Recent case: Termination of parental rights for failure to rectify

When children are taken into protective care by the children’s division, the goal is to reunite the children and the parent(s).  However, parental rights can ultimately be terminated because of a failure of the parents to remedy the cause(s) of the children to be taken into protective care in the first place.  This is called “failure to rectify.” A termination of parental rights for failure to rectify requires clear and convincing proof that:

  1. The conditions that brought each child into care still persisted, or that other potentially harmful conditions still existed; AND
  2. Those conditions were unlikely to be remedied soon enough for the child to be returned to Mother in the near future, or that continuation of their parent-child relationship would greatly diminish the child’s prospects for early integration into a stable and permanent home.

In this recent case, the Court terminated parental rights, and stated that “every child is entitled to a permanent and stable home.” The evidence supporting the termination of parental rights include mental condition of the mother—supported as to documentation, duration, and severity —failure to comply with the court ordered treatment plan, and failure to improve behavior.  The evidence showing that termination of parental rights was in children’s best interest includes evidence that one child never lived with parent, another had emotional damage from living with parent, and third child’s behavior was better without the parent.

Missouri Court of Appeals

Southern District

SD33150, SD33151, SD33152 (Consolidated)