Amanda Crowell Partner
Can a parent voluntarily give up all rights to his or her child?
I often have a parent (usually a mother) contact me and state that the other parent wants to give up his rights to his child and have no more obligations to that child. Can a parent voluntarily give up all rights to his or her child? The answer is not a simple one. If the parent has been established as the biological or legal parent of a child, that parent cannot simply relinquish his parental rights so that he or she no longer has a duty of support.
The exception would be if there is a potential adoptive parent who is ready and willing to replace the other parent and become the legal parent of this child. Courts do not want to reduce the child to the status of having only one parent; therefore, termination of parental rights and adoption usually go hand in hand.
There are different methods of terminating parental rights, and it can certainly be accomplished voluntarily under the right circumstances. There are also many grounds for the involuntary termination of parental rights in the event that the parent will not agree to the termination so that the child will be freed for adoption. Adoption and termination law is very complex, and the procedures vary according to the type of adoption which is anticipated.
I have experience in all types of adoption actions including step parent, related, agency, independent, and international adoption and have represented both adoptive parents and birth mothers. It is crucial for all parties to have excellent legal representation for the adoption process to have a positive outcome.