A Termination of Parental Rights may be voluntary or involuntary. All too often parents are pressured into relinquishing their rights based on allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment. The consequences are significant and long lasting.
Termination of parental rights is a court order severing the rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties, and obligations between a parent and child. This termination may be voluntary or involuntary and can sever the rights of one parent without affecting the rights of another. The law concerning the termination of parental rights lists non-exclusive grounds for termination of parental rights:
- Abandonment or Extreme Parent Disinterest
- Incarceration of Parent/Felony Conviction
- Sexual Abuse
- Child Judged in Need of Services/Dependent
- Extreme Alcohol or Drug use by Parent
- Felony assault of child or sibling
- Murder/Manslaughter of sibling child
The petition for termination of parental rights may be filed by one of the child’s parents, the guardian or any other person who has knowledge of the facts alleged against the parent(s) or is informed of them and believes that they are true. It is up to the judge to ultimately determine whether severing parental rights would be in the best interest of the child or children. Once the judge hands down his or her decision, a parent or guardian may attempt to get their rights back through the standard appellate process.
Termination of rights can be voluntary or involuntary. In general, each state has a consent statute which sets out who must give consent and the manner of the consent before the court can find an adoption valid. Every state requires consent of the birth mother, whether she is married or not. States vary concerning the consent requirements of the biological father. Generally, if the parents were married at the time of conception or birth, then the consent of both parents is required before the child can be adopted. By consenting to his...