Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights - Minnesota

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Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 260.012; 260C.301

The juvenile court may, upon petition, terminate all rights of a parent to a child if it finds that one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • The parent has substantially, continuously, or repeatedly refused or neglected to provide the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, and other care and control.
  • The parent has been ordered to contribute to the support of the child or financially aid in the child's birth and has continuously failed to do so without good cause.
  • The parent is found to be unfit because he or she is unable, for the reasonably foreseeable future, to care appropriately for the ongoing physical, mental, or emotional needs of the child. A parent is presumed to be unfit if his or her parental rights to another child have been terminated involuntarily.
  • Following the child's placement out of the home, reasonable efforts have failed to correct the conditions leading to the child's placement.
  • The parent has failed two or more times to successfully complete a treatment program for chemical dependency.
  • The parent has subjected a child to egregious harm that is of a nature, duration, or chronicity that indicates a lack of regard for the child's well-being.
  • An unwed birth father has failed to register with the fathers' adoption registry.
  • The child is neglected and in foster care.
  • The parent has been convicted of a crime listed below:
    • Murder, manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon that results in serious bodily injury, or sexual abuse that was committed against the child or another child of the parent
    • An offense that requires registration as a predatory offender
  • The child is an abandoned infant.
  • The provision of services or further services for the purpose of reunification is futile and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances.

It is presumed that reasonable efforts have failed upon a showing of the following:

  • The parent has been diagnosed as chemically dependent by a professional certified to make the diagnosis.
  • The parent has been required by a case plan to participate in a chemical dependency treatment program.
  • The treatment programs offered to the parent were culturally, linguistically, and clinically appropriate.
  • The parent has either failed two or more times to successfully complete a treatment program or has refused at two or more separate meetings with a caseworker to participate in a treatment program.
  • The parent continues to abuse chemicals.

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260C.301, Subd. 4

Except for cases in which the child is in placement due solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, custody has not been transferred to the responsible social services agency, and the court finds compelling reasons to continue placement, the county attorney shall file a termination of parental rights petition or a petition to transfer permanent legal and physical custody to a relative under § 260C.201, subd. 11 for all children who have been in out-of-home care for 15 of the most recent 22 months. This requirement does not apply if there is a compelling reason approved by the court for determining that filing a termination of parental rights petition or other permanency petition would not be in the best interests of the child or if the responsible social services agency has not provided reasonable efforts necessary for the safe return of the child, if reasonable efforts are required.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 260C.329

The county attorney or a parent whose parental rights were terminated under a previous order of the court may file a petition for the reestablishment of the legal parent-child relationship when the following apply:

  • When the county attorney is the petitioning party, both the responsible social services agency and the county attorney agree that reestablishment of the legal parent-child relationship is in the child's best interests.
  • The parent has corrected the conditions that led to termination of parental rights and is now willing and able to provide day-to-day care and maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
  • The child has been in foster care for at least 48 months after the court issued the order terminating parental rights.
  • The child has not been adopted and is not the subject of a written adoption placement agreement.

A petition for the reestablishment of the legal parent-child relationship may not be filed if the following apply:

  • The parent previously had parental rights terminated due to either sexual abuse or other conduct that resulted in the death of a minor.
  • The parent has been convicted of any crime enumerated under § 260C.007, subd. 14.

The court may grant the petition only if it finds, by clear and convincing evidence, the following:

  • Reestablishment of the legal parent-child relationship is in the child's best interests.
  • The child has not been adopted and is not the subject of a written adoption placement agreement.
  • At least 48 months have elapsed following a final order terminating parental rights, and the child remains in foster care.
  • The child desires to reside with the parent.
  • The parent has corrected the conditions that led to an order terminating parental rights and is willing and able to provide day-to-day care and maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the child.