Can you get terminated parental rights back?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by upallnight, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I have posted before about my difficult child and his girlfriend and their baby. It is not difficult child's bio child although he has been there since the beginning. The baby was born in October and they've been together since he was 2 weeks old. They live together, both have great jobs and both work hard. (Wow, did I just say that about my difficult child?) He takes care of the baby at night when she's at work and she has him during the day. I watch him a lot as well.

    The tricky situation is the bio father. He had another girlfriend while Z (Let's call her Z) was pregnant. The other "preferred" girlfriend was pregnant as well, the same time. (Can we say all these people are difficult child's) So the bio dad wants nothing to do with Z or the baby (our little guy). He doesn't want to see him on the weekends or anything. It's sad, really. Also, he has never paid child support, but she only went to court a few months ago. The bio dad's parents kept calling Z and telling her that their son should not have to pay for "HER" baby. (Can you imagine the nerve?) (Plus this little baby is a doll!) They would yell and say their son doesn't have a job and then they will be stuck paying for "her baby". She gave it right back to them saying that it's not her problem.

    Also she demanded that bio dad take the child on the weekends sometimes and she would drive him an hour away and leave him there. I don't know why she did this, I think it's because she wanted to go out on the weekends with difficult child. Twice she had to go to the ER the day she picked him back up, that's another story. Plus she does want that baby to actually know his dad. She is a wonderful, wonderful girl, I love her.

    Sorry for how long this is getting. So they went to court to establish child support and the bio dad said "Terminate my parental rights.", over and over to the judge. The judge said no at first, but after finding out that bio dad was not at the hospital when the baby had an operation, (hernia and circumcision at 5 months), nor did he even call (!) the judge terminated his rights. The guy didn't want to pay support. BUT.....surprise, the judge said the rights are terminated but the man still has to pay $100 a week. AND him and Z had to meet at the rest stop 30 minutes each in the middle to give each other the baby, he still had to see him every other week. But the guy never has shown up! So, Z DROVE that baby to bio dads house 3 times so far. (my opinion goes here)

    So, a week or 2 ago a paternity test is done, or the results came in, on the "preferred baby"( not ours). HE IS NOT THE FATHER OF THAT OTHER BABY. He broke up with the girl and has to now move into a flop house drug den because he has no car or job. He told Z he wants to be in our baby's life after all. She doesn't want the baby in a drug house and she went to court on Friday to fill out paperwork because he never paid and never met her a half hour away.

    What are the chances of the judge reinstating his rights, anyone know? I told difficult child and Z I would take the baby if he doesn't show up. I watch him often, Friday when she went to the courthouse and any time they go out, or their schedules correspond. His family lives in FL. we're in NJ.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I'm not sure if the judge really "terminated his parental rights" in the first place!

    To have one's parental rights terminated means that they legally have absolutely nothing to do with the child. No support. No visits. No nothing.

    So the two orders "Terminate rights" and "Child support plus visitation" are in direct conflict with one another.

    Is there any way you can double-check the exact wording on the order?
  3. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Wow! No good info to offer, I've never heard of someone getting terminated rights back but I've never known anyone who actually got their rights terminated. Since he is supposed to see the baby anyway and pay child support what difference it makes other than he legally can not decide anything for the child and she will never go through a custody battle with him? It seems like she's doing all the work here anyway. I certainly understand why she wants the baby to know it's father and more then understand why she needs his support, but end of the day the fact that someone terminated his rights once before and assumably she has paperwork stating that should effectively dissuade anyone from taking this guy seriously.

    And I know you said this was a whole different story but if he has hurt or neglected the baby to the point the baby had to go to the er this obviously can be used against him as well as well as the fact that he ignored the judges instructions previously about what he is supposed to pay and do.

    Sounds like you are enjoying having this adopted grand baby and he's lucky to have you.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Sounds to me like his rights were NOT terminated, but she has full legal custody. If his rights were terminated there would be NO visitation. Not sure about support, but with his parents harassing her - ugh. difficult children all the way round.

    If she goes to court and asks for supervised visits based on interest, lifestyle, and ER visits (!!!!!!), then the court-ordered supervision will note his lack of parenting and eventually she will be able to get a TPO and he will not be in the kid's life.

    If he doesn't show, she shouldn't be taking lil guy all the way there...
  5. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I know she said that he has no say in anything anymore, nothing about dr.'s, school, or his name. She said that the judge was reluctant to terminate. It seemed like he thought this would absolve him of responsibility. But it didn't. She went on Friday to complain about child support, etc....and to have the baby's last name changed to hers, but she had to pay $200. She doesn't know this but difficult child just bought her a ring and is asking her to marry him on Saturday. Since she can change the name, why not change it to ours?
    They went to the ER because they gave the baby something to eat that caused him to poop blood. This happened to one of my kids who couldn't digest the formula. I know it was just that reason, but they took him to the ER. Hold on.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If his rights had actually been terminated then he would no longer have any legal rights or responsibilities to the child so the judge either said something unclear or his words were misunderstood. You don't pay child support when a child is no longer yours legally and you NEVER see the child. And terminated is forever.

    Apparently, this man does have his parental rights. I'm not sure what the judge will do about the baby. My son is going through a custody battle right now and I'm always amazed when I hear that a man who used drugs or was abusive or a woman who left her children and disappeared with a new squeeze still gets parenting time. You may have a custody battle on your hands and it's not cheap.

    I wish you luck. It's been pure hello for my son and his father, who is funding him, is $50K poorer so far.
  7. peg2

    peg2 Member

    I work in this field here in NJ. His rights could not have been terminated because one would not pay support or have visits. Here in NJ there is a trial before rights are terminated, it is a process. And once your rights are terminated you are no longer that childs parent; it can not be undone. Have him see a lawyer, go through legal aide and see what can be done.
    Good luck
  8. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    It sounds like maybe bio dad lost joint custody and mom got sole custody. That would explain the fact he still had to pay child support and was granted visitation. For the baby's sake, I hope all this is settled quickly. Are you able to go to the hearings so that somebody actually knows what is happening? I would think you could also go to the courthouse and get copies of the judges orders to fully understand what has transpired. And to answer your question, no, you cannot get terminated parental rights back. It's final.
  9. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I hope this gets resolved quickly and in the best way for the baby. Congrats in advance on your difficult child's pending engagement as well.

    Things are different here in Canada, and even still, I haven't heard many cases of true "termination". easy child's father is probably the closest I've seen to a termination. Our court order since last Sept. orders him to pay support plus half extraordinary expenses. Visitation is only if/when easy child requests it, which he didn't want. He pouted because he couldn't convince her to tell a children's lawyer representing her in his custody motion that she wanted to relocate with him and his wife. So he wanted all contact severed. The judge ordered it at only easy child's request, which I was more than fine with. Sole custody remained with me, as its been since he and I split when she was a baby.Our order is returnable to court for the purposes of child support only. In other words, if he doesn't pay or isn't paying the right amount, I am allowed to return to the judge for a adjustment and enforcement. The court however will never again hear a custody nor a visitation argument. So basically, his rights were terminated but he must support his child.
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I guess his rights were not terminated. That's what they told me though. They used those words and said they can now change the baby's last name. I am all for him being a dad to his baby but not if the baby is not cared for properly. Neither of them are wealthy, bio dad doesn't have a job. Z has a lawyer who is a friend of the family and doesn't charge her.
    My only concern was for the safety of the baby, and nobody wants to leave a baby in a flop house. That's the thing that bothers me. Hopefully, she won't have to wait a long time to go tell this to the judge, she just filed paperwork the other day about child support.

    To my fb friends, I hope to have pictures of the engagement. difficult child has a something planned with his photographer friend.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I do not believe that you can get truly "terminated" parental rights back. They are only terminated when there is no hope that there will ever be a relationship, and it happens rarely as a measure to all parents who are not co-parenting in the same home with a child. Usually a non-custodial parent will have some sort of rights, visitation, some decision making, etc. Termination puts an end to that, and so far as I know there is nothing that can be done to change that. Perhaps a drastic change in that parent's circumstances for the better coupled with the death of the other parent and all of their family.

    Think of it as a closed adoption. Your child might find out who you are, but you will never legally be their mother again.
  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    After parental rights are terminated, the terminated parent would basically have to legally adopt the child in order to be the parent again.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That would be the simpler way to say it! ;)
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't think you can go back and forth on termination of rights, but MUCH of this depends on where you live and the judge you have to cope with. The rules and terminology vary widely from state to state and even judge to judge. Much of it seems very subjective an part of that is how well your lawyer plays with others.

    It seems inconceivable that anyone would allow a child to be taken to a flop house/drug den, but it may happen. It might be wise to try to get some photos of the place, esp if you can get inside and see drug paraphernalia etc... If you are in doubt about how well he cares for the child, YOU or another party should complain to social services as often as possible. Info should NOT be what the mom says about the dad, but what is seen by the person reporting. or what the 'dad' says he is doing with the child. complaints that are not from the other parent are weighed much heavier because the other parent is seen as too biased against the unfit parent.

    Above ALL, document document document EVERYTHING. Include dates, times people there (full names if possible) and what happened. NO bad words about the other parent (like "ahole didn't show up again:") because those are considered inappropriate and possibly alienating the child from one parent. But with solid documentation of events you can show he is not interested/fit/whatever and that can help in a case like this.

    I hope your difficult child is able and willing to follow through on the lifetime commitment to the child no matter what happens to his relationship wtih the mom. No matter what happens between the adults, having a father who moves out and doesn't take part in the child's life is devastating in the long run to the child, regardless of who's dna he has.