For most parents, the bond between parent and child cannot be severed. Few relationships can mirror the intimate connection and biological link that parents and their children share. Throughout their lives, parents are given the task of child-rearing as well as the legal authority over their children. However, there are some instances in which parents may fail to meet the necessary standards in order to continue providing for their children. In severe cases of abuse, for instance, a parent’s right to his or her child may be terminated in order to avoid further harm to the child. While no parent ever wants to imagine the thought of ever being legally separated from his or her children, there are some grounds on which termination of parental rights are permissible.
- From a Written Surrender
Occasionally, a child’s biological parent may submit a written surrender, or a form that documents that the parent is voluntarily surrendering the rights of his or her child. This is commonly done for the purposes of adoption, when guardianship of a child is transferred from the biological parents to the adoptive parents. All parents who sign a written surrender should think carefully about their decision. Once signed, it cannot be undone unless the parent is able to prove they participated under duress.
- When the Parent Abandons the Child
Abandonment is an act that is recognized by the court and can lead to the termination of parental rights if the parent is found to be intentionally abandoning their child. Abandonment can come in the form of neglect of the child’s needs, and it can also be considered abandonment if the parent leaves the child with a relative and then disappears for months on end.
- When the Parent Threatens or Abuses the Child
Child abuse is a serious matter that is prosecuted very heavily under the law. The courts will not hesitate to terminate a parent’s rights if they are found to be abusing their children. The most visible form of abuse is physical, but any conduct that is seen to be harmful to the child’s emotional, physical, or mental health can considered abuse in many cases.
- When the Parent is Incarcerated
If a parent is convicted of a crime and incarcerated for a long period of time, their role as a parent is obviously diminished and they will not be able to adequately care for their child’s needs. In this instance, the courts may decide to revoke the parental rights and award custody to the other parent or another suitable guardian.
- When the Child Has Been Adjudicated as a Dependent
If the child is an adjudicated dependent and the parents have not been compliant with the case plan, the child parents may have their parental rights terminated by the courts. Continuing progress and compliance of the case plan is necessary in order for parents to maintain parental rights of adjudicated minors.
At the Law Office of Frank P. Remsen, P.A., we are dedicated to providing clients throughout Central Florida with excellent legal representation in the practice areas of divorce/family law and criminal defense. For more information call 352-243-1247.