Ultimately, the state always wants parents to retain legal rights to their children. Some situations that put children at risk will call on a court to consider removing those parental rights.
Removing rights from a parent is not a task that a court will take lightly. According to the Arizona State Legislature, terminating parental rights requires a high level of evidence that it is the best option for the child in the case.
The court will look for grounds that show a parent is not fulfilling his or her parental duties, putting the child at risk or otherwise creating a bad environment in which to parent a child. Some of the grounds include abandoning the child, debilitating mental illness, abuse, neglect and long-term incarceration.
For fathers, there is also the potential to lose rights if you do not secure them soon enough. You should file for rights as soon as possible. If you need to make a claim to the child because a custody case is in court, you also must do that in time.
Parents may voluntarily give up their rights, which would allow the court to terminate the rights legally. If the child has been in and out of the parents’ home without much hope for stability, this could also play into the court’s decision.
If you have had your parental rights terminated to another child previously and you have continued to have the same issues that led to that case occurring, it can encourage the court to terminate your rights to this child.
Before terminating your parental rights, the court will make many attempts to ensure you cannot provide a safe home to the child. Rights termination is typically a last resort.