Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Indiana

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Statute: 31-35-2-4.5; 31-35-3-4; 31-35-3-8

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination


Abandonment or Extreme Parental Disinterest

Abuse/Neglect

Felony Conviction/Incarceration

Failure of Reasonable Efforts

Abuse/Neglect or Loss of Rights of Another Child

Sexual Abuse

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

Mental Illness or Deficiency

Alcohol or Drug Induced Incapacity

Failure to Maintain Contact

Failure to Provide Support

Failure to Establish Paternity

Ind. Code Ann. 31-35-2-4.5 (West, WESTLAW through 2000 2nd Reg. Sess.)

This section applies if:

A court has made a finding that reasonable efforts for family preservation or reunification with respect to a child in need of services are not required; or

A child in need of services has been placed in a foster family home, child caring institution, or group home; or the home of a person related to the child as directed by a court in a child in need of services proceeding; and

A child in need of services has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of a county Office of Family and Children for not less than 15 months of the most recent 22 months, excluding any period not exceeding 60 days before the court has entered a finding and judgment that the child is a child in need of services.

A person described above shall file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship; and request that the petition be set for hearing.

If a petition is filed by the child's court appointed special advocate or guardian ad litem, the prosecuting attorney or the county office of family and children are entitled to be joined as a party to the petition upon application to the court.

A party shall file a motion to dismiss the petition to terminate the parent-child relationship if any of the following circumstances apply:

That the current case plan prepared by or under the supervision of the county office of family and children has documented a compelling reason, based on facts and circumstances stated in the petition or motion, for concluding that filing, or proceeding to a final determination of, a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship is not in the best interests of the child. A compelling reason may include the fact that the child is being cared for by a custodian who is a parent, stepparent, grandparent, or responsible adult who is the child's sibling, aunt, or uncle or a relative who is caring for the child as guardian;

That the law stating when reasonable efforts to preserve the family are not required is not applicable to the child; the county Office of Family and Children has not provided family services to the child, parent, or family of the child in accordance with a currently effective case plan prepared or a permanency plan or dispositional decree for the purpose of permitting and facilitating safe return of the child to the child's home; and the period for completion of the program of family services, as specified in the current case plan, permanency plan, or decree, has not expired;

That the law stating when reasonable efforts to preserve the family are not required is not applicable to the child; the county office of family and children has not provided family services to the child, parent, or family of the child, in accordance with applicable provisions of a currently effective case plan or a permanency plan or dispositional decree; and the services that the county office of family and children has not provided are substantial and material in relation to implementation of a plan to permit safe return of the child to the child's home.

Ind. Code Ann. 31-35-3-4 (Michie 1997)

If an individual is convicted of murder, causing suicide, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting, child exploitation, sexual misconduct with a minor, or incest; and the victim of the offense was less than 16 years of age at the time of the offense, is the individual's biological or adoptive child, or the child of a spouse of the individual who has committed the offense; then the prosecuting attorney, the attorney for the county office of family and children, the child's guardian ad litem, or the court appointed special advocate may file a petition with the juvenile or probate court to terminate the parent-child relationship of the individual who has committed the offense with the victim of the offense, the victim's siblings, or any biological or adoptive child of that individual.

Ind. Code Ann. 31-35-3-8 (Michie 1997)

A showing that an individual has been convicted of an offense described above is prima facie evidence that there is a reasonable probability that the conditions that resulted in the removal of the child from the parent under a court order will not be remedied; or continuation of the parent-child relationship poses a threat to the well-being of the child.
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