How to Voluntarily Relinquish Parental Rights in Maryland

By Brenna Davis

The relinquishment of parental rights is the giving up of parental rights to one's child or children. Relinquishing your parental rights eliminates all rights and duties you have for your child. This process cannot be reversed. Parents often give up their rights as part of an adoption proceeding. In other cases, parents may voluntarily decide to relinquish their rights when they cannot properly care for their children. All child custody decisions, including the relinquishing of rights, are made in the best interests of the child. If you wish to voluntarily give up your rights to your child or children, there are certain steps you must take to make that effective. However, If the court feels that giving up your rights voluntarily is not in your child's best interests, then the court will not allow the relinquishment.

Step 1

Go to the juvenile division of the circuit court in the county in which the child resides. Juvenile court has jurisdiction over all parental rights relinquishment proceedings. Ask the clerk for a petition for relinquishment of parental rights. You may also draft your own petition, using an online legal document provider.

Step 2

Note in the petition if there is a person -- such as the child's other parent, a guardian, a foster parent or an adoptive parent -- to whom you would like to relinquish rights. Also note in the petition if there is a specific reason why you are relinquishing parental rights. Complete the petition and return it to the clerk, along with a filing fee. The clerk will schedule a hearing on the matter.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Step 3

Attend the hearing. The judge may ask questions about why you wish to terminate rights. Judges are more likely to grant a relinquishment if a child is in foster care, if there is a prospective adoptive parent or if the child does not live with the parent. After hearing your perspective, the judge may interview other people close to the child such as the other parent, foster parents or court-appointed special advocates who represent the children's best interests in these proceedings. If the judge agrees that a relinquishment is in the child's best interests, he will issue an order to terminate your parental rights.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Absolve Parental Rights in Ohio When Parents Are Divorced
 

References

Related articles

How to Apply for Visitation Rights

Visitation refers to the right of a noncustodial parent to spend time with her child. The exact procedures for applying for visitation vary between states, but typically a parent will need to ask the court to grant visitation rights. If parents can reach an agreement regarding visitation on their own, in most cases, the court will have only minimal involvement in the case. In contested visitation matters, the court may hold a trial to determine how visitation rights would affect the child.

California Laws on Parent Relocation

When parents share parental responsibility, the state of California prevents the custodial parent from relocating with a child without either the consent of the non-custodial parent or a court order. This restriction may make it difficult for the custodial parent to take that dream job in another state. However, the prohibition's purpose is to protect the relationship between the child and non-custodial parent by ensuring the non-custodial parent does not suddenly become unable to see his child.

Regaining Parental Rights in a Family Court in California

Your odds of regaining terminated parental rights in California depend a great deal on why you lost them. California won't terminate your rights because your ex wants you out of your child's life, or because you've agreed to give them up in exchange for not paying child support. You generally can't surrender your rights voluntarily, except to pave the way for your child's adoption, such as if his other parent has married or remarried and her spouse wants to adopt him. However, if you’ve abused or neglected your child, California will terminate your rights if the court feels harm may come to him if he remains with you.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Terminating Father's Rights in Michigan

The termination of a father's rights is a legal process that severs all ties the father has to the child. The father ...

Voluntary Relinquishment of Rights by the Parent

If you are a birth or adoptive parent and considering giving up your parental rights to your child, you are not alone. ...

How to Establish a Guardian for the Children When Both Biological Parents Are Divorced

Parents have a constitutional right to the "care, custody and control" of their children as stated by the United States ...

How to Change a Child's Name in Texas

Texas laws allow you to legally change a child's name by filing a petition in court. Both parents and any other person ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED