Parental Rights: When Do Parents Lose Their Rights?


ChildParents are undeniably important in the development of their children, serving as the primary foundation of their understanding of the world around them and how they interact with it. There are, however, instances when the parent’s actions, or inactions, are detrimental or even harmful to the child.

In these cases, the parent’s natural rights are at risk of being terminated. It’s important to know what the grounds are for termination, especially if the child’s life and quality of living is in danger.

Who Has the Right?

Each parent begins with equal rights; the mother doesn’t automatically have sole custody of the child and the father isn’t presumed to provide financial support. But, as explains, “This equality can change, and change rapidly, if parents do not assert their parentage in a proper and lawful way.”

Although the grounds for terminating parental rights actually vary between state, there’s a consensus that anything that would put the child in harm’s way is immediate grounds for revoking the parent’s rights. Neglecting the child’s basic needs or failing to maintain contact with them are two of the most common grounds for terminating the parent’s rights.

Failing to provide education also puts the parent’s natural rights at risk. But admittedly, there’s a lot to consider before the parent is fully relieved of their rights to their child. After all, it could not exactly be a case of neglect, but rather an incapability to provide education due to financial problems.

Abuse and Emotional Damage

Parents who abuse their child, either sexually, psychologically, or emotionally, also constitute a breach in the parent’s legal obligations to their child. Unfortunately, these are very difficult to prove, especially if the child denies the accusation due to fear or brainwashing.

Children, especially the younger ones, aren’t usually withdrawn and are often open about telling their parents if there is something wrong. Physical signs are what you need to watch out for, as well as sudden changes of fearful behavior when they’re around a parent or another family member.

Parents are an important part of a child’s growth, but they may also be the ones putting them at risk. Knowing the usual grounds for terminating parental rights is important to ensure the child’s safety and best interests.