Can a parent’s rights to a child be terminated? The answer to this
is absolutely. This most frequently occurs when an individual loses their
child to foster care due to actions of neglect or abuse. Upon a child
going into the foster care system a parent has 15 out of the most recent
22 months to have the child returned to them. At that point the Department
of Social Services (or county equivalent) is mandated under the law to
provide “permanency” to the child.
This is accomplished by ensuring a child does not stay in the foster care
system indefinitely. Therefore, after 15 out of the most recent 22 months
should the child remain in foster care, the Social Services agency is
required to file a termination of parental rights petition with the Court.
It is important that any case involving a child in foster care move as
quickly as judicially possible. Furthermore, many times I advise clients
to start working on programs such as a parenting class prior to the disposition
of a case. Classes such as this, make a parent look better in the eyes
of the Court and do no harm to the parent but rather only serves to help
the parent throughout litigation. Furthermore, this keeps a parent in
the best position possible to have a child returned even if they have
a finding made against them in court.