How to Surrender Parental Rights in New Jersey

How to Surrender Parental Rights in New JerseyParents have a number of rights, including the right to make important decisions regarding their children’s upbringing and the right to physical and legal custody of their children. Parents can lose these rights in one of two ways. The first is involuntarily and occurs when a court terminates the parent’s rights. But, the second is voluntary and occurs when the parent decides to surrender parental rights.

What Does it Mean to Surrender Parental Rights?

A parent that decides to surrender his parental rights is agreeing to end his legal relationship with his child. All rights are terminated with one exception. Even if a parent surrenders his parental rights, he is still obligated to pay child support until the child has been adopted.

Why Do Parents Surrender Their Rights?

It’s never easy for a parent to decide to surrender parental rights, but sometimes this is the parent’s best option. For example, if the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) is attempting to terminate your parental rights, you may decide to surrender your rights instead of waiting for the court order.

How to Surrender Parental Rights in New Jersey

The DCPP will provide counseling to any parent that decides to surrender their rights. This is done to ensure that the parent understands what is he doing and will not regret his decision in the future. You must notify the DCPP and court if you are ready to surrender your rights. If both of these parties agree with your decision, you will officially lose your parental rights.

What Happens to the Child?

What happens to the child will depend on the type of surrender. If the parent made a general surrender of parental rights, the DCPP is responsible for placing the child in a foster or adoptive home.

However, parents also have the option of making an identified surrender of their parental rights. This means the parent surrenders his parental rights and specifically names a person that will formally adopt the child such as a close family member or friend. If the adoption is approved, the child will be placed in the adoptive parent’s home. But, if the adoption falls through, the court can reinstate your parental rights. Then, the court can either start the process of involuntarily terminating your parental rights or ask you to voluntarily make a general surrender so they can place your child in foster care or an adoptive home.

Are you considering surrendering your parental rights? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our experienced attorneys can make this difficult process as easy as possible for you. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.

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