Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights Arkansas
What are the grounds for termination of parental rights Arkansas ?
Termination of parental rights is an extreme remedy in derogation of the natural rights of the parents. Nevertheless, parental rights will not be enforced to the detriment or destruction of the health and well being of the child. Crawford v. Dep't of Human Servs., 330 Ark. 152, 951 S.W.2d 310 (1997).
Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 9-27-341(b), the facts warranting termination of parental rights must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.
When the burden of proving a disputed fact in chancery court is by clear and convincing evidence, the question we must answer on appeal is whether the chancellor's finding that the disputed fact was proved by clear and convincing evidence is clearly erroneous. Beeson v. Arkansas Dep't of Human Servs., 37 Ark. App. 12, 823 S.W.2d 912 (1992).
In resolving the clearly erroneous question, we must give due deference to the opportunity of the chancellor to judge the credibility of the witnesses. Anderson v. Douglas, 310 Ark. 633, 839 S.W.2d 196 (1992).
Repeatedly our courts have stated that there are no cases in which the superior position, ability, and opportunity to view the parties carry as great a weight as those involving minor children. Norwood v. Robinson, 315 Ark. 255, 866 S.W.2d 398 (1993).
Arkansas Code Annotated Section 9-27-341 (Supp. 1995), provides in pertinent part that:
(b) An order forever terminating parental rights shall be based upon a finding by clear and convincing evidence:
(1) That it is in the best interest of the juvenile, including consideration of the following factors:
(A) the likelihood that the juvenile will be adopted if the termination petition is granted, and
(B) the potential harm caused by continuing contact with the parent, parents, or putative parent;
(2) of one (1) or more of the following grounds:
(A) That a juvenile has been adjudicated by the court to be dependent-neglected and has continued out of the home for twelve (12) months, and, despite a meaningful effort by the Department of Human Services to rehabilitate the home and correct the conditions which caused removal, those conditions have not been remedied by the parent. It is not necessary that the twelve-month period referenced in this subdivision (b)(2)(A) immediately precede the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights, or that it be for twelve (12) consecutive months.