Skip to main content
AdoptionsFamily Law Blog

Termination of Parental Rights: Voluntary vs Involuntary

By June 27, 2014May 11th, 2016No Comments3 min read

The Difference between Involuntary and Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

As a parent, you automatically gain a certain set of rights. Your parental rights are the factor that imbues you with the responsibility necessary to properly nurture the physical and emotional well-being of your child. As a parent, you are capable of making decisions for your child where they potentially could not make an informed decision of their own accord, and these decisions should be in the best interest of the child in question.

These decisions could relate to a wide range of potential religious practices, beliefs, health concerns, and medical care and public, private, or even home schooling. Because you’re the child’s parent, you have the right to look after, raise, and teach your child in the manner that you see fit, so long as this coincides with the boundaries of the established laws. However, these rights do not necessarily have to be permanent; they can be terminated, either voluntarily on your behalf, or involuntarily through the order of a court judge.

Understanding Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights in San Diego

If your parental rights are involuntarily terminated, this will involve the court making the final decision that the termination of your parental rights is in the best interests of the child. There are various reasons why a court may decide that your parental rights should be involuntarily terminated, including:

  • Neglect of the child in question
  • Abandonment
  • Drug or alcohol abuse that would make looking after the child difficult or impossible
  • Abuse, physically or emotionally
  • A felony or conviction of a crime against children
  • The inability to emotionally, physically, or financially support your child.

In these cases, parental rights are not automatically terminated, there is still a process that must be considered, unless the parent has abandoned the child as an infant, or has been convicted of a voluntary manslaughter or murder charge, or has caused some bodily harm to a child.

Understanding Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights in San Diego

There are many circumstances wherein the voluntary termination of parental rights may be the best possible option for the child. Birth parents can voluntarily relinquish their parental rights when they place their children up for adoption, or hand them over to adoptive families. In this case, the adoptive parents will receive the parental rights over that specific child.

Furthermore, if any parent decides at some time that they do not want to be responsible for their child any longer, they have the right to terminate that responsibility by relinquishing their rights, or beginning the process for termination of parental rights. However, many states do require that any parent who requests to relinquish their parental rights must appear before a judge.

If a child is put into a foster care, this does not mean that the parental rights will be automatically terminated. It is generally up to the specifics of the situation, and the judge’s discretion, since some children can be temporarily put into foster situations until the father and mother are capable of parenting. If parental rights are terminated in this particular situation, the child can be adopted and is referred to as a ward of the state.

 Minella Law Group Can Help!

If you need assistance with terminating parental rights whether it be voluntary or involuntary, the qualified staff at Minella Law Group can assist you.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, click the button below, or call us at (619) 289-7948. We look forward to helping you.

Button Text