Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights - Nevada

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Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 128.105; 128.106; 128.109

An order for the termination of parental rights must be based on evidence and include a finding such as the following:

  • The best interests of the child would be served by the termination of parental rights.
  • The conduct of the parent has demonstrated at least one of the following:
    • Abandonment of the child
    • Neglect of the child
    • Unfitness of the parent
    • Failure of parental adjustment
    • Risk of serious physical, mental, or emotional injury to the child if the child were to reside in the home of his or her parent
    • Only token efforts by the parent to support or communicate with the child; to prevent neglect of the child; to avoid being an unfit parent; or to eliminate the risk of serious physical, mental, or emotional injury to the child
    • That the child was conceived as a result of a sexual assault for which the natural parent was convicted

If the child has been out of the care of his or her parent for at least 12 consecutive months, the court shall consider, without limitation, the following:

  • The placement options for the child
  • The age of the child
  • The developmental, cognitive, and psychological needs of the child

In determining neglect by or unfitness of a parent, the court shall consider, without limitation, the following conditions:

  • Emotional illness, mental illness, or mental deficiency of the parent that renders the parent consistently unable to care for the immediate and continuing physical or psychological needs of the child for extended periods of time
  • Conduct toward a child of a physically, emotionally, or sexually cruel or abusive nature
  • Excessive use of intoxicating liquors, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs that renders the parent consistently unable to care for the child
  • Repeated or continuous failure by the parent, although physically and financially able, to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, or other care and control necessary for the child's physical, mental, and emotional health and development
  • Conviction of the parent of a felony of such a nature as to indicate the unfitness of the parent to provide adequate care and control to the extent necessary for the child's physical, mental, or emotional health and development
  • The fatality or near-fatality of the child, a sibling of the child, or another child in the care of the parent, for which the parent has no reasonable explanation and for which there is evidence that such physical injury or death would not have occurred absent the parent's abuse or neglect of the child
  • The inability of appropriate public or private agencies to reunite the family despite reasonable efforts on the part of the agencies

If a child has been placed outside of his or her home, the following provisions must be applied to determine the conduct of the parent:

  • If the child has resided outside of his or her home for 14 months of any 20 consecutive months, it must be presumed that the parent has demonstrated only token efforts to care for the child.
  • If the parent fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions of a plan to reunite the family within 6 months after the child was placed or the plan was commenced, whichever occurs later, that failure to comply is evidence of failure of parental adjustment.

If a child has been placed outside of his or her home and has resided outside of his or her home pursuant to that placement for 14 months of any 20 consecutive months, the best interests of the child must be presumed to be served by the termination of parental rights.

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 128.107

If a child is not in the physical custody of the parent or parents, the court, in determining whether parental rights should be terminated, shall consider, without limitation, the following:

  • The services provided or offered to the parents to facilitate a reunion with the child
  • The physical, mental, or emotional condition; the needs of the child; and the child's desires regarding the termination, if the court determines the child is of sufficient capacity to express his or her desires
  • The effort the parents have made to adjust their circumstances, conduct, or conditions to make it in the child's best interests to return the child to his or her home after a reasonable length of time, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • The payment of a reasonable portion of substitute physical care and maintenance, if financially able
    • The maintenance of regular visitation or other contact with the child that was designed and carried out in a plan to reunite the child with the parents
    • The maintenance of regular contact and communication with the custodian of the child
  • Whether additional services would be likely to bring about lasting parental adjustment enabling a return of the child to the parents within a predictable period

For purposes of this section, the court shall disregard incidental conduct, contributions, contacts, and communications.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 128.170; 128.190

A child who has not been adopted and whose natural parents have had their parental rights terminated or have relinquished their parental rights, or the legal custodian or guardian of such a child, may petition a court for the restoration of the parental rights of the natural parents of the child. The natural parents for whom restoration of parental rights is sought to be restored must consent in writing to the petition.

If a valid petition is filed, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether to restore the parental rights of the natural parent or parents. Before granting a petition for the restoration of parental rights, the court must find that the following apply:

  • If any child who is the subject of the petition is age 14 or older, the child consents to the restoration of parental rights.
  • The natural parents for whom restoration of parental rights is sought have been informed of the legal obligations, rights, and consequences of the restoration of parental rights and the natural parents are willing and able to accept such obligations, rights, and consequences.

If the court finds the necessary facts, the court shall order the restoration of parental rights if the court further finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the following are true:

  • The child is not likely to be adopted.
  • Restoration of parental rights of the natural parent or parents is in the best interests of the child.

If the court restores the parental rights of the natural parents of a child who is younger than age 14, the court shall specify in its order the factual basis for its findings that it is in the best interests of the child to restore the parental rights of the natural parents.