April 01, 2018 Parental Rights

The Sky Is Not Falling: Lessons and Recommendations from Ten Years of Reinstating Parental Rights

By: Meredith L. Schalick

I. Introduction

In 2005, California enacted the first provision creating a statutory mechanism to reinstate or restore parental rights in cases in which a child welfare agency had not yet achieved adoption or other permanency goals for the child. Eighteen states have since enacted statutes allowing “rehabilitated” biological parents who had their parental rights either voluntarily or involuntarily terminated to resume or assume parenting responsibilities for their children under varying criteria. The states with reinstatement provisions are listed in the chart below by year of enactment.

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