STATE LAW AND THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

Authors


vesneski@u.washington.edu

Abstract

This paper presents the findings from a content analysis of state laws authorizing the termination of parental rights. The analysis yielded a taxonomy of termination criteria and it identified those criteria that were most widely adopted by the states. State termination criteria were compared to those listed in the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997. The comparison shows that state laws identify more types of termination criteria than are listed in ASFA. In addition, criteria related to neglect and “parental failure” were often ambiguous and lacked detail. The study identifies possible directions for research on state termination law.

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