It’s possible. However, the process is time-consuming and complicated.
Child Protective Services (CPS) can recommend terminating someone’s parental rights after investigating allegations of abuse or neglect. The court can terminate the parent’s parental rights by issuing a court order.
However, you might be able to reinstate your parental rights under specific circumstances. Reaching a favorable outcome in a case like this is challenging. You should hire an experienced attorney for assistance.
Requirements to Reinstate Parental Rights
Some scenarios allow reinstatement of parental rights after termination. However, the parent cannot request to reinstate their parental rights. Instead, someone else must petition the court.
For example, if the court terminates the rights of a parent whose child is under the custody of social services, social services or the child’s current guardian ad litem must file the reinstatement request.
Virginia law imposes various requirements for the restoration of parental rights. Social services or the child’s guardian ad litem can file a petition if:
- The child is at least 14 years old;
- A final order terminated the parent’s rights at least two years before filing the petition to restore their rights;
- The court previously adjudicated the child as a neglected or abused child, a child in need of supervision, a child in need of services, or a delinquent child;
- The parent and child, if they are 14 or older, consent to the restoration of parental rights; and
- The child hasn’t achieved their permanency goal, or they achieved their permanency goal but didn’t sustain it.
Process for Restoring Parental Rights
The courts must schedule a hearing when someone requests to restore your parental rights. The first hearing requires you to show evidence of your ability to care for your child.
You must provide clear and convincing evidence that you are able and willing to:
- Receive and care for the child
- Protect your child from neglect and abuse
- Provide a suitable, permanent home
- Have a continuous and positive relationship with your child
Social services will supervise your parenting abilities after temporarily reinstating your parental rights. A representative can visit your child at least three times in six months to evaluate the situation and establish whether the placement suits your child’s needs.
When the evaluation period ends, the local department of social services must submit a written report to the court. The report should include the findings of the visits and whether you adhered to the placement requirements.
A second hearing should occur within six months of the first one. The court will determine whether to restore your parental rights permanently.
The primary consideration for deciding whether to reinstate someone’s parental rights is the child’s best interests. The child’s best interest depends on relevant factors such as:
- The parent agrees to the reinstatement and has remedied the conditions leading to the loss of your parental rights
- Whether restoration will affect the benefits available to the child
- The child’s age and maturity and whether they consent to the reinstatement if at least 14 or their preference regarding reinstatement if under 14
- Whether restoring the parental rights will risk the child’s development, life, or health
- Additional material changes in circumstances justifying granting the petition
Fight for Your Parental Rights with Hardt Law, P.L.L.C.
Hardt Law, P.L.L.C. understands the devastation of losing your parental rights after a CPS investigation. You should not pursue your case alone. Let our Virginia Beach family law attorney provide the guidance and support you need.
If the court terminated your parental rights and you want to learn about your legal options to restore them, call us at (757) 962-5588 today for a confidential consultation.