Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights - Michigan

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Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Comp. Laws § 712A.19b

The court may terminate a parent's parental rights if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, one or more of the following:

  • The child has been deserted.
  • The child or child's sibling has suffered physical injury or physical or sexual abuse under one or more of the following circumstances:
    • The parent's act caused the abuse.
    • The parent had the opportunity to prevent the abuse and failed to do so.
    • A nonparent adult caused the abuse, and there is a reasonable likelihood that the child will suffer from injury or abuse by the nonparent adult in the foreseeable future if placed in the parent's home.
  • The parent has failed to correct the conditions that led to an adjudication of child abuse or neglect, and there is no reasonable likelihood that the conditions will be corrected within a reasonable time considering the child's age.
  • The parent has substantially failed, without good cause, to comply with a limited guardianship placement plan to the extent that the noncompliance has resulted in a disruption of the parent-child relationship.
  • The child has a guardian, and both of the following have occurred:
    • The parent has failed, without good cause, to provide regular and substantial support for the child for 2 years or more.
    • The parent has failed to regularly visit, contact, or communicate with the child, without good cause, for 2 years or more.
  • The parent, although, in the court's discretion, financially able to do so, fails to provide proper care or custody for the child and there is no reasonable expectation that the parent will be able to provide proper care and custody within a reasonable time considering the child's age.
  • The parent is imprisoned for such a period that the child will be deprived of a normal home for more than 2 years, and the parent has not provided for the child's proper care and custody, and there is no reasonable expectation that the parent will be able to provide proper care and custody within a reasonable time considering the child's age.
  • The parent's parental rights to one or more siblings of the child or another child have been terminated due to serious and chronic neglect or physical or sexual abuse, and the parent has failed to rectify the conditions that led to the prior termination of parental rights.
  • There is a reasonable likelihood, based on the conduct or capacity of the child's parent, that the child will be harmed if he or she is returned to the home of the parent.
  • The parent abused the child or a sibling of the child and the abuse included one or more of the following, and there is a reasonable likelihood that the child will be harmed if returned to the care of the parent:
    • Abandonment of a young child
    • Criminal sexual conduct involving penetration, attempted penetration, or assault with intent to penetrate
    • Battering, torture, or other severe physical abuse
    • Loss or serious impairment of an organ or limb
    • Life threatening injury
    • Murder or voluntary manslaughter
    • Aiding and abetting, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, or soliciting murder or voluntary manslaughter

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Comp. Laws § 712A.19a

If the child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the State for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the court shall order the agency to initiate proceedings to terminate parental rights. The court is not required to order the agency to initiate proceedings to terminate parental rights if one or more of the following apply:

  • The child is being cared for by relatives.
  • The case service plan documents a compelling reason for determining that filing a petition to terminate parental rights would not be in the best interests of the child. Compelling reasons for not filing a petition to terminate parental rights include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
    • Adoption is not the appropriate permanency goal for the child.
    • No grounds to file a petition to terminate parental rights exist.
    • The child is an unaccompanied refugee minor, as defined in 45 CFR 400.111.
    • There are international legal obligations or compelling foreign policy reasons that preclude terminating parental rights.
  • The State has not provided the child's family, consistent with the time period in the case service plan, with the services the State considers necessary for the child's safe return to his or her home, if reasonable efforts are required.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 712A.20; 712A.21

The court in all cases involving custody shall state in the order for disposition or any supplemental order of disposition whether the child is placed in the temporary or permanent custody of the court. If the child is placed in the permanent custody of the court, all parental rights are terminated, though such rights may be reinstated by a supplemental order of disposition after rehearing pursuant to § 712A.21.

At any time while the juvenile is under the jurisdiction of the court, an interested person may file a petition for a rehearing upon all matters coming within the provisions of this chapter. Upon the rehearing, the court may affirm, modify, or set aside any order reviewed under this section. If parental rights have been terminated by an order entered in the proceedings and custody of the juvenile has been removed from the parents, guardian, or other person, the petition for rehearing shall be filed no later than 20 days after the date of entry of the order terminating parental rights. The petition shall set forth in detail the place, manner, and all other information requested by the court in reference to the proposed future custody of the juvenile. The rehearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter relating to the conduct of original hearings. The court may enter an order for supplemental disposition while the juvenile remains under the court's jurisdiction.

The term 'interested person' includes a member of a local foster care review board to which that juvenile's case has been assigned.