Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights - Maryland

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Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Family Law § 5-525.1

A petition for termination of parental rights shall be filed if the following apply:

  • The child has been in an out-of-home placement for 15 of the most recent 22 months.
  • A court finds that the child is an abandoned infant.
  • A court finds that the parent has been convicted, in any State or any court of the United States, of any of the following:
    • A crime of violence against a minor offspring of the parent, the child, or another parent of the child
    • Aiding, abetting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit a crime described above

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Family Law § 5-525.1

The Department of Human Services is not required to file a petition for termination of parental rights if any of the following apply:

  • The child is being cared for by a relative.
  • The department has documented in the case plan a compelling reason why termination of parental rights would not be in the child's best interests.
  • The department has not provided services to the family consistent with the time period in the case plan that the department considers necessary for the safe return of the child to the child's home.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.