Having your child was likely life changing, and losing your kids was equally as impactful. And, if your parental rights were terminated in Maryland, you likely want to know whether you can appeal that decision. Generally, the answer is yes, but you must do so within 30 days of the order terminating your parental rights.
Your appeal is not automatic, so you need to appeal as soon as possible because you generally only have 30 days to appeal. The appellate court does not reweigh the evidence presented at trial. It also does not substitute its own judgement for the trial court’s judgement. You must show that the trial court made a legal error or abused its discretion.
What are the grounds for losing parental rights?
There are many legal grounds to lose your parental rights in Maryland. The most common reason is child abuse, neglect or abandonment. Though, other grounds include failure to protect your child from harm, failure to maintain contact or failure to support your child.
You could also lose your ability to property care for your child, like through a mental illness or disability. Or, you could voluntarily relinquish your rights or consent to adoption.
The court must follow specific legal procedures for each ground to find clear and convincing evidence to terminate your parental rights. If they failed in one of these legal procedures, then, this could be the basis for an appeal.
If you believe that your parental rights were terminated on improper or insufficient grounds, you do have options, but they disappear very quickly. And, when they are gone, they go away permanently, and you could lose your kids forever. Gather your evidence and fight your case.