TPR is the abbreviation of “termination of parental rights.” This termination typically occurs when a parent has chosen to place a child for adoption or if a child has been removed from his or her home and certain conditions for reunification have not been met. Termination of parental rights may occur voluntarily or involuntarily, depending on the circumstances. The length of time that TPR takes will depend on the reason for the termination, if it is done voluntarily or involuntarily, and in what state the child resides.
In cases where a child has been removed from his or her home, a judge may grant TPR without parental consent. If a child has been removed and placed into foster care, birth parents will typically be given the opportunity to make adjustments to their lifestyles by doing what is known as “working a plan.” There are certain conditions that must be met to ensure that the child will return to a safe, sound, and secure environment, such as the parent’s acquiring safe housing, gainful employment, treatment, et cetera. If they are unable to do so within the allotted time, the courts may seek termination of parental rights. This process is often a lengthy one, as reunification is the goal, if possible.
In many cases of adoptive placements, the birth parents are able to sign documents that waive their parental rights and consent to adoption. A court then approves and grants the termination of parental rights. This process typically includes time requirements that ensure a certain amount of time has passed after the birth of a child before a birth parent is allowed to provide such consent. In many states, these consents also allow for a revocation period, an opportunity for birth parents to change their mind, an opportunity that can vary in length, anywhere from three days until the time the adoption is finalized.
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