Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
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I am sorry to read about your difficulties.
No, DHS cannot force your daughter or anyone else to sign away her parental rights. If the DHS wants the parental rights terminated, DHS must go to Court and file for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights. Your daughter must be served with the Summons and a copy of the Complaint so that she can respond to it and tell the Court why her parental rights MUST not be terminated because she has not done anything wrong. Parental rights can only be terminated if the parent has abandoned the child or has been an unfit parent. Parental rights cannot be terminated solely because the parent lives out of the state.
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Thank you for your question.
My opinion is that she has the immediate right to custody since her parental rights have never been terminated and the other parent is incapacitated from having custody as long as he in a rehab facility.
She can get a free consultation from some of the Iowa child custody attorneys listed here.
If the father will not agree to let her take custody, she could ask a judge for an immediate ex parte order granting her at least temporary custody.
I hope this information is helpful.
Only a local attorney can provide legal advice based on local law, but in at least some states she could skip asking for an ex parte order changing custody and just file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus based on the idea that she already has custodial rights superior to that of any person in the world other than the unavailable other parent.