How Do I Voluntarily Relinquish Parental Rights in New York?
The most common way to terminate a parent's rights is by voluntary relinquishment. If the other parent has a new spouse who is willing to adopt the child and completes the adoption process and if you agree, the court may terminate your parental rights and therefore terminate your parental obligations. A parent may also have rights terminated, either by voluntary relinquishment or judicial termination. A judicial termination requires proof that the parent is unfit and/or poses a threat of harm to the child. The court may order termination of the parent-child relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct which endangers the physical or emotional well-being of the child, or the parent is convicted an a child abuse offense. A termination of parental rights voids any rights and obligations toward the child. The parent will no longer have rights to custody or visitation and will no longer owe a duty of support.
Termination of parental rights will typically end the obligation for child support at that point, but not erase liability for past due support. Often, relinquishment of parental rights will not be allowed if done for the purpose of avoiding child support payments. If voluntary termination is petitioned for, the mother will be required to receive notice and may express her lack of consent at the hearing. The answer will be a matter of determination for the court, based on all the circumstances involved, such as proof of paternity. It may also be possible to request a restraining order from the court to prevent contact. The overall consideration for the court is the best interests of the child. We suggest you contact a local attorney who can review all the facts and documents involved.
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