Termination of Parental Rights

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There are two types of termination of parental rights proceedings in Iowa:


State initiated termination: A Petition to Terminate Parental Rights is filed in Juvenile Court when the Department of Human Services (DHS) determines that an individual is not fit to parent their child. This type of case will involve many individuals in an attempt to reunify parent with child or children.


Private termination: A parent, prospective parent legal guardian, or custodian of a minor child may petition the Juvenile Court to terminate the parental rights of an individual. The person petitioning the court must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the parent whose rights are subject to termination has abandoned the child and it is in the best interest of the minor child for that parent's rights to be terminated.