All parents have rights. These parental rights can be terminated (i.e. take away), however, if it is in the best interests of the child. Because it is typically in the best interests of a child to have a parent figure, parental rights are often not terminated unless another parent is identified, and this parent is often an adoptive parent or parents. While you should speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney about your particular case, here is some basic information that can help you better understand how a parent’s parental rights can be terminated so the child can be adopted.
Your parental rights cannot be terminated overnight. Some steps must first take place before your rights are terminated. Parental rights are typically terminated at the end of a child abuse or neglect proceeding. When the court has decided that reunification with the child’s natural parent is not in the child’s best interests, it may take action to terminate that parent’s rights so the child can be adopted. This decision isn’t taken lightly.
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency must file a Complaint when a child has been in foster placement for 15 of the last 22 months with few exceptions. The Division can also file a Complaint when an adoptive parent has been identified. Adoption cannot take place until the parent’s parental rights have been terminated either by court order or the parent voluntarily surrendering his or her parental rights. Voluntary surrender is contingent on the adoption; if the adoptive parent for some reason cannot go through with the adoption, the surrender is vacated, and the parent’s parental rights may be reinstated.
The court will end your legally-recognized relationship with your child if it terminates your parental rights. Thus, when your parental rights are on the line, you need to have experienced legal counsel. Even if you are voluntarily surrendering your parental rights so your child can be adopted, you should speak with an attorney about your rights and how they will be affected. Adoption is permanent, and therefore adoption proceedings should be carefully navigated to ensure the continued well being and safety of your child. You will not have the chance to change your mind, and it is up to the adoptive parent whether you will have continued contact of any kind with your child. Therefore, you should never enter into these proceedings without an attorney by your side to defend your rights and protect your best interests.
Do you have questions about adoption? If so, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. Our skilled attorneys can defend your rights and protect your best interests. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.