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My parental rights were terminated. Can this decision be turned around?

In most U.S. States, there isn't any provision for revoking or reversing the termination of parental rights other than under specific situations such as fraud, duress, coercion, etc. Because termination is really a legal concern decided by the court, you might want to talk to and/or retain the services of a competent lawyer who's educated in family law matters where you live to examine the legal court action taken to end your parental rights. If you want help in finding and/or paying for a lawyer, the American Bar Association supplies a lawyer referral service at and the Consumers' Guide to Legal Help at provides pro bono attorney referrals and more.

Should you believe that your rights may have been violated in the termination of parental rights case against you, you may want to inquire if the agency has an appeals process or an ombudsman. Numerous agencies have ombudsmen to assist clients resolve differences with the agency. The names of these offices vary and may include “Ombudsperson,” “Ombudsman,” “Ombuds Specialist,” or the Child Welfare Complaints Office. If the agency doesn't have an appeals process or an ombudsman, you might choose to contact your State Adoption Program Manager/Specialist. If you'd like to take your issues to this level, you'll find contact info for all of the States’ Adoption Program Managers/Specialists in the related organizations listing at It is best to contact the agency Adoption Program Manager/Specialist only after other ways have been tried to resolve the problem at the local agency level.

The Federal government doesn't have the legal right to get involved in individual child welfare issues. State and local agencies and courts make the judgments regarding issues such as child custody, child removal from the home, child placement in foster care, and the termination of parental rights in each State according to State law.

Should you believe that your rights may have been violated in the termination of parental rights case against you, here are a few specific instructions that may help you get your rights back:

1. Get in touch with your local referral service in your area to help you to get a lawyer. This referral service will be able to suggest lawyers who would be ideal for your circumstance.

2. Examine the attorney’s previous cases, and speak with others about his/her trustworthiness within the field. Be sure you have a discussion with the lawyer about your circumstances.

3. Employ the lawyer whom you believe would best fully handle your case as well as your interest in the court system. Be sure you understand what his/her costs will be, and also have him/her clarify other costs related to his/her representation.

4. Provide the lawyer all the details you can about your reasons for wanting to get your parental rights reinstated. Make certain you aren't holding back any essential info or evidence that may help support your cause.

5. Fill out all the required paperwork. Do as instructed on the paperwork, and make sure you get the info completed by the given deadline.

6. Have the lawyer sit down with you prior to the court date, and have him/her let you know exactly what you have to say and do once you are in front of the judge.

7. Appear at court early enough to be able to register. Reasonably, you need to arrive about a half-hour to an hour early.

8. Adhere to courtroom protocol. Allow the lawyer to navigate through the proceedings. Talk only if the judge addresses you, and do so based on the standards that the lawyer should have told you.

9. Wait for the judge's ruling. Occasionally judges will not come to a decision based on one hearing. Don't display frustration or aggravation if the ruling is against your wants. Have your attorney debrief you following the proceedings, and if there's another court date, be sure you have your lawyer show you what's going to occur next.

More info on parental rights issues: Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights with Legal Forms

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights (relinquishment): Releases a father or mother from all parental responsibilities, including child support. Full instructions & Forms are included.


Anonymous said...

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

Adoption Services said...

Definitely your post provides a great and useful resource every reader must adhere. This is truly a must read and admire. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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