Ways & How

how to sign over rights to a child

how to sign over rights to a child

Naturally, biological parents equally share parental rights over their children. One of the parental rights is child custody. Parents have the natural right to the custody of their children. On one hand, a parent can give up voluntarily parental custody and, on the other hand, a parent may also be deprived of the same involuntarily. Either way, there is a process that must be followed on how to sign over rights to a child. There are two processes on how to sign over parental rights; one is voluntary and the other is involuntary. Voluntary signing of parental rights requires consent, a waiting period, and the parent still has to support the child. Under this process, the parent will no longer have visitation rights and the right to raise the child. Involuntary signing of parental rights happens when the state takes away the rights of the parents over their children. If you are wondering about how the process works, the following steps are very helpful:

  1. Inquire from the office of the County Clerk. The laws on signing over parental rights vary from one state to another.

    To be sure, inquire in the county courthouse and ask about how to relinquish parental rights over a child. You may also go online and search on your state’s legislative site for parental termination laws.

  2. Hire a family law attorney. A family law attorney can help you in preparing your petition. He will be the one to review and argue for your case before the court. In most states, the court will appoint a guardian for the child. Often, the appointed guardian is an experienced family law attorney or a social worker.

  3. Signify your consent. For voluntary relinquishment of parental rights, signing a consent form is mandatory. Depending on the state, the consent form may be submitted to a judge, a notary public, or any legally authorized person. In some states, the parent is allowed to sign over parental rights even if the child is unborn. However, the relinquishment of parental rights becomes effective only upon the birth of the child.

  4. Prepare and file your petition. Together with your consent, fill out your petition form and file it at the county courthouse. In your petition, state your legal name, present address, Social Security number, and the “just cause” as authorized by law in relinquishing parental rights. A few examples of “just causes” are: extreme disinterest, drug abuse, and adoption. Provide also the name, date of birth, and the present location of your child.

  5. Attend the scheduled hearing. It is your right to attend the hearing of your petition. However, you can also waive your right to be present thereat. However, since you will be the one to sign over your rights to your child, you must be present and argue your case. State that your petition, if granted, will be in the best interests of the child.

  6. Observe the waiting period. After signifying your consent, there is a waiting period that has to be observed. In the interim between the filing of your consent and the approval of the relinquishment of parental rights, you are still required to take care of your child. However, you will be relieved of this task when a foster care agency takes care of your child.

  7. The court’s ruling. Once the judge is satisfied and after finding out that your Petition to Relinquish Parental Rights is for the best interests of the child, the court will issue a favorable ruling. Sign the order terminating your parental rights.

Signing over parental rights is not an easy decision. The process on how to sign over rights to a child may be tiresome and emotionally stressful, but it is for the best interests of your child. The truth is that this is one way of giving your child a happy life.


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