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Termination of Parental Rights

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.