Can a Parent Who Signed Over Their Legal Rights Show Up at School Functions for the Child? Is There Anything That Can Be Done if They Keep Coming to Things Like Sports and Award Ceremonies?
I cannot answer this question as to what law applies in all jurisdictions, as I am not licensed to practice law in all jurisdictions, but I will be happy to answer this question according to the law as it applies in the state of Utah, where I practice divorce and family law:
First, we have to distinguish between a parent whose parental rights have been legally terminated and a parent who believes he or she has relinquished his/her parental rights when in fact his or her parental rights are not legally terminated. There are many parents who believe that they have “signed over their legal rights” when in fact whatever they signed had no such legally binding or enforceable effect. In Utah, you cannot simply declare yourself no longer to be a parent. You cannot sign an agreement giving custody of your children to someone else without that agreement being incorporated into an order of the court.
So, assuming that your parental rights were properly and legally terminated by the order of a court with jurisdiction to do so, the question is now whether the termination of your parental rights prevents you from showing up at your biological (but no longer your legal) child’s school functions, sporting events, award ceremonies, and the like.
If the event is open to the public, then you would have every right to go attend that school function as a member of the public, not by virtue of your status as a parent (because you are no longer legally that child’s parent).
But if the event involving your biological child were not open to the public and who can and cannot attend were left to the choice of the child’s legal parents or guardians, then the legal parents or guardians could bar you from the event and there is nothing that you could do to prevent that. And if you tried to attend an event involving a child that was not open to the public, and you were told you were not welcome at the event but still tried to attend or refuse to leave, you could be trespassed from the event and potentially charged with various crimes, including trespass, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct, to name a few.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277
(16) Eric Johnson’s answer to Can a parent who signed over their legal rights show up at school functions for the child? Is there anything that can be done if they keep coming to things like sports and award ceremonies? – Quora
Tags: legally terminated parental rights, parental rights