The Effects of Losing Parental Rights

If the petition to terminate parental rights succeeds, the legal relationship between the parent and child ends permanently. Consequently, the parent’s rights and obligations to the child are terminated. All rights of inheritance are extinguished. All duty of support is extinguished. The parent has the same legal status as a stranger to the child, cannot visit or contact the child, and loses any input as to the child’s life or daily living.

The parent may appeal the decision, or under very limited circumstances, the parent’s rights may be reinstated. There are a number of conditions that must be satisfied before a petition for reinstatement can be filed:

  • The TPR order must be at least three years old before the petition can be filed.
  • The child must be at least 12 years old (extraordinary circumstances must be shown if the child is less than 12 years old).
  • The child does not have a legal parent, is not in an adoptive placement and is not likely to be adopted.