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Since termination of parental rights is such a serious matter, the court has an quite a few legal safeguards for parents and case workers. The burden of proof for termination of parental rights stands at clear and convincing evidence. Overall the standard of proof is lower than criminal trials due to the consideration that children are more vulnerable and there can be no room for error.
If the child requests that their parent's rights not be terminated, this may serve as grounds for not terminating parental rights. this raises an interesting issue as one may ask several questions regarding the child's capacity of understanding the legal matters. Several of the key issues is that the child must give an opinion on their adoption, have a chance to review the case plan and sign it, and opinion on parental rights. Take for example if the child expresses a desire for their parents to have their rights terminated, the court may heavily consider such statements in consideration when deciding to TPR. If the child expresses an interest in maintaining a legal relationship with their parents, then the court must look toward the benefit of an ongoing parental relationship. This can be done by a bonding study which will explore the extent and effects of the parent's relationship to the child. The court may also strongly consider sibling relationships when deciding whether to terminate parental rights. It is the parent's burden of proof when it comes to providing that the child has a strong connection to their siblings.
Termination of parental rights also takes a long time. The parents are given time to appeal any judgement and those appeals can take up to a year or more to actually be processed and heard in court. There are continuances and studies that may need to be preformed before the hearing date so that the evidence may be admissible.. T
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Juvenile Dependency and