Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of Parental Rights Definition
Termination of parental rights (TPR) means that all rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties and obligations existing between parent and child are permanently severed, pursuant to a court order. Parental rights may be terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily.

The forms indicated below include all types of terminations. All documents pertaining to the specific type of termination being sought must be properly completed, filed and the guardian ad litem deposit paid to commence the termination of parental rights of one or both of the biological parents.

A Guardian ad Litem is required by Wisconsin Statutes to be appointed for a child who is the subject of a Termination of Parental Rights proceeding. A $200 deposit may be required by court order. Fees in excess of this deposit will be charged to the petitioner.
Forms can be found by clicking on the titles above or online through the Wisconsin Court System and the Department of Health Services.

When the proper forms are filed with the court, a hearing date will be set. The summons and petition for TPR must be served on the terminating parent. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to personally serve the terminating parent with the summons, petition for TPR, and a family history questionnaire at least 7 days prior to the hearing date. If the address of the terminating parent(s) is not known, notice must be published in a newspaper. The notice and order of hearing (for publication) and consent to use mother’s name for publication must be completed and filed with the court.

Documents Required
The following documents are required to be filled out before the court hearing:
  • Certificate / Affidavit of Personal Service or the Proof of Publication
  • Complete the medical / genetic questionnaires as thoroughly as possible
  • Family History Questionnaires of both parents (if not previously filed)
  • Order Concerning Termination of Parental Rights (Involuntary or Voluntary)
  • Order for TPR must be filled in completely prior to the hearing