Parental rights

California – AB 519 – Parental Rights

Under the conditions stipulated by AB 519, this bill allows a child to petition for reinstatement of parental rights in circumstances where the child would otherwise remain a legal orphan. In order to reinstate parental rights, the juvenile court is required under the bill to find that changed circumstances exist such that the child is no longer likely to be adopted and that reinstatement of parental rights is in the child’s best interest.

Excuse me? Let me get this straight. The State of California has terminated a parents rights and then because the child has remained in foster care for a period of three-years and has not been adopted, [read: costing the state money] they are going to find that being reunited with the parents may well be in the best interest of the child?

Now, don’t get me wrong, this could be a great thing for children and parents who are caught in never-never land but let’s think about this a minute.

If after a period of three years, the state can find that it’s in the best interest of the child to be reunited with his or her parents, perhaps that child should never have been removed from those very same parents in the first place.

Can you imagine how hard it will be for this family to come back together and have any meaningful kind of life together? A great deal can change in the space of three years.

While I commend the author (Assemblyman Leno) for trying to provide a remedy for a bad situation, I would encourage legislators to take another giant step in the right direction; by providing more family services, to keep the family unit together from the start and making it more difficult to terminate parental rights in the first place.

Today foster parents receive services and monies that are not available to the parents of these very same children. Why are foster parents eligible for respite care, when the parents of these very same children do not receive these services. It would be far less costly for the state to help a homeless family, find housing and employment than it is to remove the children and pay a foster care worker to feed, house and cloth them.

I am not a strong proponent of big government, but we all know big government is here and not going anywhere, anytime soon. A family deserves every opportunity, every chance we can give them to become a strong support system for each and every child.

I know too many parents personally who have lost everything, fight the state to keep or get their children back from the foster care system. The costs mount up quickly with attorney fees, court fees, mental assessments, therapy sessions and the like, that even if they do win the fight (and most don’t) to reclaim their children, they often have little left to provide the necessities for their children. This is wrong folks and this much change.

I urge you to support this bill but let’s not stop here. We must see changes in child welfare laws and they can’t be passed soon enough.

For complete details See AB 519

  • ricardo1976 says:

    My name is Ricardo. My wife and I lost our parental rights due to fetal neglate. There were no drugs found in the babbies system and my wife was under a doctors care, the same doctor for a year prior. We did what the worker asked and she still recommended our son be taken. What can we do to get our only child back?

    We live in michigan.

  • Lizzybeth says:

    Boy I wish I had more time for comment on this. I stumbled on this site looking for support groups for my sister who is in the process of having her parental rights terminated by DCYS corruption with the system.

    I am looking for anything that would give my sister who kids were taken away in New Hampshire and she is now living in Massachusetts options to be reinstated with her 2 daughters because of the corrupt methods and practices with protective services.

    They destroy more lives (family lives) all based on their justification of the child best interest. I wish they would contact the children’s other family because according to a source they are trying to keep families together because I found out my nieces foster care mom wants to adopt them so now they want to terminate her rights. The kids they must be refering to, must not be concidered marketable for them.

    Thanks for listening!