Termination of parental rights is the legal process where the court ends the parent-child relationship between a child and one or both of the child’s parents. This means that the parent whose rights are terminated will have zero legal rights to the child.
Note: Parental rights can only be terminated by court order.
- A parent can sign an “affidavit of voluntary relinquishment” of parental rights if the parent agrees that a court should terminate his or her parental rights to a child.
- A parent can also sign an “affidavit of waiver of interest” in the child if the parent agrees to give up any interest he has in the child (or unborn child).
However, even with a signed voluntary relinquishment or waiver of interest, parental rights are not terminated until a judge signs a court order terminating those rights. A voluntary relinquishment or waiver of interest is not enough to terminate parental rights.