When a person is recognized as a biological parent, he or she has assumed parental rights over his or her child. This means that they do not need to prove anything in order to have visitation rights and custody over their child. However, in some circumstances, these rights can be taken away.
When parents have been abusive or have neglected their child, the child custody courts will obviously take action to protect the child in question at all costs. This will usually mean taking away the parent's custody rights. However, many situations are less clear cut. The following is how the child custody courts work to establish whether a parent is unfit.
Factors that are considered
The child custody courts will investigate the current situation if a complaint against a parent is made. They will take all evidence they have and assess whether the current situation is in the best interests of the child. Factors they will consider are whether the child is being subjected to abuse or neglect, whether there is drug and alcohol use in the house where the child is living and whether the parent is suffering from a mental illness.
When a parent is deemed unfit
If a parent is deemed to be a risk to the child's well-being, there are several options. If you are the other custodian, you may decide to limit the other parent's contact with the child to supervised visitation sessions. In this way, the child will be safe and able to still have a bond with their other parent.
If you are concerned about the well-being of a child in Oregon, it is important that you take action as soon as possible.
Source: FindLaw, "When Can Parental Rights Be Terminated?," accessed June 01, 2018