Termination of Parental Rights

In some situations, it may be necessary for the parental rights of one or both of the biological parents of a child to be terminated.  This termination of parental rights is commonly referred to as a TPR. Seeking a TPR is a drastic step as it eliminates all the legal ties between the parent and the child.  Usually, a TPR action is brought by a parent when their spouse is in the process performing a step-parent adoption or when adoptive parents are seeking to terminate the rights of the biological parents. Other reasons to seek a termination of parental rights are due to parental abandonment, or parental failure to support a child.

What are the requirements for a TPR?

In a TPR, the Court has to have legitimate grounds to find that a termination of parental rights is in the best interest of a child, and then has to find that the termination is in the child’s best interests.  The legitimate grounds include:


  • Abandonment of the child;
  • Willfully allowing a child in foster care or placement outside of the home to remain there for an extended period of time;
  • Abuse or neglect of the child;
  • Failure to pay child support for an extended period of time;
  • Failure to establish paternity, legitimate the child and/or provide support;
  • The commission of some felonies;
  • Termination of parental rights in respect to other biological children;

A parent can not bring an action to terminate their own rights.  In addition, a parent cannot simply “sign away their rights” unless they are consenting to an adoption by another party.

Parental rights termination is permanent and has serious long lasting legal implications. Our attorneys have expertise in the legal requirements for termination of parental rights to advise you if you have sufficient grounds to be successful and assist you in all the legal formalities involved.

If you are seeking to have the other parent’s rights terminated or if you are fighting a termination of parental rights action, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to protect your rights.

Our family law team of attorneys include Board Certified Specialists in Family Law, specially trained Collaborative Divorce Professionals, and an expert in adoption in North Carolina. Whether you believe that your situation is simple or complex, no termination of parental rights case is easy. An experienced attorney can assist you in understanding the long-term impact your decisions may have. Collectively, our team brings a century of legal experience to your family law matter. Call our family law team at 336-379-1390 to schedule your consultation today.

Family Law Team Awards & Recognition

North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Family Law
Collaborative Divorce Lawyers, Greensboro

Elaine Hedrick Ashley

greensboro divorce attorne

Albert L. Saslow

divorce attorney albert loch saslow greensboro

Michele G. Smith

Greensboro Adoption and Family Law Attorney Michele Smith

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer Today

Contact A Family Law Attorney

(336) 379-1390


Physical vs. Legal Custody and Shared Custody

Mediation and Arbitration

A Court’s Role:  Best Interest of the Child Standard

Modifying an Existing Custody Order

What is Post-Separation Support?