Case Support

Termination of Parental Rights & the Child-Parent Relationship 


  • Open Adoption is not a Suitable Alternative to Guardianship (Hewko 2015) – Policy Report

This Incarcerated Parents Project policy report argues for parent attorneys to proactively pursue Chapter RCW 13.36 guardianship as a more equitable and accessible long-term permanency option for child of incarcerated parents in response to or in lieu of legal (and permanent) termination of the child-parent relationship. 

  • A Good Cause Exception is Necessary for Incarcerated Parents (Hewko 2015) – Practice Memorandum

This Incarcerated Parents Project practice memorandum addresses the benefits for incarcerated parents in the child welfare system to litigate or receive a good cause finding on whether the child welfare agency should be ordered to file a petition to terminate the child-parent relationship. It also addresses why  the finding supports the child welfare agency in meeting the federal law regarding permanency planning. 



  • The Cumulative Prevalence of Termination of Parental Rights for U.S. Children, 2000–2016 (Wildeman, et al. 2020) – external link

This research report makes several findings including that there is dramatic variation across states in the risk of experiencing termination of parental rights and there is racial/ethnic inequality in this risk. Overall, the researchers suggest that parental rights termination, which involves the permanent loss of access to children for parents, is far more common than often thought.