The state can enter into a family and terminate parental rights over children. This is reserved only for the most extreme circumstances and only done when it is in the best interests of the child. The law generally presumes that it is in the best interest of the child to be raised by his or her own parents therefore it is up to the parent’s to demonstrate that they lack the ability to raise their children.
As discussed in a prior article there are four categories to terminate rights: abuse of child, inability of parents to raise the child, abandonment / failure to raise the child and other miscellaneous causes. This article will examine the last two categories.
To determine if parent lacks the ability to raise their children, the government considers the parents personal and criminal history, income, ability to support and the choices they make on their child’s behalf. The state will terminate parental rights if the parents have consistent drinking or drug abuse problems or long-term mental illnesses. Additionally if you are subject to long-term imprisonment that could serve as further grounds to terminate your rights.
If the child is in and out of foster care then the state may interpret this as a chronic lack of interest in the child. Essentially the more it appears that you do not take parenting seriously, the more likely the state will intervene.
The state will also terminate rights if the parent fails to provide food, shelter, other necessary care or if the parent fails to provide an education to the child. This basically means that you refuse to provide for your child. Moreover, inducing your child to commit crimes could also terminate your rights.
If the state is investigating you to determine if your parental rights should be terminated then you will probably want to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Terminating a parent’s rights is a complicated process because it interferes with the fundamental right of a parent to raise and care for their child. But, it does happen. Don’t risk your parental rights and do everything you can to secure them.