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Termination of Parental Rights in Arizona

When a child lives under circumstances that threaten his or her well-being, somebody close to that child may need to petition the court for a termination of parental rights.

Anybody with a legitimate interest in that child’s welfare can petition the court for termination of parental rights, be it a relative, a physician or a private agency. Sometimes taking this step is crucial for the safety of the child.

Grounds for Parental Termination in Arizona

Courts may only terminate parental rights with the proper statutory authority. Arizona Revised Statute §8-533(B) provides the following grounds for termination:

  1. The parent abandoned the child.
  2. The parent neglected or abused the child.
  3. The parent has mental illness or a history of substance abuse that is likely to continue for an indeterminate period of time.
  4. The parent was convicted of a felony of such a nature that would prove unfitness to parent, or the sentence will deprive the child from a normal home for a period of years.
  5. The presumed (called “putative”) father failed to file a timely claim of paternity.
  6. The parents relinquished their rights to another individual or an adoption agency.
  7. The child is being cared for in an out-of-home placement for a period of time, and the parents have not remedied the situation that caused such placement.
  8. The identity of the parent is unknown, and remains unknown after three months of diligent searching.
  9. The parent had parental rights to another child terminated within the preceding two years, and is presently unable to discharge parental responsibilities for the same cause.
  10. The child is repeatedly removed from the home to out-of-home placement.

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