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Relinquishment of parental rights refers to the legal surrender or giving up of parental rights to a biological child. This is a procedure that is usually undertaken during a typical adoption or a step-parent adoption.

Relinquishment of parental rights can be done either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights

In a voluntary relinquishment, the biological parent of the child will surrender his or her rights to the child. This is typically done in cases of adoption, when a biological parent will give up his or her rights to the child to the new legal adoptive parent. In such cases, the biological parent has surrendered his or her rights to the child, and no longer has any rights or obligations towards a child. He or she is no longer required to provide child support or meet any of the expenses of the child.

In the case of a birth mother who is giving up her child for adoption, the mother must first agree to the relinquishment of her rights, before any adoption can proceed. The right must be surrendered to a licensed adoption agency, or directly to the new adoptive parents.

Involuntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights

In an involuntary surrender of parental rights, one biological parent of the child, can petition for relinquishment, even when the other parent objects to such an action. These are extraordinary cases, and the courts are not likely to willingly agree to any such involuntary relinquishment. However, in those cases, where the biological parent has not paid child support for quite some time, or has shown other forms of negligence for the child, the court may consider relinquishment. For instance, in a case where the parent has not made child support payments for more than a year, or has not had any contact with the child for more than a year, the other parent can file a petition for the relinquishment of the negligent parents’ rights. In most cases, the courts do not consider involuntary relinquishment of parental rights, unless the adoptive couple has been married for at least a year.

If you have questions about relinquishment of parental rights, contact us to speak with a Colorado family lawyer.