Adoption/TPR

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  • Termination of Parental Rights Statutes

Alabama

Statute: § 26-18-7

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, aggravated circumstances.

Alaska

Statute: § 25.23.180(a), (c); § 47.10.011; § 47.10.080 (c) (3), (o); § 47.10.088 (a) – (h)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, parent without custody unreasonably withholding consent, homicide of other parent, child induced to commit crime.

Exceptions: State may elect not to file petition if: 1) agency documents compelling reason for determining that filing petition would not be in best interests of child, including that child is being cared for by relative; 2) agency has not provided to parent the services that the agency has determined are necessary for safe return of child.

Arizona

Statute: § 8-533; §8-846(B)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to establish paternity, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, parental identity unknown, child returned home and removed again, voluntary relinquishment.

Arkansas

Statute: § 9-27-341(a)-(c)

Standard: Child out of parent’s custody 12 months (Ark. Code Ann.  9-27-341(b)(2)(A), Michie Supp.  1995). [1998]

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, presumptive legal father not the biological father, voluntary relinquishment, aggravated circumstances.

California

Statute: Welf. & Inst. Code §§361; 361.5(b), (h), (i); 366.26(c)(1)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, child suffering from extreme emotional damage, location of parent(s) unknown, voluntary relinquishment, parent has abducted the child, conception result of sexual abuse.

Exceptions:  Exceptions to termination requirement in 366.26 hearings (discretion of court): 1) case plan documents a compelling reason why it is unlikely that the child will be adopted or that one of these conditions exists: child 12 or older objects to TPR; child is in a residential treatment facility, adoption unlikely or undesirable, and continuation of parental rights would not prevent finding a permanent family placement; child is living with a relative or foster parent who is unable or unwilling to adopt because of exceptional circumstances and removal of child would be detrimental to child (does not apply to child living with non-relative and who is either (i) under 6, or (ii) a member of a sibling group where at least one child is under 6 and the siblings are, or should be, permanently placed together); at each and every hearing at which court required to consider reasonable efforts, court determined that reasonable efforts were not made; 2) a hearing for TPR, guardianship or long-term foster care has already been set; 3) court has found that there is substantial probability that child will be returned within time permitted; 4) court has found that reasonable reunification services have not been offered or provided; 5) court has found that at each hearing at which court was required to consider reasonable efforts that reasonable efforts were not made.

Colorado

Statute: §19-3-604

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, identity of parent(s) unknown, history of violent behavior.

Exceptions:  Exceptions to criteria for TPR when child in foster care for 15 of most recent 22 months: 1) child placed with relative; 2) agency has documented that filing TPR is not in child’s best interest; 3) services not provided; 4) length of time in foster care is due to circumstances beyond the control of parent, such as incarceration for reasonable time, court delays.

Connecticut

Statute: §§17a-111a; 17a-111b(a); 17a-112(i)-(k)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, failure to achieve personal rehabilitation, aggravated circumstances, conception result of sexual abuse, voluntary relinquishment.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child in care of relative; 2) compelling reason that filing is not in child’s best interest; 3) parent has not been offered services in permanency plan or services where available.

DC

Statute: §§4-1301.09a(d); 16-2353; 16-2354(b)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, need for continuity and care, quality of relationship, location of parent(s) unknown.

Exceptions:  The District need not file a motion if the Department of Human Services determines and has documented in the case plan that:  1) the child is being cared for by an approved kinship caregiver and adoption is not the child’s permanency plan; 2) a compelling reason for determining that filing such a motion would not be in the best interest of the child; 3) the District has not offered or provided to the family of the child, consistent with the case plan, such services as the District deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the child’s home.

Delaware

Statute: tit. 13 §1103

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, voluntary relinquishment.

Florida

Statute: §29.806

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, egregious conduct, voluntary relinquishment, identity or location of parent(s) unknown.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative who chooses not to adopt; 2) court determines that filing not in best interest of child; 3) state has not provided services deemed necessary for safe return of child.

Georgia

Statute: §15-11-58; §15-11-94

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, failure to comply with child support decree, aggravated circumstances, voluntary relinquishment, egregious conduct.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) case plan documents compelling reason why TPR is not in best interest of child; 3) agency has not provided services agency deems necessary for safe return of child.

Hawaii

Statute: §§571-61; 587-2

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, voluntary relinquishment, aggravated circumstances, presumed father not the natural or adopted father.

Exceptions:  The state has documented a compelling reason why it would not be in the best interest of the child to file a motion, or the state has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the service plan, such services as the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the family home.

Idaho

Statute: §§ 16-2005; 16-1608(e)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, father not the natural parent, murder of child’s parent, conception result of rape, voluntary relinquishment, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  Presumption may be rebutted by a finding of the court that: 1) filing not in best interest of child; 2) reunification services have not been provided; 3) child is placed permanently with relative.

Illinois

Statute: 750 ICS 50/1; 705 ICS 405/1-2; 705 ICS 405/2-13

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, adultery or fornication, depravity, murder of child’s parent, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) case plan documents compelling reason why TPR is not in best interest of child; 3) court has found within the preceding 12 months that the state has failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify the child and family.

Indiana

Statute: §§31-35-2-4.5; 31-35-3-4; 31-35-3-8

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, voluntary relinquishment.

Exceptions:  A party must file motion to dismiss TPR petition, and court shall dismiss petition, if preponderance of evidence establishes: 1) child being cared for by a parent, stepparent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or relative who is child’s guardian; 2) case plan documents compelling reason why TPR is not in best interest of child; 3) early TPR provisions not applicable and a) services not provided and time period for completion of services has not expired, or b) such services not provided and such services are substantial and material.

Iowa

Statute: §§232.111; 232.116

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, voluntary relinquishment, imminent danger to the child, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  County attorney not required to file if: State 1) at option of agency or by order of court, child is being cared for by relative; 2) agency has documented a compelling reason why TPR is not in best interest of child – compelling reasons include, but are not limited to, reasonable likelihood that completion of services will make it possible for child to safely remain home or return home within 6 months; 3) agency has not provided family services it deems necessary for safe return of child, and the limited extension of time necessary to complete services is clearly documented in case permanency plan.  Requires that court orders contain notice of possible TPR; provides that failure of respondents to request needed services will preclude them from raising the issue in a TPR proceeding.

Kansas

Statute: §§13-1563(h); 38-1583; 38-1585

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, murder of child’s other parent, aggravated circumstances, identity and location of parent(s) unknown.

Exceptions:  Court shall consider whether: 1) child in stable placement with relative; 2) services in case plan not made available to parent; 3) compelling reason documented in case plan against adoption or guardianship.

Kentucky

Statute: §§600.020(2); 610.127; 625.090

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, aggravated circumstances.

Louisiana

Statute: Ch. Code ann. Art. 1015

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, murder of child’s other parent, location of parent(s) unknown, felony rape by natural parent results in conception of a child.

Maine

Statute: tit. 22 §§4002; 4055; 4022(1-B); 4041(A-2)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, custody removed from the parent, voluntary relinquishment, aggravated circumstances, heinous or abhorrent behavior.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) state has not provided services that state determines are necessary for safe return of child; 2) child being cared for by relative; 3) state has documented to court a compelling reason why TPR is not in child’s best interest.

Maryland

Statute: §§5-313; 5-525.1(b)(1)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, child continuously out of parental custody, identity of parent(s) unknown, convicted of crime of violence against other parent.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) agency has documented compelling reason why TPR is not in best interest of child; 3) agency has not provided services consistent with time period in case plan that agency deems necessary for safe return of child.

Massachusetts

Statute: Ch. 119, §26(4); Ch. 210, §3(c)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, child has formed strong, positive bond with substitute caretaker.

Exceptions:  The department need not file such a motion or petition if: 1) the child is being cared for by relative; 2) The department has documented in the case plan a compelling reason for determining that such a petition would not be in the best interests of the child; or 3) the family of the child has not been provided consistent services with the time period in the case plan, such services as the department deems necessary for safe return of the child to the child’s home if reasonable efforts are required to be made.

Michigan

Statute: §712A.19b(1), (3), (6)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, failure to comply with guardianship plan or court-ordered plan, risk of harm if returned home, voluntary relinquishment, identity of parent(s) unknown.

Minnesota

Statute: §§260.012; 260C.301

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, egregious harm, voluntary relinquishment.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative is in best interest of child; 2) local social service agency documents a compelling reason why TPR is not in best interest of child.

Mississippi

Statute: §§43-21-603(c); 93-15-103

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, deep-seated antipathy by child, voluntary relinquishment, aggravated circumstances.

Missouri

Statute: §§211.183(6)-(7); 211.447(2)-(7)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, substantial risk of harm to the child, conception result of rape.

Exceptions:  Agency or juvenile officer may, but are not required to, file a petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) there exists a compelling reason why TPR is not in best interest of child, as documented in permanency plan; 3) family has not been provided services.

Montana

Statute: §§41-3-609; 41-3-423(2)-(3)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, voluntary relinquishment, conception result of rape, aggravated circumstances, a history of violent behavior by the parent.

Exceptions:  Exceptions are as follows: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) the department has not provided the services considered necessary for the safe return of the child to the child’s home, or 3) the department has documented a compelling reason, available for court review, for determining that filing a petition to TPR would not be in the best interests of the child.  Compelling reasons for not filing include but are not limited to: a) there are insufficient grounds for filing a petition; b) there is adequate documentation that TPR is not the appropriate plan and not in the best interests of the child.

Nebraska

Statute: §§43-283.01(4); 43-292; 43-292.02

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, aggravated circumstances, lewd and lascivious behavior.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) agency has documented in case plan a compelling reason against TPR; 3) family has not had a reasonable opportunity to avail themselves of services deemed necessary; 4) state shall not file a petition solely on grounds of: a) financial inability to provide health care for child, or b) parent is incarcerated.  Court to hold hearing within 30 days after end of 15-month foster care period to determine whether any exceptions to TPR filing requirement apply.  Agency must submit to court and county attorney names of children in foster care for 15 of most recent 22 months.  Adopts ASFA definition of when child enters foster care.

Nevada

Statute: §§128.105; 128.106; 128.107; 128.109; 432B.393(3)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, token efforts by parent(s), failure of parental adjustment, risk of harm if returned home.

New Hampshire

Statute: §§170-C:5; 169-C:24-a

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, risk of harm if returned home.

New Jersey

Statute: §§30:4C-15; 30:4C-15.1(a),(b); 9:2-19; 30:4C-11.2

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, identity or location of parents unknown, aggravated circumstances, parent dead, failure to discharge responsibilities.

Exceptions:  The Division of Youth ad Family Services shall not be required to file a petition seeking TPR if: 1) the child is being cared for by a relative and a permanent plan for the child can be achieved without TPR; 2) the division has documented in the case plan, which shall be available for court review, a compelling reason for determining that filing the petition would not be in the best interest of child; or 3) the division is required to provide reasonable efforts to reunify the family but the division has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with time period in case plan, such services as the division deems necessary for the safe return of the child to his home.

New Mexico

Statute: §§32A-4-28(B)-(E); 32A-4-2(C), (D); 32A-4-29(K)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, child in placement for extended period, aggravated circumstances, child has developed relationship with substitute family, parent has caused death or injury to child’s other parent, preference of child.

New York

Statute: Soc. Serv. Law §§384-b; 358-a(3)(b)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, both parents dead and guardian not appointed, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) agency has documented in the most recent case plan, a copy of which has been made available to the court, a compelling reason for determining that the filing of a petition would not be in the best interest of the child – such compelling reasons include, but are not limited to: a) the child was placed into foster care pursuant to Article Three (Juvenile Delinquency) or Article Seven (Persons in Need of Supervision) of the Family Court Act and a review of the specific facts and circumstances of the child’s placement demonstrate that the appropriate permanency goal for the child is either (1) return to his or her parent or guardian or (2) discharge to independent living; b) the child has a permanency goal other than adoption; c) the child is fourteen years of age or older an will not consent to is or her adoption; d) there are insufficient grounds for filing a petition to TPR, and e) the child is the subject of a pending disposition under Article 10 (Child Protective Proceedings) of the Family Court Act, except where such child is already in custody of the commissioner of social services as a result of a proceeding other than the pending Article 10 proceeding, and a review of the specific facts and circumstances of the child’s placement demonstrate that the appropriate permanency goal for the child is discharge to his or her parent or guardian; 3) agency has not provided to the parent services as it deems necessary for safe return of child to the parents, unless such services are not legally required.

North Carolina

Statute: §§7B-101(2); 7B-1111

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, failure of reasonable efforts, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, child willfully left in foster care, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) the permanent plan for the juvenile is guardianship or custody with a relative or some other suitable person; 2) court makes specific findings why TPR not in best interests of child; 3) the department has not provided services deemed necessary for the safe return of the child.

North Dakota

Statute: §§27-20-02(3); 27-20-20.1(2)-(4); 27-20-44(1)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, aggravated circumstances, voluntary relinquishment.

Exceptions:  A petition for TPR need not be filed if: 1) the child is being cared for by a relative approved by the department; 2) the department has documented in the case plan a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the child’s best interests and has notified the court that the documentation is available for review. (compelling reason means a recorded statement that reflects consideration of a) the child’s age; b) the portion of the child’s life spent living in the house hold of a parent of the child; c) the availability of an adoptive home suitable to the child’s needs; d) whither the child has special needs; and e) the expressed withes of a child age ten or older); 3) the department has determined: a) reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family are required; b) the case plan provides such services are necessary for the safe return of the child; c) such services have not been provided consistent with the time periods described in the case plan.

Ohio

Statute: §§2151.414

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, any other factor the court considers relevant.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) agency documents in case plan or permanency plan a compelling reason that permanent custody is not in the best interest of the child; 2) agency has not provided the services required by the case plan to the parents of child or the child to ensure the safe return of the child to the child’s home (if services required); 3) agency has been granted permanent custody of the child; 4) child has been returned home pursuant to court order.

Oklahoma

Statute: tit. 10 §7006-1.1

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, voluntary relinquishment, location of parent(s) unknown, conception result of rape.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) at option of agency or by order of court, child is properly cared for by relative; 2) agency has documented in case plan a compelling reason why TPR is not in child’s best interest; 3) agency has not provided services necessary for safe return of child.

Oregon

Statute: §§419B.500; 419B.502; 419B.504; 419B.506; 419B.508

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, single or recurrent incident of extreme conduct toward the child, criminal conduct of parent, identity or location of parent(s) unknown, exposure to methamphetamines.

Pennsylvania

Statute: 25 Pa. §§2501(a); 2511(a), (b); 42 Pa. §6302

Grounds:  Abuse/neglect, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, conception result of rape, voluntary relinquishment, identity or location of parent unknown, presumptive father not the natural father, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by a relative; 2) county agency has documented a compelling reason for determining that TPR would not serve the needs of the child; 3) the child’s family has not been provided with necessary services to return home.

Rhode Island

Statute: §§15-7-7(a)-(c); 40-11-12.2(e)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to provide support, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: (determined by court) 1) there is substantial probability that child shall be returned to the parent within next 3 months; 2) parent has maintained regular visitation and contact, there is a relationship beneficial to child and there is substantial probability that the child shall be returned within 3 months; 3) child is in care of a relative and relative is not willing to adopt child but is willing and capable of providing child with permanent environment; 4) state has documented in the case plan, which shall be presented to the court, a compelling reason for determining that TPR and adoption are not in child’s best interest; 5) state has not provided to family the services deemed necessary for the safe return of child; (determined by agency) 1) child being cared for by a relative; 2) state has documented in case plan  a compelling reason for determining that TPR would not serve the needs of the child; 3) the child’s family has not been provided with necessary services for safe return of child.

South Carolina

Statute: §§20-7-1572; 20-7-763(c)(F)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, presumptive father not the biological father, aggravated circumstances, conviction for domestic violence.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) when court finds that initiation of TPR is not in best interest of child after applying statutory criteria for selection of a permanent plan for child and that this finding and the permanent plan constitute a compelling reason for not filing for TPR; 2) when court finds that agency has not afforded services to parents required by the service plan or that court hearings have been delayed so as to interfere with services, but only if: a) parent did not delay hearings without cause or delay or refuse services; b) successful completion of services may allow child to return home within the extension period, and c) court has not made a “no reasonable efforts” determination.

South Dakota

Statute: §§26-8A-21.1; 26-8A-26; 26-8A-26.1; 26-8A-27

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, inability to protect the child from harm or substantial risk of harm.

Tennessee

Statute: §§36-1-113(g)-(h); 37-1-166(g)(4)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, risk of substantial harm, aggravated circumstances.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child is being cared for by relative; 2) agency has documented compelling reason that filing would not be in best interests of child; 3) agency has not made reasonable efforts to provide family services deemed necessary for safe return of child.

Texas

Statute: §§161.001; 161.003(a)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, refusal to submit to court order, failure to provide education, voluntary relinquishment, drug or alcohol addicted newborn.

Utah

Statute: §§78-3a-311(2)-(4); 78-3a-402(2); 78-3a-403(2); 78-3a-407; 78-3a-408

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, voluntary relinquishment, a history of violent behavior, location of parent(s) unknown.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child is being cared for by a relative; 2) agency has: a) documented in the child’s treatment plan a compelling reason for determining that filing a petition for TPR is not in the child’s best interest, and b) made that treatment plan available to the court for its review; 3) agency has not provided, within the time period specified in the treatment plan, services that had been determined to be necessary for the safe return of the child.

Vermont

Statute: tit. 15A §3-504(a), (b), (d)

Grounds:  Felony conviction/incarceration, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, failure to establish paternity, child’s best interest, relationship with another that affects the parent-child relationship, risk of substantial harm, identity or location of parent unknown, failure to assume parental responsibilities.

Virginia

Statute: §16.2-283(A), (B)-(E), (G)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, voluntary relinquishment, identity or location of parent unknown, aggravated circumstances.

Washington

Statute: §§13.34.180; 13.34.190; 13.34.132

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, identity or location of parent unknown, parent is a sexually violent predator, aggravated circumstances.

West Virginia

Statute: §§49-6-5(a)(1), (b)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, refusal to cooperate in a reasonable family case plan.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being placed with relative; 2) state has documented in case plan a compelling reason, including child’s age and preference regarding TPR or the child’s placement based on juvenile proceedings, that filing would not be in child’s best interest; 3) state has not provided services to family that state deems necessary for safe return of child.

Wisconsin

Statute: §§48.415; 48.355(2d)

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child judged in need of services/dependent, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, homicide of child’s other parent, aggravated circumstances, denials of physical placement, failure to assume parental responsibility, incestuous parenthood, conception result of sexual assault.

Exceptions:  State may elect not to file petition if: 1) child being cared for by relative; 2) permanency plan indicated that TPR not in best interest of child; 3) agency has not provided services necessary for return of child.

Wyoming

Statute: §§14-2-309

Grounds:  Abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, felony conviction/incarceration, failure of reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, child’s best interest, child in care 15 of 22 months (or less), felony assault of child or sibling, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, identity or location of parent unknown, aggravated circumstances.