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  • Inside Track
    December 02, 2009

    CLE Books updates practical guide to voluntary TPR and adoption cases

    Dec. 2, 2009 – “The termination of parental rights (TPR) is a first step in every adoption,” begins the introduction to Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption. Making one’s way over this first step, however, requires progressing through a series of critical procedures. Even when a child’s birth parents are prepared to relinquish their parental rights voluntarily, the professionals involved in a TPR or adoption case –judges, attorneys, and agency workers – must take care to ensure that they properly inform the birth parents, ask the necessary questions of the proposed adoptive parents, and protect the child’s best interests before the child is placed in a permanent adoptive home.

    Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption, written by longtime attorney and children’s-rights advocate Judith Sperling-Newton, is a practical resource that guides practitioners through the essential procedures of such cases. In addition to describing the statutory requirements for TPR, independent adoptive placement, and final adoption proceedings, the book also contains several key features: a checklist of responsibilities; appended court forms; and suggested language for extensive questions to ask of birth parents, agency workers, and prospective adoptive parents in these proceedings.

    The second edition of Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights, released in November 2009, now includes updates to several forms and has been revised to reflect recent developments in the law, such as the following:

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    • A person who is not entitled to notice in a TPR proceeding does not have standing to appear and contest the termination of parental rights, present relevant evidence, or make alternative dispositional recommendations.

    • Before filing the petition for adoption, an agency may now place a child in the home of the adoptive parents if both the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parent(s) agree, if the adoptive parents are licensed foster parents, and if the agency and the proposed adoptive parents specify who is financially responsible for the child until the adoption is finalized.

    • The department involved in these cases has changed from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services to the Department of Children and Families.

    • Congress has amended the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act regarding default judgments.

    Also as part of the newly revised edition, all chapters now include individual chapter-level tables of contents, which make relevant subtopics in the book easier to find.

    Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption costs $90 for members and $115 for nonmembers, plus tax, shipping, and handling. Subscribers to the Bar’s automatic supplementation service automatically receive supplements at 10 percent off the regular price.

    Related: More State Bar books and products 

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