Termination of Parental Rights Case: Act Promptly, Pursue Your Rights, or Lose!

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals released a case addressing the intervention of a party in this case Grandparents (both “as of right” and “permissive”) in a Termination of Parental Rights case and provided an excellent example of how appellate courts review “best interests” of the child when considering whether to terminate parental rights.

Ultimately though, the opinion addresses the real issue: “[The] Father takes issue with DCS’s failure to place the Children with Grandparents. We do not wish to discount Father’s love for the Children or his understandable desire to place them with relatives. However, the Children have languished in custody for far too long while Grandparents failed to address the concerns that hindered their efforts to gain custody.”

A relative simply filing a Petition to Intervene and waiting to see what is going to happen will not suffice and (in most cases) the Court is going to look to getting the child(ren) in a permanent, stable, wholesome home.

The most important lesson from this case is that if a relative wishes to intervene in a case where a child or children have been removed, they need to immediately obtain an attorney who is going to relentlessly pursue this goal AND take any action(s) necessary to be able to provide for the child(ren).