Terminations (Severance of Parental Rights)

A parent or a custodial party can seek to sever the parental rights of the biological parent(s) if they can establish that the parent(s) has failed to maintain a normal parent-child relationship for a period of six (6) months or more and has effectively abandoned the child or the parent(s) suffers from chronic substance abuse or is incarcerated for a length of time that would preclude the child from having a normal parent-child relationship with the incarcerated parent. One has to establish to the Court’s satisfaction, too, that it would be in the best interests of the child for such a severance to occur. Most often this means that an adoption by a stepparent or adoptive parent is anticipated.