When parental rights are terminated

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When parental rights are terminated

Adoption is a legal process. One of the important aspects that families have a lot of interest in, of course, is how the parental rights of the child are terminated. In the state of California, the parental rights are not terminated until the child is born and the mother has been discharged from the hospital. The birth mother must receive a certain amount of counseling from the social worker at the agency to explore all of the other options, other than adoption, to make sure that she is not being coerced and to make sure that this is a decision that she is going to be able to go forward with. Many times, unfortunately, the birth father is not present, but his rights must be terminated as well. In the case of the birth mother, she's able to come into the office and sign the relinquishment papers herself. Once those papers are signed and the relinquishment is sent to Sacramento, and is acknowledged by Sacramento, her rights have been terminated. That process takes up to four or five days. Four or five days as opposed to four or five weeks, or four or five months. I know there is some misconception about that. There may be a difference between the termination of parental rights in an agency adoption and an attorney adoption, but for the agency is four or five days. Then the father's rights need to be terminated as well. If he is present, he is signing off voluntarily, that makes it much easier. If he's not present, then an attorney will notice him and will be given an opportunity to come forward, but that terminates his rights as well. One of the fears that adoptive parents may have is that the birth mother can come back and claim the child. In an agency adoption, once those papers are acknowledged in Sacramento, her rights are terminated.

Watch Jill Boyer, MSW's video on When parental rights are terminated...


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Jill Boyer, MSW

Adoption & Foster Care Expert

Jill W. Boyer, MSW was born in Detroit, Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Michigan State University in E. Lansing and a Master of Social Work Degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Ms. Boyer has dedicated her 25-year professional life primarily to supportive services for children and youth.

Prior to coming to Vista Del Mar Child And Family Services in 2005, Ms. Boyer has directed two post-adoption projects at The Institute for Black Parenting in Los Angeles, served as the Director of the Emergency Shelter Care Facility at Children’s Institute International in Torrance, was Acting Director of the Upward Bound Program at Harbor College, and provided and coordinated therapeutic services to families in the CALworks program.

She feels a special connection to adoption and foster care. She brings her experience to the Foster, Foster-Adopt, Domestic Adoption and Intercountry Adoption Programs at Vista, as the Community Services Program Director.

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