Can a biological parent regain their parental rights?

Question: Can a biological parent who voluntarily terminated his parental rights – thinking he was doing the right thing for his child so that the child’s new stepfather could adopt him – ever regain his parental rights to his biological child?



Answer: First, I must preface that I do not practice in Kentucky.  The laws relating to termination of parental rights can vary from state to state.

The decision to voluntarily terminate his parental rights was a permanent decision.  The court should have disclosed to him that the decision to terminate his rights would be permanent.  The court must also find that the decision he was making was knowingly, voluntarily, and without coercion.  However, in some extremely rare circumstances there may be grounds for a reversal.  The biological father should contact a domestic litigation attorney immediately to evaluate the entire situation and to determine if there is anything that can be done based on his particular circumstances.


Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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