June 7, 2017 – Learn the latest steps and pertinent details of both voluntary – and now also involuntary – termination-of-parental-rights (TPR) procedures, in the expanded and revised edition of Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®.
Voluntary and Involuntary TPR: The Same but Different
Some steps are the same for both voluntary and involuntary TPR – but some are very different. Matthew Giesfeldt – now a Wisconsin state public defender, and formerly in private practice with a partial focus on family law – highlights those distinctions throughout this new edition of Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption (previously titled Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption).
For example, citing the pertinent statutes, he discusses the rights and recommendations for counsel (and guardians ad litem (GALs)) in each proceeding. See, e.g.,Wis. Stat. §§ 48.23(2)(b) (“In a proceeding involving … an involuntary termination of parental rights, any parent who appears before the court shall be represented by counsel, except as follows … .”), 48.235(1) (describing court authority to appoint GALs in various proceedings).
The book further describes the different hearing procedures, including how a parent enters a plea at a hearing on an involuntary TPR petition.
Discovery in an Involuntary TPR Proceeding: What and How
This revised edition contains a new discussion of discovery in involuntary TPR proceedings. Giesfeldt lists various types of documents that petitioners and parents might seek to discover, including exhibits that the parties plan to present at trial.
Giesfeldt suggests appropriate requests for admission that can support or counter the establishment of specific elements of the grounds for involuntary TPR. He also includes common questions for interrogatories, as methods for gathering basic data from the responding party.
Key Questions for Birth Parents, Agency Workers, and Prospective Adoptive Parents
At the core of Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption are several series of questions the court could ask in TPR and adoption proceedings. Many sample questions are directed at determining the birth parent’s understanding of the proceedings and of his or her rights.
For example, the court might ask the birth parent to describe the rights he or she would give up by proceeding with the termination. Or, in an adoptive-placement proceeding, the court might ask the prospective adoptive parents to explain the financial obligations they expect to assume after the court grants the adoption. These hypothetical scripts will prove invaluable to attorneys as they prepare their clients and themselves for court proceedings.
Special Statutes, Sample Forms, and More
Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption points readers to special statutes that might also affect parties to TPR and adoption proceedings. These include the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and the Wisconsin ICWA, all of which are reprinted in the book’s appendices.
In addition, the appendices provide a chart of statutorily presumed conceptive periods (for use in determining paternity) and sample forms for a birth parent’s voluntary consent to TPR.
How to Order
Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption is available both in print and online via Books UnBound®, the State Bar’s interactive online library. The print book costs $129 for members and $159 for nonmembers.
Subscribers to the State Bar’s automatic supplementation service will receive future updates at a discount off the regular price.
For more information, or to place an order, visit the WisBar Marketplace or call the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838.