Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Can my parental rights be reinstated?

If you have had your parental rights revoked, you may be able to have them reinstated thanks to the Family Reunification Act of 2013. It used to be that once your legal relationship with your child was terminated, you were not eligible to have it reinstated. As a result, your children may have been a ward of the state and have had a court-appointed guardian making decisions regarding their care for a long time.

According to the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, this law only applies to you if your termination was issued at least 36 months prior to the filing, your child is a current ward of the state or in a foster home, and you have rehabilitated yourself so that you are now a parent who is capable of seeing to the welfare of your child and acting in the child’s best interest. You may be able to regain the opportunity to provide a better quality of life for your child, along with your legal right to be their parent again as long as your child is at least 15 years old, your parental rights have been terminated for a minimum of 36 months and your rights were not severed because of criminal or sexual misconduct.

The county attorney will consider filing for the reinstatement of your parental rights if the following conditions are met. Furthermore, your child cannot be the subject of any adoption agreement and must voice a desire to return to your care. If you have a criminal conviction on your record, it must not involve convictions for certain crimes, including felonious assault and prostitution. The county attorney and Social Services must feel that your child’s best interests would be served by reinstating the relationship between you and your child.

There are other conditions that must be satisfied before the courts will make a decision regarding your petition to be your child’s legal parent again. If the best interests of your child are served by restoring your parental rights and all other criteria have been met, the courts may rule in your favor. This information is only intended as educational material and should not be used as legal advice.

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