What does Relinquishment mean?

Relinquishment is the court process to remove the parent or parents of their legal rights and obligations to their child. It can also relinquish a child from all legal obligations to the relinquishing parent or parents. The relinquishment order is issued by the court.

If a parent wishes to relinquish their parental rights most states will require them to get counseling from the department of social services and file a Petition for Relinquishment in the appropriate juvenile court. The Petition for Relinquishment should list the name of both birth parents, the name of the child, the age of the parents and the child, and the reasons the child is going to be relinquished. After the court receives the Petition for Relinquishment they will set a hearing date, assuming all conditions have been met by the petitioner. If the parent is involved in the petition the court can terminate the legal relationship at the hearing. If the court finds the action would not be in the best interest of the child they can dismiss the action.

The court reviews a variety of factors before granting an order to relinquish parental rights. The court may also interview expert witnesses. If the order to relinquish parental rights is granted custody of the child may be granted to the county department of social services, a licensed child-placement agency, or a relative of the child or another person such as a foster parent or a designated adoptive parent.

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