Assistance may be given to a parent in the preparation of a voluntary petition upon approval by the FSOS. The Office of Legal Services (OLS) may assist in drafting and filing a voluntary TPR action. Voluntary terminations from seriously emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded parents shall not be accepted without consultation from OLS.
The petition for voluntary TPR is filed in Family or Circuit court of the judicial circuit where the petitioner or child resides or in the Family or Circuit court in the county in which juvenile court actions, if any, concerning the child have commenced. Pursuant to KRS 625.040, no petition can be filed prior to three (3) days after the birth of the child.
- When the child’s custody is to be vested in the Cabinet upon the court’s entry of the final order of termination, the SSW follows procedures outlined in SOP 11.37 Appearance Waiver and Consent to Adopt and will not under any circumstance sign an appearance waiver or consent to adopt form.
- When only one parent has consented to a voluntary termination of parental rights, consideration is given to other persons having rights to the child. A plan is made regarding those persons having parental rights to the child, prior to the SSW assisting the parent in filing a petition for voluntary termination as outlined in SOP 11.35.1 Voluntary TPR Petition/Drafting.
- Under no circumstance will the Cabinet assist a parent who is seeking termination of parental rights as a means of abdicating a child support responsibility or adoption planning has not been initiated by:
- A child placing agency;
- A relative exempted pursuant to KRS 199.470 (4); or
- An individual with the written approval pursuant to KRS 199.473.
- Under these circumstances the SSW contacts OLS for legal assistance if the Cabinet opposes the parent’s petition.