"What is involved in giving up one’s parental rights?"
Any parent can choose to give up his/her parental rights as long as another person, such as the youngster's other parent or an adoptive guardian, is willing to take responsibility for the youngster. By relinquishing parental rights, the parent is usually relieved from any obligation to his/her biological youngster.
Biological parents might choose to give up (relinquish) parental rights in a number of situations. For example:
- If a couple decides to place a baby for adoption, a court will first need to terminate the parental rights of both biological parents before an adoption can be finalized.
- If a woman remarries and wants her new husband to adopt her youngster from the previous relationship, the biological father might chose to relinquish his parental rights.
- Some parents choose not to be involved in the lives of their kids. By giving up parental rights, they can be absolved of responsibility for providing financial support for the kids.
In most cases, when a parent chooses to give up parental rights, he/she is completely released from any obligation to care for his/her biological youngster. Under the eyes of the law, the biological parent and youngster are not related. The youngster may not inherit under the parent’s will as one of his/her kids, and the parent has no obligation whatsoever to care for the youngster.
A parent’s rights must always be terminated by a judge. A parent can sign a paper stating the desire to give up parental rights. A court can involuntarily terminate a parent’s rights, such as in the case of youngster abuse. Some states have a putative father registry in place. This presumes that an unmarried man consents to giving up his parental rights so the baby can be placed for adoption. That holds true unless the father registers with the state after having sex with a woman who is not his wife.
The time frame for giving up parental rights varies. If a parent signs a document stating the desire to terminate parental rights, then this will happen whenever he/she can get a court date before a judge. In the case of giving up parental rights by default through a putative father registry, the state generally specifies how much time the father has to assert his parental rights after the baby is born. If the father does nothing, a judge will terminate his parental rights after the specified time period has elapsed.
In some cases, a parent might continue to be held responsible for financially supporting the biological youngster even after he/she gives up paternal rights. For example, if the mother must seek governmental assistance in order to support the youngster, a judge has the authority to terminate parental rights. He can still require the father to pay youngster support until the youngster reaches adulthood. This results in the father still being financially responsible for the youngster without having any visitation rights or say in how the youngster is raised.
More on relinquishing parental rights can be found here...