May 28, 2020

Terminating Parental Rights in California

There are a few reasons you might be looking into terminating parental rights in California. The most common is that one of the child’s parents is not in the child’s life, and a stepparent wants to adopt the child. You also might be looking to have your child adopted, and you and the child’s other parent want to terminate your rights.

What Does It Mean When a Parent Terminates Their Legal Rights to Their Child?

Terminating parental rights is a big step, so make sure it’s one that you are ready to take. And make sure that you fully understand the consequences of your decision. When you terminate your parental rights, you will no longer have any legal ties to the child.

  • You won’t be required by law to care for your child, and you won’t be under any obligation to provide child support for the child.
  • You won’t be able to have any say in the child’s welfare and upbringing.
  • You will have no right to visitation.

Essentially, by California law you will no longer be considered the child’s parent.

How to Terminate Your Parental Rights

A person can voluntarily give up their rights, or the court can terminate parental rights if it’s brought to their attention that it’s in the best interest of the child. If you are applying to have parental rights terminated, either your rights or the rights of the other parent, you will need to send in a request to the California court asking for a hearing.

You will need to cite one of the following reasons in your petition for termination of parental rights.

  • Abandonment
  • Neglect, cruelty, or abuse
  • Parent suffering from disability due to substance abuse or immoral behavior
  • Parent convicted of felony
  • Parent declared developmentally disabled, mentally disabled, or mentally ill

An attorney can assist you in petitioning the court for the termination of parental rights.

Get Ahold of a Family Law Attorney

Terminating parental rights in California is a serious decision, and you probably aren’t taking this decision lightly. Talk with a lawyer about your family’s case by contacting The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock. Reach us through the online form below, or call our firm at 909-466-7661.

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