Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights - South Dakota

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Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 26-8A-26; 26-8A-26.1; 26-8A-27

If it appears at a review hearing that all reasonable efforts have been made to rehabilitate the family, that the conditions that led to the removal of the child still exist, and that there is little likelihood that those conditions will be remedied so the child can be returned to the custody of the child's parents, the court shall affirmatively find that good cause exists for termination of the parental rights of the child's parents, and the court shall enter an order terminating parental rights.

In addition, the court may find that good cause exists for termination of parental rights of a parent who has done any of the following:

  • Committed murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated incest, criminal abuse of a minor, or kidnapping a child under age 14 with intent to conceal the child
  • Aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit a crime listed above
  • Committed aggravated assault against the child or another child of such parent
  • Has been determined by a court by clear and convincing evidence to have subjected the child or another child to torture; sexual abuse; abandonment for at least 6 months; chronic physical, mental, or emotional injury; or chronic neglect, if the neglect was a serious threat to the safety of the child or another child
  • Is incarcerated and is unavailable to care for the child during a significant period of the child's minority, considering the child's age and the child's need for care by an adult
  • Has had his or her parental rights to another child involuntarily terminated by a prior legal proceeding
  • Has a documented history of abuse and neglect associated with chronic alcohol or drug abuse
  • Has exposed the child to or demonstrated an inability to protect the child from substantial harm or the risk of substantial harm, and the child or another child has been removed from the parent's custody because the removed child was adjudicated abused and neglected by a court on at least one previous occasion
  • Has exposed the child to or demonstrated an inability to protect the child from substantial harm or the risk of substantial harm, the child has been removed from the parent's custody on two separate occasions, and the Department of Social Services offered or provided family services on each of the two separate occasions the child was removed
  • Has exposed the child to or demonstrated an inability to protect the child from substantial harm or risk of harm resulting from a crime, act, or omission as specified above
  • Is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to chapter 22-24B
  • Has abandoned the child for at least 6 months and during this period the parent has not manifested to the child or to the physical custodian or caregiver of the child a firm intention to resume physical custody of the child and to make suitable arrangements for the care of the child

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.