When Can Parental Rights Be Terminated?

Do you have questions or concerns about the termination of parental rights in North Carolina? The attorneys at Ellis Family Law, PLLC, are here to answer your questions and provide you with the advice and representation you need. We have a proven history of handling complex and sensitive family law issues for clients in Durham, Chatham, Orange, Wake, Granville, Alamance and Person counties.

Involuntary Termination Of Parental Rights

There are a number of situations in which it might be appropriate to seek the involuntary termination of a parent's rights, including:

  • The parent subjects the child to physical or sexual abuse
  • The parent is neglectful of the child
  • Drug or alcohol addiction has incapacitated the parent
  • The parent suffers from severe mental illness

Generally speaking, for a court to terminate a parent's rights, the problem must be severe and ongoing. When such factors are present, a court may grant child custody to another adult. This is often the case when a grandparent or another third party seeks custody of a child. As in every case that involves a child, the court's guiding interest in these situations is protecting the best interests of the child.

Voluntary Termination Of Parental Rights

When a parent voluntarily gives up his or her parental rights, it is often for the purpose of giving the child up for adoption. In a stepparent adoption, for instance, the child's biological parent must legally waive his or her parental rights before the stepparent can adopt the child.

Talk With A Lawyer Who Can Protect Your Rights

To discuss your legal matter with a knowledgeable family law attorney, contact our law offices online or by telephone at 919-688-9400 (Durham) or 919-679-9400 (Pittsboro).