§587A-34 Reinstatement of parental rights. (a) A child who is subject to an active proceeding under this chapter, the child's guardian ad litem, the child's attorney, if any, or the department, may file a motion to reinstate the terminated parental rights of the child's parents in a proceeding under this chapter, where the following circumstances exist:
(1) The child has been in permanent custody for at least twelve months; and
(2) The child is fourteen years of age or older.
(b) A motion to reinstate parental rights shall be filed with the court and shall describe the factors supporting a reinstatement of parental rights. The court shall order a preliminary hearing to be held within ninety days and shall give prior notice to:
(1) The former parent whose rights are sought to be reinstated;
(2) The child's guardian ad litem;
(3) The department; and
(4) The child's resource family.
(c) The motion shall be denied if the parent whose rights are sought to be reinstated cannot be located.
(d) Within seven days before the preliminary hearing on the motion, the department and the child's guardian ad litem shall submit reports to the court that address:
(1) The material change in circumstances since the termination of parental rights;
(2) The reasons parental rights were terminated and the date of the termination order;
(3) A parent's willingness to resume contact with the child and to have parental rights reinstated;
(4) The child's willingness to resume contact with the parent and to have parental rights reinstated;
(5) A parent's willingness and ability to be involved in the child's life and to accept physical custody of the child; and
(6) Other relevant information.
(e) At a preliminary hearing on the motion, the court shall continue the prior award of permanent custody and may order a trial home placement and a temporary reinstatement of parental rights upon finding that:
(1) There has been a material change in circumstances;
(2) A parent is willing to provide care for the child;
(3) A parent is able to provide a safe family home or the home can be made safe with the assistance of services; and
(4) A trial home placement is in the child's best interests.
(f) If the court issues a temporary order of reinstatement of parental rights:
(1) The child shall be conditionally placed in the physical care of the parent for a period not to exceed six months;
(2) The department shall develop a permanent plan for reunification and shall ensure that transition services are provided to the family, as appropriate; and
(3) The court shall hold a hearing on the motion to reinstate parental rights after the child has been placed with the parent for six months.
(g) The department has the authority to assess the trial home placement and to rescind the trial home placement according to the child's best interests.
(h) At a final hearing on the motion to reinstate parental rights, the court may issue a final order of reinstatement of parental rights and terminate its jurisdiction if the trial home placement has been successful. In making its final decision, the court shall determine whether the moving party has proven by clear and convincing evidence that:
(1) Reinstatement of parental rights is in the best interests of the child, taking into consideration:
(A) Whether a parent has remedied the conditions that caused the termination of parental rights;
(B) The age and maturity of the child and the child's ability to express a preference; and
(C) The likelihood of risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the child;
(2) A parent is able to provide the child with a safe family home;
(3) Both the parent and child consent to the reinstatement of parental rights; and
(4) The permanent plan goals for the child have not been and are not likely to be achieved.
(i) A proceeding to reinstate parental rights shall be a separate action from the proceeding for the termination of parental rights. The granting of the motion to reinstate parental rights shall not affect the validity of the original termination order. [L 2010, c 135, pt of §1; am L 2011, c 51, §8]