Under Indiana law, a termination of parental rights occurs when a court issues an order that permanently ends all legal, social, and financial responsibility between the child and her parents. The parents have no rights to custody or visitation of the child. The parents also have no duty to future support of the child, but must pay any past due support obligations until they are satisfied, see Indiana Legal Services’ web resources.
Indiana law provides for the voluntary termination of parental rights, when it is determined by a court, on recommendation of the Department of Child Services that such a termination of rights is in the best interests of the child. The parent whose rights are to be terminated must be fully informed of his or her rights by the court before an order is entered.
Usually, children are best served with the full integration of both parents in their lives in every way. Where parents live apart and there is extraordinary conflict, it may not be possible for both parents to be involved in the children’s lives.
While I recommend to every single parent to seek to create an equal balance of parenting time and support for the children, where this is not possible, and an amicable alternative does not exist – it can sometimes be in everyone’s best interests to terminate parental rights.
Typically, this would be the case if one parent is completely unable or unwilling to spend adequate time with the child, and a sizeable support arrearage is mounting. After all, a custodial parent who is unwilling to allow a child to have ample time with the otehr parent should not expect support from that parent.
Again, this is a decision of last resort. Even to parents who are substantially alienated from their children and forced to pay support nonetheless, I do not recommend this course of action until every other avenue of rebuilidng the relationship has been exhausted.