41-3-607. Petition for termination -- separate hearing -- no jury trial. (1) The termination of a parent-child legal relationship may be considered only after the filing of a petition pursuant to 41-3-422 alleging the factual grounds for termination pursuant to 41-3-609.
(2) If termination of a parent-child legal relationship is ordered, the court may:
(a) transfer permanent legal custody of the child, with the right to consent to the child's adoption, to:
(i) the department;
(ii) a licensed child-placing agency; or
(iii) another individual who has been approved by the department and has received consent for the transfer of custody from the department or agency that has custody of the child; or
(b) transfer permanent legal custody of the child to the department with the right to petition for appointment of a guardian pursuant to 41-3-444.
(3) If the court does not order termination of the parent-child legal relationship, the child's prior legal status remains in effect until further order of the court.
(4) A guardian ad litem must be appointed to represent the child's best interests in any hearing determining the involuntary termination of the parent-child legal relationship. The guardian ad litem shall continue to represent the child until the child is returned home or placed in an appropriate permanent placement. If a respondent parent is a minor, a guardian ad litem must be appointed to serve the minor parent in addition to any appointed or assigned counsel requested by the minor parent.
(5) There is no right to a jury trial at proceedings held to consider the termination of a parent-child legal relationship.
History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 420, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 388, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 19, Ch. 458, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 516, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 428, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 566, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 504, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 33, Ch. 449, L. 2005.