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Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 93
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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how can someone remove oneself legally from child custody...

Customer Question

how can someone remove oneself legally from child custody... if all other efforts to be a participating parent so that you have a normal and healthy child have failed?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 5 years ago.
I believe you're talking about relinquishing your parental right. It depends on the situation. If the child is already in the custody of the State, or living with the other parent, you may be able to relinquish. If both parents want to relinquish, or there is no one else to take responsibility for the child, the chances are about zero. If you're expecting the State to take custody, and the child is in State custody already, they may accept the relinquishment, but there are states that will only do that if the child is adoptable, and both parents agree or there are grounds to sever the other parent's rights.

If there is no one to take custody and the child is old enough, usually 16 or 17, they could become an emancipated minor. That is the court declares them to be a legal adult before the age of 18. The judge is going to want to see that the child can hold down a job and support themselves.

The final option is to tell the child, here's your stuff, you don't live here anymore. They would be free to make their way in the world as best they can. If they went to the police, the could be declared an abandoned child and placed in foster care. Then you're back to the child in state custody scenario.