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Reinstating Parental Rights Over a
Child That Has Lost Permanency
and/or Experienced a Disruption in
Permanency
Presented ...
Fact Pattern
Suzy is fourteen years old. Her birth parents surrendered
their rights when she was a baby. She was adopted a...
O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323
Reinstatement of Parental Rights; Standard of
Proof
A child who has not been adopted after the
passag...
O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323
Reinstatement of Parental Rights; Standard of
Proof
The petition must be granted if the Court finds
b...
Factors under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323
The court must consider:
1.Whether a parent whose rights are to be
reinstated is a fit ...
Factors under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323
3. Whether the reinstatement of parental rights
will present a risk to a child’s health...
Gaps in the Statute
O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323 does not address nor
preclude children in Suzy’s situation. The
statute addresses...
Why Is That an Issue?
• Public policy to reunite families and find
children permanency.
• Spirit of the statute to provide...
Persuasive Law
• Motion to Reinstate Parental Rights
– 705 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 405/2-34(b)(iii)(2016).
• Petition to Restor...
Persuasive Law
• Motion to Reinstate Parental Rights
– 705 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 405/2-34(b)(iii)(2016).
• Petition to Restor...
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Reinstating Parental Rights Over a Child That Has Lost Permanency

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Fact pattern and Georgia statute governing reinstatement of parental rights, standard of proof, factors to consider, gaps in the statute, issues, and persuasive law.

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Reinstating Parental Rights Over a Child That Has Lost Permanency

  1. 1. Reinstating Parental Rights Over a Child That Has Lost Permanency and/or Experienced a Disruption in Permanency Presented by: Tara-Anne M. Canada Gwinnett County Guardian ad Litem Office 770-619-6064 Tara-Anne.Canada@gwinnettcounty.com
  2. 2. Fact Pattern Suzy is fourteen years old. Her birth parents surrendered their rights when she was a baby. She was adopted at age two. Unfortunately, around age twelve, the adoptive parents placed the child in the care and custody of the Department of Family and Children’s Services and refused to allow her to return to the home. The Department was able to locate the birth father. The birth father was interested in having custody of his daughter. Two years after the Department became involved, the adoptive parents surrendered their rights to the child leaving the child with no legal guardian, custodian, or parent. Due to the child’s age and mental health, it is unlikely that she would be adopted.
  3. 3. O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323 Reinstatement of Parental Rights; Standard of Proof A child who has not been adopted after the passage of at least three years from the date the court terminated parental rights or the parent voluntarily surrendered parental rights to DFCS and for whom the court has determined that adoption is no longer the permanent plan may petition the court to reinstate parental rights pursuant to the modification of orders procedure prescribed by Code Section 15-11-32.
  4. 4. O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323 Reinstatement of Parental Rights; Standard of Proof The petition must be granted if the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that: a.The child is no longer likely to be adopted; AND b.Reinstatement of parental rights is in the child’s best interests.
  5. 5. Factors under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323 The court must consider: 1.Whether a parent whose rights are to be reinstated is a fit parent and has remedied his or her deficits as provided in the record of the prior termination proceedings and prior termination order; 2.The age and maturity of a child and the ability of such child to express his or her preference;
  6. 6. Factors under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323 3. Whether the reinstatement of parental rights will present a risk to a child’s health, welfare, or safety; and 4. Other material changes in circumstances, if any that may have occurred which warrant the granting of the petition.
  7. 7. Gaps in the Statute O.C.G.A. § 15-11-323 does not address nor preclude children in Suzy’s situation. The statute addresses children whose parents’ rights were terminated or surrendered and have not been adopted after three years. It does not address children who have been adopted, but the adoptive parents’ rights have been terminated or surrendered.
  8. 8. Why Is That an Issue? • Public policy to reunite families and find children permanency. • Spirit of the statute to provide a mechanism for any child in the State’s legal custody to reunite with a biological parent if the opportunity arose and would be in that child’s best interest. • Possible infringement of equal protection.
  9. 9. Persuasive Law • Motion to Reinstate Parental Rights – 705 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 405/2-34(b)(iii)(2016). • Petition to Restore Parental Rights-Duties of the Division – Utah Code Ann. § 78A-6-1403(1)(b)(ii)(2016).
  10. 10. Persuasive Law • Motion to Reinstate Parental Rights – 705 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 405/2-34(b)(iii)(2016). • Petition to Restore Parental Rights-Duties of the Division – Utah Code Ann. § 78A-6-1403(1)(b)(ii)(2016).

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