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How to terminate parental rights?

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MINNESOTA: 9-year-old boy, lives with his father and stepmom. Father won custody (sole physical and sole legal) when boy was 2 -- altho father gave primary care before that. Mother has visitation every other weekend, Saturday morning to Sunday night. She also has two non-consecutive weeks in the summer.

Mother has two younger children (by different fathers) who live with her. Mother has not historically cared for children well. She often does not feed or cloth them appropriately. She has a temper, has been known to hit in the past (but nothing we can prove), and drinks frequently. She now works nights (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and sleeps all day. When son comes to visit, he usually sees her for only a couple hours. She sometimes leaves him to babysit the other two kids (ages 6 and 7). They are often brought to a babysitter or aunt's house to sleep.

Stepmom would love to adopt this boy, but mother views him as her property and would never give up her parental rights willingly -- a judge would have to terminate her rights.

QUESTION: What does it take to have a judge terminate parental rights? Are there certain things that carry more weight than others? We have a journal of nearly 4 years worth of interaction with the mother, but isn't it all just our word against hers?


Grandma B

Parental rights are terminated only in extreme cases of abuse/neglect. Journals of we said/she said would carry no weight. It would take proof of abuse/neglect and even then it is seldom done.

I'm sorry, and I do sympathize with your situation, but your statement about the mother viewing the boy as her property sounds bitter. He is, after all, her child, and maybe that's how she's viewing him.

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