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March 2011Vol. 12, No. 2Restoring Parental Rights After Termination

Every State has statutes providing for the termination of parental rights by a court. Once parental rights have been terminated, the child is legally free to be placed for adoption.

A new factsheet from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides an overview of laws in nine States that allow for the reinstatement of parental rights following termination of parental rights. If a permanent placement has not been achieved within a specific timeframe, a petition may be filed with the court requesting reinstatement of the parent’s rights. If the court determines that the parent is now able to provide a safe home for the child, the request may be granted.

The factsheet, Reinstatement of Parental Rights, includes States' information on when a petition for reinstatement may be filed, who may file a petition, and the specific findings required for a court to grant reinstatement of parental rights.

The factsheet is available on the on the NCSL website:


Related Item

Child Welfare Information Gateway offers Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights, which includes State statutes on termination as well as reinstatement of parental rights: