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ABA Family Legal Guide

Family Law


Abuse and Neglect Laws

If welfare officials or the court take children away from their parents, is the removal temporary or permanent?

The goal is usually to reunite the family after correcting the problems that led to the removal. This is not always possible. Among the factors a court will consider are the severity and frequency of the parents' deficiency or bad conduct, the efforts of the parents to correct the situation, and the amount of time it would take to correct the situation. For example, if the parents make little or no effort to improve the child's care or if the abuse is unusually severe, then the state may ask a court to end all parental rights. If this happens, the legal bonds between parents and children may be completely and permanently cut, and another family may adopt the child.

American Bar Association Family Legal Guide
Copyright © 2004 American Bar Association
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