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Can I terminate the parental rights of my daughters father without a stepparent adoption?

San Bernardino, CA |

My daughter is 8 years old. She has had zero contact with her biological father in about three and a half years. She had very limited contact with him before then. He is presently incarcerated and awaiting trial for sexually molesting his other daughter (who is nine months younger than mine) when she was 5 years old and younger. There was no issue between him and my daughter as they were never together unsupervised. Is it possible to have his parental rights terminated based on his actions with his other child? There is no stepparent adoption option.

He will not voluntarily sign anything agreeing to the termination of his parental rights. He has not been convicted of the sexual abuse at this time, but has been incarcerated for two years on this charge. He also has a previous charge of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor on his record from about 15 years ago.

Attorney Answers 1


Prior to 2011 the answer was a definite no. However, in 2011 the appellate court in T.P. v. T.W. (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1428 stated that it should be OK to terminate parental rights without adoption. The facts in that case were as follows: the father filed paternity and mother responded requesting termination of parental rights.

In practice, I do not know any lawyer who tried a case to terminate parental rights without adoption pending, I would like to try though.

I can be reached at 714-542-6200, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Feel free to email me directly at This response will not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Sarieh Law Offices, and is not intended to serve as a legal advice in your specific circumstances. This response is a legal opinion based solely on facts represented by you. You still need to consult an attorney directly to fully protect your legal rights.

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