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Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Arizona

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Statute: §§ 8-846(B); 8-533

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination
Abandonment or Extreme Parental Disinterest


Abuse/Neglect

Mental Illness or Deficiency

Alcohol or Drug Induced Incapacity

Felony Conviction/Incarceration

Failure of Reasonable Efforts

Abuse/Neglect or Loss of Rights of Another Child

Sexual Abuse

Failure to Establish Paternity

Child Judged in Need of Services/Dependent

Child's Best Interest

Child in care 15 of 22 months (or less)

Felony assault of child or sibling

Murder/Manslaughter of sibling child

Circumstances That Are Not Grounds for Termination

Failure to Maintain Contact

Failure to Provide Support

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-533 (West, WESTLAW through 6-11-03)

Any person or agency that has a legitimate interest in the welfare of a child, including, but not limited to, a relative, a foster parent, a physician, the Department of Economic Security or a private licensed child welfare agency, may file a petition for the termination of the parent-child relationship alleging grounds contained below.

Evidence sufficient to justify the termination of the parent-child relationship shall include any one of the following, and in considering any of the following grounds, the court shall also consider the best interests of the child:

That the parent has abandoned the child;

That the parent has neglected or willfully abused a child. This abuse includes serious physical or emotional injury or situations in which the parent knew or reasonably should have known that a person was abusing or neglecting a child;

That the parent is unable to discharge the parental responsibilities because of mental illness, mental deficiency, or a history of chronic abuse of dangerous drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol, and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the condition will continue for a prolonged indeterminate period;

That the parent is deprived of civil liberties due to the conviction of a felony if the felony is of such nature as to prove the unfitness of the parent to have future custody and control of the child. This includes murder of another child of the parent, manslaughter of another child of the parent, or aiding or abetting or attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit murder or manslaughter of another child of the parent, or if the sentence of such parent is of such length that the child will be deprived of a normal home for a period of years;

That the potential father failed to file a paternity action within 30 days of completion of service of notice;

That the putative father failed to file a notice of claim to paternity;

That the parents have relinquished their rights to a child to an agency or have consented to the adoption;

That the child is being cared for in an out-of-home placement under the supervision of the juvenile court, the division, or a licensed child welfare agency; that the agency responsible for the care of the child has made a diligent effort to provide appropriate reunification services; and that either of the following circumstances exists: the child has been in an out-of-home placement for a cumulative total period of 9 months or longer pursuant to court order or voluntary placement pursuant to § 8-806 and the parent has substantially neglected or willfully refused to remedy the circumstances which cause the child to be in an out-of-home placement; the child has been in an out-of-home placement for a cumulative total period of 15 months or longer pursuant to court order or voluntary placement pursuant to § 8-806, the parent has been unable to remedy the circumstances which cause the child to be in an out-of-home placement and there is a substantial likelihood that the parent will not be capable of exercising proper and effective parental care and control in the near future;

That the identity of the parent is unknown and continues to be unknown following 3 months of diligent efforts to identify and locate the parent;

That the parent has had parental rights to another child terminated within the preceding 2 years for the same cause and is currently unable to discharge parental responsibilities due to the same cause;

That all of the following are true: the child was cared for in an out-of-home placement pursuant to court order; the agency responsible for the care of the child made diligent efforts to provide appropriate reunification services; the child, pursuant to court order, was returned to the legal custody of the parent from whom the child had been removed; and within 18 months after the child was returned, the child was removed from that parent's legal custody, is being cared for in an out-of-home placement under the supervision of the juvenile court, the division, or a licensed child welfare agency, and the parent is currently unable to discharge parental responsibilities.

In considering the grounds for termination prescribed above, the court shall consider the availability of reunification services to the parent and the participation of the parent in these services.

In considering the grounds for termination prescribed above, the court shall not consider the first 60 days of the initial out-of-home placement in the cumulative total period.
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