How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 12:26 AM   #1
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Confused How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

The father has had full custody of the child for 7 years. The mother was not ordered to pay child support, and has not had any contact with the father or child for 7 years now. The father would like the mother's rights to be taken away for future piece of mind. He is in the military and wants to make sure that nothing unforeseen happens with any possibility of the mother coming back into the picture while he is deployed. Any idea on how this can be accomplished? The father has no idea as to the mother's whereabouts.
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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 04:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

I wish to inform you that state laws govern your action. In this regard generally you can file a lawsuit for termination of parental rights. You can show that mother has not maintained any contact with child and thus her parental rights should be terminated.

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Old Mar 4th, 2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

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The father has had full custody of the child for 7 years. The mother was not ordered to pay child support, and has not had any contact with the father or child for 7 years now. The father would like the mother's rights to be taken away for future piece of mind. He is in the military and wants to make sure that nothing unforeseen happens with any possibility of the mother coming back into the picture while he is deployed. Any idea on how this can be accomplished? The father has no idea as to the mother's whereabouts.
See the disparity? Here's yet another child support discrepancy in which the mother is not ordered to pay child support for some asinine excuse or another. It's very pathetic that judges support women even in that.

When's the last time a judge did not order a father to pay support, for whatever reason? There are men who are literally dying who are still ordered to pay child support. Why is there no excuse for the man but plenty of excuses (and enabling) for the woman?

The father needs to research the legal criteria in his state that addresses terminating a parent's rights. Many times this is successful when one parent is blatantly absent from the child's life for a significant period of time. It sound as if the father in this case has sufficient grounds - as - practically every state has abandonment as criteria for termination of parental rights.
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

It is not possible to take away mothers right from a child’s life. It is a biological bond.
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 08:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

I am in agreement with Lexus on this, too. The parent's bond is genetic and lifetime. If she is not visiting at the present time, what is the purpose in "taking her rights away", anyway? Nothing but punitive retribution as I see it. It does not serve the child's interests, which is what counts in the short and long run.
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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Fathers rights freaks.. Find a hobby, stop ruining lives. I know it's fun for you but that is because you are one step down from a mental patient...
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

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It is not possible to take away mothers right from a child’s life. It is a biological bond.
What an utterly absurd statement, as is the statement made by "friend".

It's really disappointing, and a lot disturbing, that there aren't a lot of intelligent people registering and posting answers on this forum.

These two people consistently give advice to mothers on this board that terminating father's rights is the "right thing to do" when the father has shown no interest in being in the child's life.

Had it been a mother who posted the original question, Lexus and "Friend in Court" would have jumped right on her bandwagon of stripping the absent, indifferent father from the child's life - and in fact - have done so in the past.

There exists a biological bond between children and fathers too. How is it that terminating parental rights is so favored when it's the father who shows no interest in their child but we're subjected to such inane, emotionally slanted statements made by "Lexus" and "Friend in Court" when the gender is the opposite?

Not only is it absolutely possible to take away a mother's rights when such action is warranted, it's necessary and in the best interest of the child in the short AND long run to do so.

Sunshine87: I'd think twice before taking anything to two above named posters have to say about this or any other legal subject.
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Old Mar 5th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

Lexus and Friend - I've seen bad info and wrong I for but WOW that just crosses the line. Biomoms have no greater bond with their child than biodads or adoptive parents. You guys were clearly born into the wrong century.

As to OP, mom has clearly abandoned her child, sad tho it may be he is probably best off petitioning for termination. He'll need a lawyer and a GAL since its pretty hard to have a judge create a legal sole parent.
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Old Mar 6th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

Regardless of whether it is mother or father, neither parent can be stripped of parental rights just because the other parent wants to.

People should not project something into an answer that is not there. Trying to deprive the child of its parent just because the other parent wants to does not serve the best interest of the child. It makes no difference whether the parent is male or female. Lack of interest is not enough grounds. Especially when there is no other parent, such as step parent willing to step in and assume the role.

People bring their own "garbage" to this forum, their own emotion-laden past experience and it clouds their judgment -- much less do their answers address the state of the law.
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Old Mar 6th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to get an absent mother's rights taken away

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Regardless of whether it is mother or father, neither parent can be stripped of parental rights just because the other parent wants to.

People should not project something into an answer that is not there. Trying to deprive the child of its parent just because the other parent wants to does not serve the best interest of the child. It makes no difference whether the parent is male or female. Lack of interest is not enough grounds. Especially when there is no other parent, such as step parent willing to step in and assume the role.

People bring their own "garbage" to this forum, their own emotion-laden past experience and it clouds their judgment -- much less do their answers address the state of the law.

Your last sentiment was very much on point - unfortunately for you, you don't seem to understand just how much projection you put into it.

It's unclear why you believe as you do, but if you have any experience with the law at all (and by your excessive proclamations and your being on practically every thread this board has to offer) you would know that termination of parental rights is very common and has been for decades.

Perhaps this following article will be somewhat of an eye opener for you...

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
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Series: State Statutes
Author(s): Child Welfare Information Gateway
Year Published: 2010

Current through February 2010

This brief introduction summarizes how States address this topic in statute. To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.

Every State, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have statutes providing for the termination of parental rights by a court. Termination of parental rights ends the legal parent-child relationship. Once the relationship has been terminated, the child is legally free to be placed for adoption, with the objective of securing a more stable, permanent family environment that can meet the child's long-term parenting needs.

Termination may be voluntary or involuntary. Birth parents who wish to place their children for adoption may voluntarily relinquish their rights.1 When addressing whether parental rights should be terminated involuntarily, most States require that a court:

Determine, by clear and convincing evidence, that the parent is unfit2
Determine whether severing the parent-child relationship is in the child's best interest

Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

The grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights are specific circumstances under which the child cannot safely be returned home because of risk of harm by the parent or the inability of the parent to provide for the child's basic needs. Each State is responsible for establishing its own statutory grounds, and these vary by State.

The most common statutory grounds for determining parental unfitness include:

Severe or chronic abuse or neglect
Abuse or neglect of other children in the household
Abandonment
Long-term mental illness or deficiency of the parent(s)
Long-term alcohol- or drug-induced incapacity of the parent(s)
*****Failure to support or maintain contact with the child******* (asterisks for "Friend"s benefit)
Involuntary termination of the rights of the parent to another child

The above factors become grounds for terminating parental rights when reasonable efforts by the State to prevent out-of-home placement or to achieve reunification of the family after placement have failed to correct the conditions and/or parental behaviors that led to State intervention.3

Another common ground for termination is a felony conviction of the parent(s) for a crime of violence against the child or another family member, or a conviction for any felony when the term of incarceration is so long as to have a negative impact on the child, and the only available provision of care for the child is foster care.

The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) requires State agencies to file a petition to terminate parental rights, with certain exceptions, when:4

A child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months.
A court has determined:

A child to be an abandoned infant
That the parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent; aided, abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit such a murder or voluntary manslaughter; or committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent

In response to ASFA, many States have adopted limits to the maximum amount of time a child can spend in foster care before termination proceedings can be initiated. Typically, States have adopted the ASFA standard of 15 out of the most recent 22 months in care. Some States, however, specify shorter time limits, particularly for very young children.
Exceptions

While State laws require that proceedings to terminate parental rights be initiated when statutory grounds are met, approximately 28 States and the District of Columbia5 provide for exceptions under some circumstances, including one or more of the following:

The child has been placed under the care of a relative.
The State agency has documented in the case plan a compelling reason to believe that terminating the parent's rights is not in the best interests of the child.
The parent has not been provided with the services required by the service plan for reunification of the parent with the child.

Effects of Termination

A termination action can sever the rights of one parent without affecting the rights of the other parent. If the rights of both parents are terminated, the State assumes legal custody of the child along with the responsibility for finalizing a permanent placement for the child, either through adoption or guardianship, within a reasonable amount of time.

In approximately eight States, if a permanent placement has not been achieved within a specific timeframe, a petition may be filed with the court requesting reinstatement of the parent's rights.6 If the court determines that the parent is now able to provide a safe home for the child, the request may be granted.

To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.

1 For State-by-State details on voluntary relinquishment, see Information Gateway publication Consent to Adoption at Consent to Adoption. Back
2 The U.S. Supreme Court, in Santosky v. Kramer (455 U.S. § 745 (1982)), set the standard of proof in termination of parental rights proceedings at clear and convincing evidence. Back
3 For more information on the reasonable efforts requirement, see Information Gateway's Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children at Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children. Back
4 ASFA (P.L. 105-89) amended title IV-E of the Social Security Act, which establishes guidelines that States must comply with as a condition for receiving Federal funds. Back
5 The word approximately is used to stress the fact that States frequently amend their laws. This information is current only through February 2010. The States that currently provide for these exceptions include Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Back
6 In Alaska, a parent who has voluntarily relinquished rights may petition (Alaska Stat.§ 47.10.089). In California, after 3 years, a child who is age 12 or older may petition (Welf. & Inst. Code § 366.26(i)). In Hawaii, after 1 year, if the child is age 14 or older, the child's guardian ad litem or attorney or State Department may petition (Rev. Stat. § 587A-34). In Illinois, after 3 years, the Department of Children and Family Services may petition when the child is age 13 or older (§ 705 ILCS 405/2-34). In Louisiana, if the child is in foster care and older than age 15, the child's counsel or the department may file a motion (Ch. Code art. 1051). In Nevada, the child or the legal guardian of a child who has not been adopted and is not likely to be adopted may petition (Rev. Stat. § 128.170). In Oklahoma, a child who is age 15 or older may petition if he or she has not achieved permanency within 3 years (Ann. Stat. tit. 10A, § 1-4-909).In Washington, after 3 years, a child who is age 12 or older may petition (Rev. Code § 13.34.215). Back

This publication is a product of the State Statutes Series prepared by Child Welfare Information Gateway. While every attempt has been made to be as complete as possible, additional information on these topics may be in other sections of a State's code as well as agency regulations, case law, and informal practices and procedures.

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.
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