Can Father Regain Parental Rights After Termination of Parental Rights?

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“I need information on father’s rights. My boyfriend’s ex got their kids taken away about two years ago and was incarcerated and charged with willful cruelty to a child and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was not there when it happened so the kids were taken by child protective services (CPS).

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Since then she had to submit to drug testing and go to NA meetings in order to get them back, but while going to court she blamed my boyfriend for her drug habits, stating that he got her on them and kept her on them. He also has been arrested for drug-related charges but not involving the children. She told the court and CPS about his prior arrest for that so that he wouldn’t be able to get custody. She did this because he’s with me, and she doesn’t want to let him go.

He missed the child custody court hearing, and so they terminated his parental rights without him knowing. By the time he found out what happened in court it was too late, and his half-sister got temporary custody in the meantime. He was not allowed to see them.

The mother has since regained custody of the children, but has told my boyfriend that he is not allowed to be around them, and that she would lose custody if he came around to try to see them. Now, recently, she lost them again for reasons I’m not sure about but I know she didn’t have electricity on in her home, and was not sending them to school every day, one not even being enrolled. They gave temporary custody to her sister this time.

What I want to know is does he still have any legal rights, and what steps can we take to at least get full or joint custody of his kids? Please help us, this woman is crazy and has assaulted me in public, grabbing me off my bike by the back of my hair while her children were screaming and crying left unattended. She also has came banging on my door before, calling me out to fight with her kids being present. I didn’t go outside for that reason. Tell me what I can do PLEASE.”

Your question isn’t one of father’s rights. This may seem harsh but if your boyfriend’s parental rights were terminated, he is no longer the father of those children and doesn’t have any rights to them. In many ways, the law treats him as less than a stranger to the children. He has no right to see them, call them, talk to them in any way.

Terminating parental rights is not a minor act. Our society highly values our parental rights. Having a court hearing where he could contest the termination of his rights was just one level of the protection that was offered to your boyfriend and, from what you said, he didn’t take it. Why did he miss court? What was more important than his children that day? If he had no notice (or possibly a very good excuse – like he was in the hospital unconscious), then what he needs to do is get an attorney, asap and contest the termination. But if he had notice and didn’t show up in court, then he lost the legal rights he had by not taking the opportunity to have his day in court.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.