How can you relinquish your parental rights?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in paternity on Monday, September 16, 2019.

When considering the issue of paternity, most in Wichita might think your actions in such a regard would be limited to either trying to establish your paternity or dispute such a claim being made against you. Yet there could also be scenarios where your paternity is not so much in question, but rather if you want to maintain your parental rights.

Some might bristle at the thought of you willingly choosing to terminate your parental rights (assuming that your only reason for wanting to do so is to not have to be held financially responsible for your child). Yet there are indeed a number of legitimate reasons why taking such an action might be viewed as a valid option for you. These may include:

  • You not wanting to impede your child from receiving support from another party that has a greater capacity to provide it
  • Extenuating circumstances (such as incarceration) making it difficult for you to care for your child
  • You wanting to have your child’s other parent completely out of your life

Section 38-2268 of Kansas’ statutes covering the legal treatment of minors shows that you can voluntarily relinquish your parental rights to commit your child to the care of the state Department for Children and Families. You can also consent to give up parental authority over your child to a permanent custodian (who then becomes their legal guardian). Such relinquishments need to be in writing, and will effectively terminate any authority you may have had to make decisions on your child’s behalf. In both cases, if you relinquished your rights thinking the other parent would then do the same (and they ultimately do not), then your rights are reinstated.

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