Parental rights have to do with the legal relationship between parents
and their children. They involve a parent’s responsibility to
financially support their children, the right to
custody and visitation, and the right to make important decisions about their
child, such as what religion the child is raised in, where the child lives,
and what school the child attends.
When a child is born to married parents or when a child is born to unmarried
parents and paternity is legally established, parental rights are in force.
It is not easy to strip parental rights away from a parent so they are
relieved of all rights and responsibilities toward their child, but under
certain circumstances it is possible.
How Are Parental Rights Terminated?
A biological parent can voluntarily waive their parental rights, but this
usually happens when both parents feel it is in the best interests of
the child. If a parent surrenders their parental rights, it’s irrevocable.
Once it’s done, it’s permanent and there is no way for him
or her to change it.
The terminating of parental rights can also be involuntary. It can happen
when a child ends up in foster care and a city or foster care agency asks
the family court to terminate a parent’s parental rights. There
are five legal grounds in New York to terminate parental rights, including:
- Permanent neglect
- Mental illness
- Mental retardation
- Severe and repeated child abuse
Note: In a child custody case, one parent cannot try to terminate the other
parent’s parental rights. If you want to learn more about how a
parent’s rights can be terminated; for example, in the case of domestic
violence, reach out to our firm for assistance.
What Qualifies as Child Neglect in New York?
Sometimes, a child is adopted by a stepparent. Usually, for a child to
be adopted by a stepparent, the child’s noncustodial parent has
to voluntarily terminate their parental rights.
Contact Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. to learn more.