OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate approved legislation Monday modifying rules to terminate parental rights. Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan, and Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa, are the authors of House Bill 2318 to add findings of child abuse or neglect that is heinous and shocking as legal grounds for the termination of parental rights. Under the bill, failing to protect a child, even it is not their own, from such treatment could result in the termination of parental rights.
“Sadly, child abuse is a major problem in our state, and we must strengthen our laws to better protect those who can’t protect themselves,” Garvin said. “I’m proud to have carried this important legislation in the Senate to close this loophole and stop abusive adults from being allowed to continue parenting. Abuse is a vicious cycle that must be stopped for the sake of our state’s youth.”
Currently, parental rights can be terminated under a number of legal grounds, including, but not limited to –
“Current law only allows for the termination of parental rights if a parent is found to have abused or neglected their own children,” Lawson said. “However, abuse is often a life-long behavior, so House Bill 2318 will extend the definition to include any children that adult has been found to have hurt at any time in their life. This is a commonsense measure that will better protect children from being victimized by those who should be protecting them, and I’m grateful for the wide support of this measure.
HB 2318 now returns to the House for final consideration before moving on to the governor’s desk.
For more information, contact: Sen. Garvin: (405) 521-5522 or Jessica.Garvin@oksenate.gov