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Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Minnesota

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Statute: 260C.301

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination

Abandonment or Extreme Parental Disinterest


Alcohol or Drug Induced Incapacity

Felony Conviction/Incarceration

Failure of Reasonable Efforts

Abuse/Neglect or Loss of Rights of Another Child

Failure to Maintain Contact

Failure to Provide Support

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

Mental Illness or Deficiency

Sexual Abuse

Minn. Stat. Ann. 260C.301, Subd. 1-3 (West, WESTLAW through End of 2002 1st Sp. Sess.)

The juvenile court may upon petition, terminate all rights of a parent to a child:

With the written consent of a parent who for good cause desires to terminate parental rights; or

If it finds that one or more of the following conditions exist:

That the parent has abandoned the child;

That the parent has substantially, continuously,
or repeatedly refused or neglected to comply with the duties imposed upon that parent by the parent and child relationship, including, but not limited to, providing the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, and other care and control necessary for the child's physical, mental, or emotional health and development, if the parent is physically and financially able, and reasonable efforts by the social services agency have failed to correct the conditions that formed the basis of the petition or reasonable efforts would be futile and therefore unreasonable;

That a parent has been ordered to contribute to the support of the child or financially aid in the child's birth and has continuously failed to do so without good cause;

That a parent is palpably unfit to be a party to the parent and child relationship because of a consistent pattern of specific conduct before the child or of specific conditions directly relating to the parent and child relationship, either of which are determined by the court to be of a duration or nature that renders the parent unable, for the reasonably foreseeable future, to care appropriately for the ongoing physical, mental, or emotional needs of the child. It is presumed that a parent is palpably unfit to be a party to the parent and child relationship upon a showing that the parent's parental rights to one or more other children were involuntarily terminated or that the parent's custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred to a relative;

That, following the child's placement out of the home, reasonable efforts, under the direction of the court, have failed to correct the conditions leading to the child's placement. It is presumed that reasonable efforts under this clause have failed upon a showing that: a) A child has resided out of the parental home under court order for a cumulative period of 12 months within the preceding 22 months. In the case of a child under age 8 at the time the petition was filed alleging the child to be in need of protection or services, the presumption arises when the child has resided out of the parental home under court order for six months unless the parent has maintained regular contact with the child and the parent is complying with the out-of-home placement plan; b) The court has approved the out-of-home placement plan required under 260C.212 and filed with the court under 260C.178; c) Conditions leading to the out-of-home placement have not been corrected. It is presumed that conditions leading to a child's out-of-home placement have not been corrected upon a showing that the parent or parents have not substantially complied with the court's orders and a reasonable case plan; and d) Reasonable efforts have been made by the social services agency to rehabilitate the parent and reunite the family.

It is also presumed that reasonable efforts have failed under this clause upon a showing that:

The parent has been diagnosed as chemically dependent by a professional certified to make the diagnosis; the parent has been required by a case plan to participate in a chemical dependency treatment program; the treatment programs offered to the parent were culturally, linguistically, and clinically appropriate; the parent has either failed two or more times to successfully complete a treatment program or has refused at two or more separate meetings with a caseworker to participate in a treatment program; and the parent continues to abuse chemicals;

That a child has experienced egregious harm in the parent's care which is of a nature, duration, or chronicity that indicates a lack of regard for the child's well-being, such that a reasonable person would believe it contrary to the best interest of the child or of any child to be in the parent's care;

That, in the case of a child born to a mother who was not married to the child's father when the child was conceived nor when the child was born, the person is not entitled to notice of an adoption hearing and the person has not registered with the fathers' adoption registry;
That the child is neglected and in foster care; or
That the parent has been convicted of any of the crimes of murder, manslaughter, or assault.
For purposes of the paragraph above abandonment is presumed when:

The parent has had no contact with the child on a regular basis and has not demonstrated consistent interest in the child's well-being for six months and the social service agency has made reasonable efforts to facilitate contact, unless the parent establishes that an extreme financial or physical hardship or treatment for mental disability or chemical dependency or other good cause prevented the parent from making contact with the child; or
The child is an infant under 2 years of age and has been deserted by the parent under circumstances that show an intent not to return to care for the child.

The following are prima facie evidence of abandonment where adoption proceedings are pending and there has been a showing that the person was not entitled to notice of an adoption proceeding:

Failure to register with the fathers' adoption registry; or

If the person registered with the fathers'
adoption registry:

Filing a denial of paternity within 30 days of
receipt of notice;

Failing to timely file an intent to claim
parental rights with entry of appearance form
within 30 days of receipt of notice; or

Timely filing an intent to claim parental rights
with entry of appearance form within 30 days of
receipt of notice, but failing to initiate a
paternity action within 30 days of receiving the
fathers' adoption registry notice where there has
been no showing of good cause for the delay.

The county attorney shall file a termination of
parental rights petition within 30 days of the
responsible social services agency determining
that a child has been subjected to egregious
harm, is determined to be the sibling of another
child of the parent who was subjected to
egregious harm, is an abandoned infant, or the
parent has lost parental rights to another child
through an order involuntarily terminating the
parent's rights, or another child of the parent
is the subject or an order transferring permanent
legal and physical custody of the child to a
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