Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Can you turn over parental rights to grandparent in order to avoid termination of parental rights?

Q: The father is in custody at this time awaiting a parole hearing, but will hopefully be released soon. However, he has an upcoming court date for a suspended judgment on his custody case with his son. He doesn't want them to terminate his rights for his son and keep him in the system. The son's mother had her rights taken away 6 years ago while he was in jail because of child abuse. Also, he has recently been through a couple foster parents because of behavioral health concerns and they are considering a group home. Would turning over his rights be a possibility for him? Also, if the grandmother is worried about taking him in because of his mental health issues, could I look to be a foster parent for him? Or would this be a conflict as I am his father's girlfriend?

A: David Bliven's Answer: If the child has been in foster care for that long, it is quite possible the child is already in a pre-adoptive placement setting. As such, it may be hard to start the process now in getting custody to the grandparent. But that said, she would lose nothing by filing the petition. As for yourself, if the agency believes the father cannot care for the child, then they would be extremely unlikely to place the child with you if your plan is to reunite with the child's father upon his release. All that said, you would greatly benefit by scheduling a consultation with a Bronx Co. Family Law attorney.

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