Grounds for terminating parental rights of a child include severe or chronic physical abuse, sexual abuse, severe psychological abuse, extreme emotional damage, and abandonment, according to FindLaw. Additional grounds for termination include the parent's inability to provide support and long-term parental alcohol, drug use or mental illness.
Termination of parental rights is a severe legal penalty levied upon a parent with the express purpose of ensuring the best interests of the child, explains FindLaw. Although some parents terminate their parental interest voluntarily, the procedure usually involves a court-ordered proceeding whereby the court orders that the necessary grounds to end the parent-child relationship are legally established. Upon termination of the parental relationship, the child is free to be adopted.