In many adoption cases, a child is adopted because the adoptive parents are determined as better caregivers than the birth parents. For a child to enter the adoption process, the birth parents must consent to their child being adopted and relinquish their parental rights. Through doing this, the birth parents acknowledge that they cannot care for the child in full capacity and want a more suitable guardian to be responsible for their child’s needs.
These cases can be amicable, and often are — such as in cases when a birth parent voluntarily enters their child into adoption or arranges a private adoption on their own.
In some cases, family members (such as grandparents or siblings) recognize that a parent is unfit to care for their child and is interested in adopting them. The birth parents must consent to these kinds of “in family” adoptions as well.
In other cases, a parent may not want to relinquish their parental rights but is not fit to care for their child. Unfit parents can have their rights involuntarily terminated. A relative who wishes to adopt a child because the birth parents are unfit must make a case for the termination of parental rights if the birth parents do not consent to an adoption.
Termination of Parental Rights
An exception to the need for birth parent consent in an adoption case is if the parents have had their parental rights terminated. A person may have their rights as a parent terminated if they are determined to be unfit as a caregiver and if it is decided that another person would take better care of the child.
A parent may be considered unfit if they:
- Cannot provide for the child financially
- Do not provide a stable environment
- Are abusive
- Suffer from addiction
This determination can have many different outcomes depending on the family’s unique situation. Sadly, some cases result in a child being put in foster care or becoming a ward of the state. In other situations, another family member may be able to adopt the child. Even without the revocation of parental rights, another family member can obtain partial custody of a child without adopting them. There are various legal outlets that allow families to provide children with proper care.
Send us a message or call (515) 200-7571 to request a free consultation and discuss the details of your case with our attorneys.