We often receive inquiries from individuals with questions about the termination of parental rights in the context of adoption.

Among the most commonly asked of these questions is whether we handle cases involving the termination of parental rights – and the answer to that question is “yes.”

Here are some answers to some of the other questions we often hear regarding terminating a person’s parental rights.

Who can Terminate Parental Rights?

Parental rights can be terminated by consent (i.e. a parent agrees to give up his or her parental rights with regard to a child) or can be terminated by a court order.

In cases in which a biological parent will not willingly terminate their parental rights, it may be necessary for a party, with a legitimate interest in the welfare of the child, to petition the court to terminate parental rights.  There are several grounds to terminate parental rights in the State of Arizona.

When Will a Court Order the Termination of Parental Rights?

A court may only terminate parental rights if it finds that a statutory ground for termination exists by clear and convincing evidence and also that the termination is in the best interest of the child.

What are the Grounds for Terminating Parental Rights in Arizona?

Arizona law sets out several reasons that a court may terminate parental rights. At least one of these statutory grounds must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.  Some of the more common grounds for termination include the following:

  • Abandonment
  • Abuse or neglect
  • A parent’s history of chronic substance abuse
  • A parent is incarcerated for a felony and the duration of incarceration is excessive
  • The presumed father failed to file a claim of paternity within 30 days after being served with a Notice of Adoption
  • The parents have relinquished the child to an agency or have consented to an adoption

For a full list of the reasons that a court may order the termination of parental rights, view the statute here.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I am Involved in a Dispute Regarding the Termination of Parental Rights

Terminating parental rights is a complicated matter. For this reason, people who are seeking to have someone else’s parental rights in a child terminated should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Likewise, anyone who believes that their parental rights may be at risk of termination should retain legal counsel in order to ensure that their legal rights are protected.

Contact an Arizona Termination of Parental Rights Lawyer Today

If you have questions about the termination of parental rights or believe that you are in a situation that warrants pursuing such an action, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

To schedule a consultation with one of our East Valley family law and adoption attorneys, call us today at 480-420-2900 or contact us online.