summary or elsewhere on our website, for the purposes of our general overview on this topic "parental rights" refers to a parent's custody, visitation, inheritance and access rights, as well as a parent's legal right to dictate how a child is raised, including but not limited to the type of education the child receives and his or her religious upbringing.
4. Not applicable, or N/A, is a designation used for states with no laws on this topic. In contrast, "Clear and Convincing" and "Conviction" represent the evidentiary burdens of proof a survivor must meet before her rapist's parental rights are terminated. Finally, "None Stipulated" means that state's law does not expressly state which evidentiary burden of proof is required. In these states, pursuant to *Santosky v Kramer 45 USC 745*, the default burden should be clear and convincing evidence.
5. This state's law is not a rape-conception law designed specifically to prevent rapist fathers from asserting parental rights over children conceived from their crimes. Instead, the law in question provides for the termination of certain parental rights of any parent convicted of sexual assault against the other parent. Because of the significant overlap between this state's law and those written specifically as rape-conception laws, this state's law merits inclusion.