Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights - Kansas

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Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 38-2269; 38-2271

The court may terminate parental rights when it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent is unfit by reason of conduct or condition that makes the parent unable to care properly for a child, and the conduct or condition is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. In making this determination, the court shall consider, but is not limited to, the following, if applicable:

  • Emotional illness, mental illness, mental deficiency, or physical disability of such duration or nature as to make the parent unable to care for the child
  • The use of intoxicating liquors or dangerous drugs that render the parent unable to care for a child
  • Physical, mental, or emotional abuse; neglect; or sexual abuse of a child
  • Conviction of a felony and imprisonment
  • Unexplained injury or death of another child or stepchild of the parent or any child in the care of the parent
  • Failure of reasonable efforts made by appropriate agencies to rehabilitate the family
  • Lack of effort on the part of the parent to adjust the parent's circumstances, conduct, or conditions to meet the needs of the child
  • Whether the child has been in out-of-home placement for 15 of the most recent 22 months as a result of actions or inactions of the parent and any of the factors listed below apply

In addition, when a child is not in the physical custody of a parent, the court shall consider whether the following is true of the parent:

  • Failure to ensure care of the child when able to do so
  • Failure to maintain regular visitation, contact, or communication with the child
  • Failure to carry out a reasonable plan approved by the court directed toward the integration of the child into a parental home
  • Failure to pay a reasonable portion of the cost of substitute physical care and maintenance based on ability to pay

A parent also may be found unfit if any of the following apply:

  • A parent has previously been found to be an unfit parent.
  • A parent has twice before been convicted of a crime against the person or a sex offense or the attempt to commit such a crime, and the victim was under age 18.
  • On two or more prior occasions a child in the physical custody of the parent has been adjudicated a child in need of care.
  • The parent has been convicted of causing the death of another child or stepchild of the parent.
  • The child has been in out-of-home placement for a cumulative period of 1 year or longer, and the parent has substantially neglected or willfully refused to carry out a reasonable plan for reintegration of the child into the parental home.
  • The child has been in out-of-home placement for a cumulative period of 2 years or longer, the parent has failed to carry out a reasonable plan for reintegration of the child into the parental home, and there is a substantial probability that the parent will not carry out such plan in the near future.
  • A parent has been convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter, and the victim of such murder was the other parent of the child.
  • A parent abandoned or neglected the child after learning of the child's birth.
  • A parent has made no reasonable efforts to support or communicate with the child after learning of the child's birth.
  • A father, after learning of the pregnancy, failed without reasonable cause to provide support for the mother during the 6 months prior to the child's birth.
  • A father abandoned the mother after learning of the pregnancy.
  • A parent has been convicted of rape resulting in the conception of the child.
  • A parent has failed to assume the duties of a parent for 2 consecutive years prior to the filing of the petition. In making this determination the court may disregard incidental visitations, contacts, or contributions.

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.