Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights - Rhode Island

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Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-7

The court shall terminate all legal rights of the parent to the child if it finds as a fact by clear and convincing evidence of the following:

  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • The parent is unable to discharge his or her parental duties due to any of the following:
    • Institutionalization, including imprisonment, of such duration that the parent cannot care for the child for an extended period of time
    • A chronic substance abuse problem
  • The parent has subjected the child to conduct of a cruel or abusive nature.
  • The parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances, including, but not limited to, abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse.
  • The child has been in the custody of the department for at least 12 months, and reasonable efforts to rehabilitate the parent have failed.
  • The parent has been convicted of any of the following:
    • Murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent
    • Aiding, abetting, attempting, or soliciting to commit murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent
    • A felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent
  • The parent has willfully neglected to provide proper care and maintenance for the child when financially able to do so.
  • The parent has failed to communicate with the child.
  • Parental rights to another child of the parent have been involuntarily terminated, and the parent continues to lack the ability to respond to services.

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.