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Termination of Parental Rights Attorney in Sacramento, California 

Among all the family law issues I represent, some of the most complex are those that involve children—specifically, clients who are either seeking to have their parental rights terminated or are being forced to have them removed. Parents in this situation may be asking, “What happens if I choose to terminate my parental rights?” or “What if I’m forced into involuntary termination of parental rights?” These are some of the most difficult questions a parent can face. It’s essential that you understand what the law says and how working with a family law attorney in California can help. 

If you’re looking for legal assistance regarding the relinquishment of parental rights, reach out to me at The Abdallah Law, A.P.C. I’m proud to represent clients in Sacramento, California and throughout Placer County, San Joaquin County, Eldorado County, Yolo County, Solano County, Alameda County, and the rest of the state. 

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What Is Termination of Parental Rights?  

Parents are required by state and federal law to provide for the basic physical and emotional needs of their children. This includes things like providing food and shelter, education, medical care, and general care for the child. Therefore, terminating these rights means you are no longer legally responsible for the child. This is typically broken down into two categories: involuntary and voluntary termination of parental rights. 

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights  

There are a few times in life when a parent may wonder, “How can I terminate my parental rights?” Or one parent may request that the other voluntarily terminate their rights. While this may be a hard and complicated decision to contemplate, there are a few scenarios where this would be in the best interests of the child and this is most often seen with newborns or those who have yet to be born. 

For example, a woman may be in a casual relationship with a man and accidentally become pregnant. She may want to go through with the pregnancy and become a mother, but the man has absolutely no interest in becoming a father. The couple may decide together that it’s in everyone’s best interest that the father legally sever all ties to the child and allow the mother to be the sole parent. This means that the father cannot be held legally responsible for paying any child support now or in the future, and the mother knows that the father has no legal recourse to come back into the child’s life at a later date. 

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights  

There are also some reasons a child can be taken away from their parents and involuntary termination of parental rights may be needed. This can happen to one or both parents, depending on the circumstances. For example, if the courts have found one of the parents to be unfit due to neglect, abuse, abandonment, habitual drug use, or a felony conviction, they could determine it’s in the best interests of the child to terminate the parent’s rights. These decisions are never taken lightly by the courts. In most cases, they will work with parents as much as possible to keep them in their child’s life.  

If both parents are deemed unfit, the child will then move into the foster care system. This often means that the case worker will first look to other family members such as grandparents or siblings who can properly look after the child, but it may also mean they are placed in a non-relative home. If the child has been in the foster care system for at least 15 of the past 22 months, the state can then proceed with the involuntary termination of parental rights. 

In some cases, a parent may have completed a rehabilitation program and asks, “What’s the process of getting back my child who has been placed in foster care?” It is very difficult to have your parental rights reinstated once they’ve been taken away, especially if the child has already been permanently placed with another family though the foster care system or has been legally adopted. It will always be up to the courts to determine if you are truly fit to be a parent again and in what capacity. If this is something you’d like to pursue, it is strongly recommended that you do so only with the help of a child custody lawyer because the request typically must come from the child themselves and not the parent.  

Termination of Parental Rights Attorney in Sacramento, California  

If you’re in the Sacramento, California area and have more questions about child custody, terminating parental rights, or reestablishing parental rights, get in touch with me at The Abdallah Law, A.P.C.. It’s true that these can be painful topics to talk about, but I promise to listen compassionately and help you through this challenging time.