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5 Reasons Why Parental Rights May Be Terminated

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Parental rights typically rest with the parents or guardians of a child. However, in some cases, the government may take action to terminate a person's parental rights. Here are five reasons why a court may terminate parental rights. Read on to find out more!

1. Physical or Sexual Abuse 

One of the most common reasons why parental rights are terminated is due to physical or sexual abuse. Unfortunately, this is often a difficult situation to prove as it typically happens behind closed doors with no witnesses. However, if there is enough evidence to show that the child is indeed being abused, then the courts will most likely err on the side of caution and terminate the parent's rights. 

2. Neglect 

Another common reason for the termination of parental rights is neglect. This can refer to things like failing to provide the child with food, shelter, or clothing, not sending them to school, or not getting them proper medical care when needed. 

3. Mental Illness 

In some cases, a court may terminate a parent's rights because they have an acute mental illness that means they are unable to take care of their child properly. For example, this could be something like severe depression or schizophrenia that prevents the parent from adequately caring for their child both physically and emotionally.

4. Drug Use

Another reason why a court may terminate parental rights is drug use. This is particularly true if the parent is using illegal drugs since it puts the child at risk both physically and emotionally. In addition, drug use often leads to neglect as well since the parent may be too focused on feeding their addiction to take care of their child's basic needs.

5. Criminal History 

Finally, a judge may also terminate parental rights if the parent has a criminal history that makes them unfit to care for a minor. This could include things like robbery, assault, murder, etc. A criminal history can also make it difficult for a parent to find and keep employment, which would then impact their financial ability to provide for their child.


While no one wants to think about their parental rights being terminated, it is important to know that it is a possibility if specific circumstances arise. If you face any abuse or neglect allegations, speak with a family lawer. They can help you to navigate the situation and protect your rights as a parent.