For an adoption to occur, your attorney must file a petition with the court. The next step involves terminating the parental rights of the other parent ─ the biological father or mother. Parental rights can be terminated voluntarily with the other parent signing an agreement. Voluntary termination typically happens when an adoption is arranged through a private agency or through international adoption.
In some situations, however, parents fight termination of their parental rights. Examples include:
- Step-parent adoptions where biological parents don’t want to give up their rights
- Child abuse or neglect cases where Child Protective Services (CPS) seek to terminate the parents’ rights.
Such situations are referred to as “involuntary termination” cases. When an adoption involves involuntary termination, our attorneys can help you determine whether legal grounds for termination of parental rights exist.