ANSWERS: 1
  • A person can lose all parental rights if the Minnesota courts determine that a child has been abandoned.

    Definition

    Under the Minnesota statutes on maltreatment of minors, a child is considered abandoned if the parent has had no regular contact with the child and has not "demonstrated consistent interest in the child's well-being for six months," according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

    Requirements

    The social services agency involved in the child's case must try to put the child and parent in contact.

    Exceptions

    If a parent can prove that she couldn't contact her child for a good reason, such as "extreme financial or physical hardship" or entry into a mental health or drug addiction recovery program, the state might not consider the case to be abandonment.

    Infants

    If the child is under the age of 2, the state will consider him to be abandoned if the parent has "deserted" the child and there is reason to believe that she does not intend to return.

    Reporting Abuse

    You don't need to be a professional to report suspected abuse in Minnesota. Under state law, anyone can notify the authorities with a complaint. Certain professionals, including those who work with children, are legally required to report suspected abuse.

    Source:

    Department of Human Services: Minnesota Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines

    Minnesota Statutes: Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors

    Minnesota Statutes: Termination of Parental Rights

    Resource:

    Child Welfare Information Gateway: Definitions of Child Abuse

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