Ways & How

how to relinquish parental rights

how to relinquish parental rights

Generally, there are two ways on how to relinquish parental rights – voluntary and involuntary. Either way, the implication is the same which is the termination of parental rights. Technically, this means that the natural parent of a child no longer has any legal right, obligation, or responsibility to the child. The rights relinquished include the right to decide on the child’s education, religion, healthcare, custody, and the values and morals which he or she should have. Here are the steps required in relinquishing parental rights:

  1. Voluntary relinquishment. The natural parents of the child may consent voluntarily to relinquish parental rights. This kind of relinquishment is still subject to the approval of the court and is possible when the child is to live with new foster parents. This means that adoption is allowable. Notwithstanding the fact that the parents agreed for the relinquishment of parental rights, the court will still consider the cause of the relinquishment which must be a good cause.

    he applicable steps for the voluntary relinquishment are as follows:

  2. Call a family law lawyer. If you are not sure of the effects of relinquishing parental rights, it is advisable that you call or consult a family law lawyer. You will learn that the effect of relinquishment is permanent. You can represent yourself if you can’t afford to engage the services of an attorney.

  3. Look for the applicable laws. If you prefer to represent yourself, it is important that you look for the laws or statutes that allow a natural parent to relinquish parental rights. Go to the legislative Website of your state or review the state’s code. The applicable laws or statutes vary depending on in which state you reside.

  4. Present a good cause. To have a good cause is to have a good reason for relinquishing parental rights. Although not clearly defined, the state’s code can provide you a list of causes that are considered good. Most states consider terminating the parent-child bond in order to facilitate an adoption.

  5. Make a written consent. The document must primarily contain the fact that you are relinquishing your parental rights. If you are not sure about what to do, consult a family law lawyer or visit the local County Clerk’s office and get the appropriate pre-printed documents.

  6. Involuntary relinquishment. Since the parent-child relationship is a natural and fundamental right of every person, the burden of proof required in order to terminate parental rights is demanding. In fact, courts terminate said rights only in rare circumstances.

  7. There is clear and convincing evidence. Involuntary relinquishment of parental rights is possible only when one or some of the following apply or are present: abandonment, failure to provide parental or financial support, unfit parents, continued parental problems, egregious harm to the child, conviction of a crime, and abuse or neglect.

  8. Notify the authorities. When any or some of the preceding circumstances apply, inform the authorities right away so that appropriate action may be done including the filing of the Petition to Terminate Parental Rights.

  9. File the petition. Go to the Office of the District Clerk and file the appropriate petition. Then manage to mail the waiver of service to the other party. The same document must be completed by the other party and then returned to the Clerk’s office so that the hearing date can be scheduled. During the hearing day, the judge will consider the petition you filed earlier.

  10. Inform the court of the applicable reasons. At the hearing, explain that the Petition for the Termination of Parental Rights is in the best interests of the child. After due consideration, wait for the decision of the court.

The decision to relinquish parental rights is likely not easy. However, when you can no longer raise your child appropriately, it is a good idea to just relinquish parental rights. The steps above on how to relinquish parental rights can help you. At the end of the day, it is the best interests of the child that should be considered above anything else. In every case involving the relinquishment of parental rights, the family court always gives weight to the specific circumstances involved whether the proceeding is voluntary or involuntary.


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