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In Re Custody of Mitchell

OPINION FILED APRIL 29, 1983.

IN RE CUSTODY OF WALTER MITCHELL A/K/A DAVID DRAPER, A MINOR. — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

LARRY MITCHELL, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Clay County; the Hon. Ronald A. Niemann, Judge, presiding.

PRESIDING JUSTICE HARRISON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The respondent, Larry Mitchell, appeals from a final order of the circuit court of Clay County which terminated his parental rights concerning his natural son, Walter Mitchell. He contends that the circuit court erred in finding that he had executed a final and irrevocable consent to adoption that would justify termination of his parental rights in that the document which he executed did not comply with the appropriate statutory provision for surrender of a child to an agency, and that therefore the document could not effect such a surrender. For the reasons which follow we reverse the judgment of the circuit court and remand.

The record established that on May 13, 1979, Walter Mitchell's parents placed him in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services (hereinafter referred to as the Department). On May 25, 1979, the respondent executed the following document:

"FINAL AND IRREVOCABLE CONSENT TO ADOPTION

I, LARRY MITCHELL, father of WALTER LEE MITCHELL, a male child, state:

1. That the child was born on January 9, 1979 at Flora, Clay County, Illinois.

2. That I reside at Rt. 1., Lewisville, Clay County, Illinois.

3. That I am 25 years of age.

4. That I hereby enter my appearance in this proceeding, waive service of summons on me, and waive notice of hearings.

5. That I do hereby consent and agree to the adoption of WALTER LEE MITCHELL.

6. That I wish to and understand that by signing this consent I do irrevocably and permanently give up custody and other parental rights I have to such child.

7. That I understand such child will be placed for adoption and that I cannot under any circumstances, after signing this document, change my mind and revoke or cancel this consent and obtain or recover custody or any other rights over such child. That I have read and understood the above and I am signing it as my free and voluntary act.

DATED this 25 day of May, 1979.

/s/ Larry Dean Mitchell LARRY ...


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