The Termination of Parental Rights in New York

In some circumstances, parental rights can be terminated to provide full custody to one parent or guardian. This is a common issue in cases of adoption or in cases where one of the natural parents is clearly not in the picture. As such, there are several situations in which termination can occur, and it can be either voluntary or involuntary.

When a parent chooses to give up a child for adoption, for example, this is considered to be a type of voluntary termination of parental rights, because the parents fully consented to the adoption taking place. When voluntary termination occurs, the parent giving the child up for adoption must submit their consent in writing and do so in front of a judge or legal official.

In normal circumstances, consent for the adoption will be given by both the natural mother and father of the child. However, if the parents are deceased or have already lost or relinquished their parental rights, consent could come from:

  • An agency or person currently in custody of the child
  • A court with jurisdiction over the child
  • A close relative of the child
  • A guardian or guardian ad litem

Involuntary termination of parental rights, however, is more likely to occur in cases of child abuse, abandonment or neglect. In these cases, the state could petition courts for involuntary termination. Other grounds for involuntary termination include severe mental or physical illness or imprisonment.

There are also laws in place in New York banning coercion of birth parents to give up their parental rights. Types of coercion include threats, force, lying about potential adoption, blackmail and more.

Seek the assistance of a trusted family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates for more information on the termination of parental rights.

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