What is the Process of Terminating Parental Rights in North Carolina?

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“My ex-husband and I have recently discussed him giving up his rights to our son. He is in Washington State and I am in North Carolina…it has been over a year since he has seen our son and says that he has a new family out there now and doesn’t want to have to worry about seeing or talking to our son any more. What can I do about getting this done?”

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Willful abandonment for a period greater than 6 months is grounds for filing a petition to terminate parental rights in North Carolina. It still will need to be approved by a Court of competent jurisdiction and found to be in your son’s best interests. “An order terminating parental rights completely and permanently severs all rights and obligations of the parent to the child and the child to the parent; except, the child’s right of inheritance does not terminate until a final order of adoption is issued. When parental rights have been terminated, parents no longer have any constitutionally protected interest in their children.” In re Montgomery, 77 N.C. App. 709, 336 S.E.2d 136 (1985).

So you can file your petition, serve your -ex and your son’s court- appointed guardian ad litem, and go through the process of convincing the court that termination of your -ex’s parental rights is in your son’s best interests. You will likely need an attorney.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.