I lost my parental rights. How can I get my children back?

Publication Date: July 15, 2021


If your parental rights have been terminated by a court of law and/or your children have been legally adopted, in most states there is no provision for reinstating parental rights or reversing an adoption decree except under certain circumstances such as fraud, duress, coercion, etc.

In a handful of states, state law permits the parents' parental rights to be restored; in other states, the path to legal reunification is less well defined. In most cases, the courts will approve reinstatement of parental rights only when the child wishes to be reunited, the circumstances of the parents have improved to the point that they are able to safely parent the child, and the reunification is in the child's best interests.

The National Conference of State Legislatures website provides a listing of state laws addressing the reinstatement of parental rights.

If you would like to consult with an attorney and need assistance locating an attorney, you may find it beneficial to visit the American Bar Association (ABA) website for legal information, including state-specific services, pro bono programs, legal hotlines, court resources, and more. You may access the ABA Consumers' Guide to Legal Help for each state or contact the ABA via their toll-free number: 1.800.285.2221.

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