Dependency Action/Termination of Parental Rights

A dependency/severance action can be brought by the state or the department of child services, or a parent. If brought by the State then each parent is entitled to court-appointed counsel.

Once the juvenile court severs a parent’s parental rights and neither no appeal is taken or the appellate court affirms, the parent(s) rights are terminated, no longer can there be visitation or parenting time. Further, the grandparents’ rights would also be extinguished for that parent’s parents.

We recently undertook representation of the biological mother who sought to re-establish herself in her children’s lives. The paternal grandmother adopted the children following both parents’ rights being severed. Our client, the biological mother, filed for temporary guardianship that was consented to by adoptive mother/paternal grandmother. A permanent guardianship was established as the probate court found biological mother had both gotten her life back together and put prior issues behind her.

The two children are living with the biological mother and we anticipate filing for legal adoption in the next ninety (90) days with the adoptive mother’s consent.