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How to Terminate Parental Rights?

How to Terminate Parental Rights?

“How to terminate parental rights?” is a nightmare for every parent and child and also a severe issue that is generally not allowed unless it is for extreme situations.

All the parents have principal duties towards their children until they reach the age of 18 by law. They ought to fulfill these duties. However, many parents often fail to perform their duties by putting their kids’ mental or physical requirements at threat.

Parental right termination is the process in which you no longer remain your children’s parent by law. It is a tough call to make as it will have a serious effect on both you and your children. So, ending parental rights often is the best method for safeguarding your children from future hurt and damage.

In the following part of the article, we will talk briefly about how to terminate parental rights. Keep Reading.

What is the Termination of Parental Rights?

When a parent’s rights are terminated, the person’s rights as a parent are removed. The individual is no longer the child’s legal parent. That is to say:

  • There is no longer a parent-child relationship.
  • The parent no longer has the right to raise the child.
  • In most cases, the parent has no right to visit or speak with the child.
  • The parent is no longer required to pay child support.
  • The parent’s name is struck from the child’s birth certificate.
  • The child can be adopted without the consent of the parents.

The act of terminating parental rights is often referred to as the “civil death penalty,” and judges approach it with the utmost gravity. Judges do not terminate a parent’s rights unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

How to Terminate Parental Rights?

Parental rights mean making every decision about nurturing the children. Unluckily, at times a parent fails at fulfilling their duties towards their children for several years. Similarly, if the same things occur to your children, you may want to end parental rights for the careless or offensive parent.

Ending parental rights is entirely dissimilar from the physical custody of the children. After finishing, the parent will no longer have any right to see the kid. And can not take part in any judgments concerning the kid’s maintenance.

After ending their rights, the parent will automatically be no longer obliged to pay child support. That is, s/he will no longer be liable for the past due or any further support expenses.

It is also very unusual for parental rights to be restored after they are ended. In fact, most nations don’t even permit a past parent to appeal for restoration at all.

There are two ways you can terminate your parental rights. Either willingly or unwillingly, it can be ended by appealing for it in court. The court will decide based on child welfare and the grounds based on which you have petitioned for it.  Now, let’s talk about these ways to give you a clear idea:

Giving Up Parental Rights Willingly

Except the child will be adopted, the ending of the parent’s rights willingly is an unusual case. There must be enough valid grounds for terminating to get the court’s support for voluntarily ending the parent’s rights.

For example, if a step-parent wants to adopt the kid, the court will ultimately favor it. It is the most exceptional case that the court supports if it observes that it is for the child’s betterment.

But both biological parents need to agree on this decision. The parent willingly terminating the rights must be notified with valid reasons beforehand.

A parent cannot also terminate the rights just based on evading the child’s support expenses. You must understand that child support payment is the right of your child. But if a step-parent wants to take the accountability and duties by adoption voluntarily, only then the parent can give up these rights.

The court will always inspect what will be the best decision for the child’s well-being. So, the court doesn’t support the decision if your case falls under the below criteria:

  • In case you are doing it only for evading the payment of the child support.
  • Both of you support the decision on giving up one’s parental rights just for both of your benefits.
  • You don’t have time for your child and think of him or her as a burden.
  • The custodial parent wants to terminate just because the noncustodial parent fails to pay the due amount for the child’s support. For these situations, you must remember that even if the noncustodial parent fails to pay, he still has full rights over the child.

Hence, these are some of the grounds based on which the court doesn’t support terminating parental rights. Because the court always tries to decide what will be best for the child, considering their well-being.

Therefore, based on the law, contracts between both parents about willingly terminating these rights are invalid. Except there is a step-parent or grandparent who wants to take full responsibility for the child.

In Canada, in the case of step-parent adoption, the court also inspects whether these decisions will be better for the child or not. They also check the step-parent records, behavior, job or work, bond with the child, nurturing capability, etc. Based on what they decide, the main goal of them is child welfare.

Read more about why you need a child support lawyer.

Terminating Parental Rights Unwillingly

The kid’s well-being is always the topmost priority in front of the judges. So, when a judge needs to decide whether to end parent rights, they also consider the parent’s manners.

In many situations, ending careless parent’s rights is the best thing to do for the kid’s well-being. These types of conditions may contain:

  • Extreme cruelty towards the child.
  • Continuing mistreatment.
  • Fail to take care of the kid economically.
  • Absence of interaction.
  • Regular intake of liquor.
  • Illegal verdicts.
  • Break the laws that are given by the court during the childcare and custody contracts.

These are some of the main conditions that are taken into consideration by the judges before passing a judgment. In cases like this, you may need to show evidence to the court to understand this situation better.

However, it gives a general idea of the situations where ending parent rights may be a choice. At the same time, it highlights that ending these rights is a severe and last stage. That is usually given only in difficult situations, especially when the kid’s security and welfare are threatened.

Eventually, a judge decides to end parental rights if the specific conditions support for an end of these rights for the child’s betterment. The exception to this law happens only when a parent abandons his or her rights willingly.

Therefore, these are two ways based on which a parent can terminate his or her parental rights.

The judges also think about the children’s well-being whenever a parent willingly or unwillingly wants to terminate parental rights. Let’s talk about these to give you a better understanding of the judge’s concerns.

Read Also: How to Avoid Paying Child Support?

Considering Children Well-Being

In these types of cases, the law court thinks about the kid’s well-being before everything. Only the parent’s desire or benefit is not enough basis for ending other parent’s rights.

To determine the best method for allocating the parent rights for any children, a magistrate looks at various factors. They are:

  • Children fitness.
  • Impact on the kid’s mental health.
  • Children are fond of parents or other concerned people. Like grandparents, step-parents, etc.
  • Parenting capability and skill of parents and other concerned people.
  • Reliability of every living condition.
  • Impact of family history on the children.

Specific conditions may also cause a magistrate to inspect extra issues before deciding. During the entire procedure, the magistrates seek to safeguard the child. Providing proof for or against a parent can be puzzling or traumatic for a child.

Furthermore, various children, mostly young ones, cannot effectively assess their situations to make the correct long-lasting judgment for themselves.

Therefore, the juries generally evade having a child give proof or authenticate in case of parental privileges. Nonetheless, the child’s well-being is the topmost priority above all things.

Step-Parent Adoptions as Different Case

If a child’s step-parent wants to adopt the child in a legal way, in that case, parental right termination occurs. Like other adoption, in a step-parent adoption, the step-parent get the full legal caring responsibility.

In these situations, one parent has to give his or her parental rights willingly to the step-parent and this is the easiest way. The legal procedures become more simple and more time-saving if the parent acknowledges giving up the rights of the child. 

Sometimes the real parent of the child doesn’t terminate willingly his or her right to the child and the situation becomes complicated. In that situation, the court will decide the parental rights for the child’s best interest according to the law of Canada. The step-parent’s history, parenting ability, and relationship with the child are vital points to consider in this situation before declaring the order by the court.


Hopefully, you have got a clear idea of how to terminate parental rights.  Parents are accountable for taking care of their children till they reach 18 years old in Canada. Ending parental rights is hugely connected to your kid’s welfare; thus, make this decision very carefully.

Because the verdict will be taken for your children’s well-being no matter under which condition the judge gives the verdict. Therefore, talk with a lawyer who can help you in all lawful dealings to get a fruitful result.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a termination of parental rights case?

Termination of parental rights case is about ending the relationship between a parent or either parent and the children. Once the parental rights are terminated, the individual parent subject to the case loses all legal rights on their child.

What if I’m afraid for my safety or for the safety of my children?

The first reaction to this feeling is to contact the court. Most of the lawyers will suggest you file for sole custody. For that, you will need evidence. The evidence can be anything like a witness, threatening texts, or voicemails.

Who can file a termination of parental rights case?

Any family member- a parent or a guardian can file a termination of parental rights (TPR) case. So, this is not limited to the parents only. Even government entities and agencies also may file this case if it is legitimate.

When can I begin a parental rights termination case?

The best to think of beginning the case is the moment the parent or a guardian notices any possibility of harm towards the child. It may also include failure to support the child by the other parent. Contact your lawyer. S/he will advise or manage the whole thing for you.

How do I start the termination of the parental rights process?

Normally, the whole process goes by a common track. Considering the child’s condition and taking necessary steps are the base actions. That includes contacting the lawyer, collecting evidence, counting, tracking specific time durations regarding any contract, and observing any changes or deviations of the other parent or the custody. After studying the entire situation, the lawyer suggests the parent or the individual has the right to file the case to proceed.

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