How to Petition to Terminate the Biological Father's Parental Rights in Ohio

by Tabitha Deptula

In the state of Ohio, the termination of a father's parental rights is a permanent decision that may be done voluntarily or may require extreme circumstances in order to be executed. Some of the reasons one may wish to terminate parental rights may be to adoption, drug/alcohol abuse, physical/sexual abuse, neglect, illness, incarceration, felony convictions, abandonment or extreme disinterest in being a parent. A court hearing is required to terminate parental rights and will only be granted if the court finds that the termination of parental rights is in the child's best interest. An appeal can only be filed within 45 days of judgment.

Termination of Father's Parental Rights

Talk with the father to find out if he will voluntarily accept termination of his rights. This may seem a more favorable option as it will absolve the father of child-support payments and parental obligations. This also allows for a chance to the father to be aware of the situation before receiving court papers.

Contact a family law lawyer in your area. The lawyer will be able to advise you on your specific situation and help you with filling out any necessary paperwork. If you are unable to afford a lawyer, you may be eligible for free assistance from the courts. There is information in the resource section with some information on obtaining free or low-cost legal assistance.

Visit your local courthouse and obtain the proper forms to petition to terminate the father's parental rights. You will need to have personal information regarding the child and the father. Turn the papers into the court clerk and request a hearing from a judge. You are now responsible for serving the papers and court notice to the father.

Attend the court hearing prepared to explain why to the judge you wish to terminate parental rights of the father. Bring the proper documentation proving any reason why the father should not have parental rights. Any documentation of abuse, neglect, drug use or other danger is extremely important in termination of the father's parental rights. Judges are not likely to terminate parental rights unless there is good cause or the child has a potential for adoption from another potential parent.

Once a petition to terminate parental rights is granted, there is a 45-day window in which the ruling can be appealed. After 45 days, the ruling is final.

Items you will need

  • Petition to terminate parental rights
  • Documents that support reasons for termination
  • Personal information about the child and father
  • Lawyer (optional)


  • If you suspect that the child is in any danger whatsoever, contact authorities immediately.
  • Dress appropriately for your court date.


  • This in no way substitutes for legal advice. Contact a lawyer in your area that can help you with your specific circumstances.
  • Remember that termination of the father's parental rights is a permanent decision.

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