New Orleans Termination of Parental Rights Lawyer | Orleans Parish Parental Rights Attorney

Although the decision is never easy, sometimes the State of Louisiana will terminate a parent's rights over a child if it is in the child's best interests. Termination of parental rights can be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary termination of parental rights happens in adoption, whereas involuntary termination of parental rights might result from a parent being declared unfit.

If you find yourself in a situation involving either category, you should contact a New Orleans divorce lawyer or New Orleans family lawyer who has experience working with cases involving a termination of parental rights.  A New Orleans parental rights lawyer will be able to help you explore and understand your options, which is essential to achieving positive results.

What Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights?

The Louisiana Children’s Code sets out many grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights:

(1) Conviction of murder of the child's other parent;

(2) Unjustified intentional killing of the child's other parent;

(3) Misconduct of the parent toward this child or any other child of the parent or any other child in his household which constitutes extreme abuse, cruel and inhuman treatment, or grossly negligent behavior below a reasonable standard of human decency, including but not limited to the conviction, commission, aiding or abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit any of the following:

(a) Murder;

(b) Unjustified intentional killing;

(c) Aggravated incest;

(d) Rape;

(e) Sodomy;

(f) Torture;

(g) Starvation;

(h) A felony that has resulted in serious bodily injury;

(i) Abuse or neglect which is chronic, life threatening, or results in gravely disabling physical or psychological injury or disfigurement;

(j) Abuse or neglect after the child is returned to the parent's care and custody while under department supervision, when the child had previously been removed for his safety from the parent pursuant to a disposition judgment in a child in need of care proceeding;

(k) The parent's parental rights to one or more of the child's siblings have been terminated due to neglect or abuse and prior attempts to rehabilitate the parent have been unsuccessful;

(l) Sexual abuse, which shall include, but is not limited to acts which are prohibited by R.S. 14: 43.1, 43.2, 80,81, 81.1, 81.2, 89 and 89.1;

(4) Abandonment of the child by placing him in the physical custody of a nonparent, or the department, or by otherwise leaving him under circumstances demonstrating an intention to permanently avoid parental responsibility by any of the following:

(a) For a period of at least four months as of the time of the hearing, despite a diligent search, the whereabouts of the child's parent continue to be unknown;

(b) As of the time the petition is filed, the parent has failed to provide significant contributions to the child's care and support for any period of six consecutive months;

(c) As of the time the petition is filed, the parent has failed to maintain significant contact with the child by visiting him or communicating with him for any period of six consecutive months;

(5) Unless sooner permitted by the court, at least one year has elapsed since a child was removed from the parent's custody pursuant to a court order; there has been no substantial parental compliance with a case plan for services which has been previously filed by the department and approved by the court as necessary for the safe return of the child; and despite earlier intervention, there is no reasonable expectation of significant improvement in the parent's condition or conduct in the near future, considering the child's age and his need for a safe, stable, and permanent home;

(6) The child is in the custody of the department pursuant to a court order or placement by the parent; the parent has been convicted and sentenced to a period of incarceration of such duration that the parent will not be able to care for the child for an extended period of time, considering the child's age and his need for a safe, stable, and permanent home; and despite notice by the department, the parent has refused or failed to provide a reasonable plan for the appropriate care of the child other than foster care;

(7) The relinquishment of an infant pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title XI of this Code;

(8) The commission of a felony rape by the natural parent which resulted in the conception of the child.

It is also possible for a termination of parental rights to be voluntary.  Click on Intent to Surrender to see the legal requirements for a parent to voluntarily give up parental rights. In a voluntary termination, a parent must prepare a medical history report that covers the parent's medical history and the medical history of the parent's ancestors.

Regardless of which type of termination of parental rights you are facing, you should contact an Orleans Parish parental rights attorney to help you fully understand your options and requirements.  Working with a New Orleans parental rights lawyer will help make your experience much smoother, and help you avoid any potential pitfalls. 

Often parents lose their parental rights because of struggles with controlled substances.  If you have recently lost your rights to your child and need help with substance abuse, contact one of these centers.

The Counsel on Alcohol & Drug Abuse
3520 General DeGaulle Drive
Suite 5010
New Orleans, LA 70114
Creative Solutions Blue Book Study
Mojo Coffee House
1500 Magazine Street -Upstairs
Meets: Mondays @ Noon

High Noon
Poydras Center Building
650 Poydras Street
Suite 2519
Meets: Tuesdays @ Noon

Jackson Avenue AFG
Trinity Episcopal Church
1329 Jackson Avenue
Meets: Mondays @ 6:30pm
Calm in the Storm
Grace Episcopal Church
3700 Canal Street
Meets: Wednesdays @ 5:30pm
Live and Let Live
St. Charles Avenue Chrisitian Church
6200 St. Charles Avenue
Meets: Wednesdays @ 7:15pm
Rayne Memorial Church
3900 St. Charles Street
Meets: Thursdays @ 7:00pm

The Lambda Center
Between St. Claude & North Rampart
1024 Elysian Fields
Meets: Fridays @ 6:30pm


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