Can parental rights be reinstated after a termination?
Photo of Attorneys T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez walking outside.
Photo of T. Noel Brooks and Jesse Baez

Can parental rights be reinstated after a termination?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2023 | Family Law

In some extreme cases, parental rights might be terminated if the judge deems that the parent was unable to care for the child. Virginia parents who have experienced this might be able to petition for the restoration. Not all states allow parents to petition for reinstatement of their rights and states that do often have strict rules regarding this.

Who can petition to have parental rights reinstated?

In Virginia, a child’s legal guardian or the State Board of Social Services might petition to have a person’s parental rights reinstated. However, certain conditions must be met, such as the child’s age, which should usually be at least 14. The petition might be made on behalf of a parent of a child who is younger than 14 if the child already has a sibling whose parent’s rights were being reinstated.

Conditions for reinstatement of parental rights

Reinstatement of parental rights is not automatic. Instead, it is a process in which the parent will bear the burden of proof to show that they are able to take care of their child and meet their needs. The court will focus on ensuring the best interests of the child are met. Some of the conditions that must be met include:

  • The child’s age
  • The child not being permanently placed in a foster home
  • The child’s status as abused, neglected or needing supervision or services
  • A termination order older than 2 years before the filing for reinstatement
  • Strong, clear evidence that the conditions that led to the termination of the parent’s parental rights have improved significantly

A parent who experiences the termination of these rights has a major challenge to overcome if they want them reinstated. However, they can prepare and show how much they have changed so that they can continue forming a bond with their child.