Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. A parent can also lose their parental rights after being convicted of certain felonies. The parental rights termination procedure is perhaps one of the strongest legal mechanisms available to protect children in need. Abandonment of the child or extreme parental disinterest. Fathers can voluntarily relinquish their parental rights, but this cannot be done to avoid paying child support. Google Chrome, The phrase "termination of parental rights" can be the most frightening words a parent can hear. Microsoft Edge. Felony conviction of the parent for a violent crime against the child or another family member. Termination of parental rights severs all ties between parent and child. However, under some circumstances, such as when the child has not yet been permanently placed in a foster home, the parent may have the option to file a petition and show they've become fit to provide a safe and nurturing home. The identity or location of the father is unknown after a reasonable attempt to determine or find him. Google Chrome, Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. Failure of reasonable efforts to rehabilitate the parent and reunite the family. The child would be at risk if returned to the parent's home. Termination of parental rights ends the legal parent-child relationship. However, state agencies aren’t required to petition in the following circumstances: Many states have adopted statutes that provide for more protections of children in the above circumstances, shortening the wait times required before parental rights can be terminated and the child is placed in foster care. The parent committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another of his or her children. However, a court can take these rights away from a parent if either one violates the law or if the father fails to claim paternity. If your child was placed in foster care, there are also circumstances where the absent parent may lose his or her parental rights: If the parent has, for no good reason, failed to contact, provide, or … Unmarried fathers who are registered on the child’s birth certificate on or after 1 December 2003; and Civil partners and partners of birth mothers registered as the child’s legal parent on the birth certificate. Each state has its own statute(s) providing for the termination of parental rights. The email address cannot be subscribed. Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek, Esq. While this process can seem terrifying, you don't have to go through it by yourself. Common Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights, Learn More About the Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights: Talk to a Lawyer. A parent also may voluntarily terminate these rights. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Firefox, or In many cases, a termination proceeding is a necessary precursor to the adoption of the child. Are you a legal professional? Voluntary relinquishment of rights by the parent. Additional Factors. Whether it's drugs, alcohol, or physical abuse, terminating parental rights is a serious procedure that shouldn't be taken lightly. Visit our professional site », Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors Failure to maintain contact with the child. Other egregious conduct or heinous or abhorrent behavior by the parent either to the child or others in a way that affects the child. The parent was otherwise involved in the murder or voluntary manslaughter of another of his or her children, i.e. | Last updated May 19, 2020. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Are you a legal professional? Search. Risk of substantial harm to the child. Please try again. Severe psychological abuse or torture of the child. Most states consider a child's best interests in termination proceedings. The parent committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or another of his or her children. Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure your rights are protected. We recommend using Parent is unable to fulfill parental duties due to emotional or mental deficiency; Parent has been convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter of the other parent of the child, or another child of the parent’s. Search, Abuse or neglect of other children in the household, Long-term mental illness or deficiency of the parent(s), Long-term alcohol or drug-induced incapacity of the parent(s), Failure to support or maintain contact with the child, Involuntary termination of the rights of the parent to another child. The putative or presumptive father is not the child's biological father. Long-term alcohol or drug-induced incapacity of the parent (s) Failure to support or maintain contact with the child. Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name Voluntary relinquishment of rights by the parent. Failure of reasonable efforts to rehabilitate the parent and reunite the family. In the parent-child relationship, parents have some basic rights and responsibilities. Microsoft Edge. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. Felony conviction of the parent when the term of imprisonment is long enough to negatively impact the child and the only other source of care for the child is foster care. In some states and cases, it's possible to reinstate parental rights after termination or consenting to adoption. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. The child's need for continuity and care. The child has been in foster care for 15 of the last 22 months. Please try again. The following list summarizes the major grounds for terminating a parent's rights to his or her child. All rights reserved. The child was conceived as a result of rape or incest. Inducing the child to commit a crime or crimes. Abuse or neglect of other children in the same household. The email address cannot be subscribed. Extreme emotional damage to the child inflicted by the parent. Firefox, or Failure of the parent to comply with a court ordered plan. All rights reserved. Both parents automatically have the right to make decisions about the child's education, religion, health care, and other important concerns. Also, if a parent is required to be imprisoned for a length of time that requires the child to enter foster care because there are no alternatives, the parent can lose parental rights. The child has developed a strong and healthy relationship with his or her foster or other substitute family. The child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, and the parent is still not ready for reunification. Involuntary termination of the rights of the parent to another child. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. If you have questions about your rights as a parent, and how they may be terminated, now's the time to seek help from a qualified legal expert. The most common reasons for involuntary termination include: A parent can also lose their parental rights after being convicted of certain felonies. However, this type of court application is very rare and generally, it is better that parents focus on resolving the day to day practicalities of parenting children after a separation or a divorce. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Visit our professional site », By FindLaw Staff | In some states, statutes use general language mandating that the child's health and safety be paramount in all proceedings, while other states' legislation lists specific factors that must be considered, such as the child's age; the physical, mental, emotional and moral well-being; cultural and attachment issues; and the child's reasonable preferences. Find out more by speaking with a family law attorney near you today. Find a qualified, local family law attorney to help guide you through the laws and protect your rights. If the termination of parental rights leaves a child with no legally responsible parents or guardians, the court will typically place the child in foster care.