Termination of Parental Rights
Being a parent entails a lot and unfortunately there are situation where the parent is no longer the best person to care for their child. While it is always the best case scenario if a child's parents are able to raise them, if the biological parents are unable to do so, then the court is morally and legally obligated to step in. The court may choose to remove those rights and either transfer them to another individual or place the child in foster care.
There are a number of reasons that a parent may lose their rights over a child. It varies from case to case and it is left up to the discretion of the state's court to determine a verdict on. In general, most states put the child's best interests as the deciding factor in each case. Sometimes their best interest means they remain with their parents while other times the judge believes the child will be better cared for if their biological parent is no longer able to be the decision maker for them.
Mental or physical abuse may put a parent under evaluation for termination of rights, and depending on the severity or legitimacy of the claim, the court will make a determination. If a parent is unable to provide for their child financially such as provided basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter, then they may also be reviewed by a social worker.
Some other examples that may be grounds for termination of parental right are neglect, an absentee parent who has not had contact with their child for a period of time, a parent with a drug or alcohol problem, a criminal record deemed by the judge to be severe enough, or a parent with a mental illness that inhibits them from properly caring for their child. It is up to the courts to make the ruling in what will be best for the child both now and in the future. They may choose to suspend parental rights and revisit the case at a later time to assess if the parent is now able to adequately care for their child.
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