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Article 6 - Part 1A - Family Court

RESTORATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

Section Description
635 Petition to restore parental rights.
636 Originating a proceeding to restore parental rights; service and venue.
637 Burden of proof, disposition and findings.
  S 635. Petition  to  restore parental rights. A petition to modify a
  disposition ordered pursuant to subdivision (c) of section  six  hundred
  thirty-one  of  this  article  or  paragraph (a) of subdivision three of
  section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law in  order
  to  restore  parental  rights  may be filed in accordance with this part
  where the following conditions are met:
    (a) the order committing guardianship and custody  of  the  child  had
  been  issued  two  or  more  years  prior  to  the date of filing of the
  petition under this section; and
    (b) the order committing guardianship and custody  of  the  child  had
  been  based  upon  an  adjudication upon grounds enumerated in paragraph
  (b),  (c)  or  (d)  of  subdivision  four  of  section   three   hundred
  eighty-four-b of the social services law; and
    (c)  the  petition  alleges that the petitioner or petitioners and the
  respondent or respondents in the proceeding in  which  guardianship  and
  custody  had  been  committed  consent  to  the  relief requested in the
  petition or that the petitioner or petitioners withheld consent  to  the
  relief requested in the petition without good cause; and
    (d)  the  child  is  fourteen years of age or older, remains under the
  jurisdiction of the family court, has not been adopted, does not have  a
  permanency  goal of adoption and consents to the relief requested in the
  petition.

  S 636. Originating  a proceeding to restore parental rights; service
  and venue. (a) A proceeding  to  modify  the  disposition  in  order  to
  restore parental rights may be originated by the filing of a petition by
  the  child's  attorney, by the agency or individual to whom guardianship
  and custody of the child had been committed  or  by  the  respondent  or
  respondents  in  the  termination  of  parental  rights  proceeding. The
  petition shall be served  upon  the  child's  attorney,  the  agency  or
  individual  to  whom  guardianship  and  custody  of  the child had been
  committed and the  respondent  or  respondents  in  the  termination  of
  parental  rights  proceeding,  as  well as the attorney or attorneys who
  represented the respondent or respondents in the termination of parental
  rights proceeding. A certified copy of the order committing guardianship
  and custody shall be attached to the petition.
    (b) Upon the filing of a petition under this part, the court may cause
  a summons to be issued to the child, the agency or  individual  to  whom
  guardianship  and  custody  of  the  child  had  been  committed and the
  respondent  or  respondents  in  the  termination  of  parental   rights
  proceeding.  The  summons shall be served in accordance with section six
  hundred seventeen of this article, accompanied by a copy of the petition
  and the certified order of commitment sought to be modified.
    (c) The petition shall  be  filed  before  the  court  that  exercised
  jurisdiction  over  the  most recent permanency proceeding involving the
  child and shall be assigned, wherever practicable, to the  family  court
  judge  who  presided over that proceeding or the proceeding to terminate
  parental rights.
    (d) Wherever practicable, the child shall be represented by  the  same
  attorney  that  represented  the  child  in  the  most recent permanency
  proceeding and the parent or parents shall be represented  by  the  same
  attorney  or  attorneys  who  represented  the  parent or parents in the
  termination  of  parental  rights  proceeding.   Where   this   is   not
  practicable,  or  where  the  court  grants a request by the attorney or
  attorneys to be relieved, the  court  shall  immediately  assign  a  new
  attorney or attorneys, as applicable.

  S 637. Burden of proof, disposition and findings. (a) The petitioner
  shall have the burden of proof by clear  and  convincing  evidence  that
  restoration  of  parental  rights is in the child's best interests, that
  the requirements of section six hundred thirty-five of  this  part  have
  been met and that all of the parties and the child have consented or, if
  the  petitioner in the proceeding in which guardianship and custody have
  been committed failed to consent to  the  relief  requested,  that  such
  failure was without good cause.
    (b)  The court shall state on the record the reason or reasons for its
  disposition of the petition. The court may make the following orders  of
  disposition:
    (i)  The court may grant the petition, modify the order of disposition
  previously entered in the termination of parental rights proceeding  and
  transfer  guardianship  and  custody of the child to the birth parent or
  parents, provided, however, that the findings of fact rendered  pursuant
  to section six hundred twenty-two of this article or subdivision four of
  section  three  hundred  eighty-four-b  of  the social services law that
  formed the basis for the adjudication terminating parental rights  shall
  remain; or
    (ii)  The court may dismiss the petition, in which case the commitment
  of guardianship and custody of the child to  the  authorized  agency  or
  individual  would continue and a permanency hearing would be required to
  be held as scheduled in accordance with article ten-A of this act; or
    (iii) The court may grant the petition conditionally for a  designated
  period  of  up to six months, during which time guardianship and custody
  of the child shall remain with the local  social  services  district  or
  authorized  agency  while  the  child  may visit with, or be placed on a
  trial discharge with, the birth  parent  or  parents.  The  court  shall
  direct  the  district or agency to supervise the child's birth parent or
  parents,  develop  a  reunification   plan   and   provide   appropriate
  transitional  services  to  the  child  and  birth parent or parents and
  report to the parties, attorney for the child and the  court  not  later
  than  thirty  days prior to the expiration of the designated period. The
  court shall schedule the proceeding to be heard prior to the  expiration
  of  the  designated  period  and  shall  determine  whether to grant the
  petition  permanently  in  accordance  with  paragraph   (i)   of   this
  subdivision or dismiss the petition in accordance with paragraph (ii) of
  this   subdivision.   The   court   shall  state  its  reasons  for  its
  determination. If the  petition  is  permanently  granted,  the  child's
  custody  and  guardianship  shall  be transferred to the birth parent or
  parents. If the child has been removed from the  custody  of  the  birth
  parent  or  parents  prior to the expiration of the designated period by
  reason of a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment,  the  court
  shall  schedule  the proceeding to be heard on notice to the parties and
  attorney for the child,  may  terminate  the  trial  discharge  and  may
  dismiss   the  petition  in  accordance  with  paragraph  (ii)  of  this
  subdivision.

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