In February 2018, the Maryland legislature unanimously passed the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act (“Act”). The Act was signed into law on an emergency basis during the 2018 legislative session and, consequently, took effect upon the Governor’s signing of the Act.
The Act establishes a court process for the termination of the parental rights of a respondent who has been criminally convicted of or been civilly found by clear and convincing evidence to have engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct which results in the conception of a child. A “respondent” is the person against whom an action for termination of parental rights is filed under the Act.
“Nonconsensual sexual conduct” means certain acts as defined in the criminal law code including, but not limited, to rape in the first degree and rape in the second degree involving force or the threat of force. In addition to a finding of nonconsensual sexual conduct, the court must also find by clear and convincing evidence that the termination of the parental rights of the respondent is in the child’s best interest. Additional provisions of the Act apply in circumstances where the parties were married at the time of the conception of the child. A parent in a proceeding under the Act is entitled to the assistance of counsel.
Contact the lawyers at Andalman & Flynn in Maryland for help in determining whether the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act applies to your circumstances. If you need help with any of a variety of legal matters, the attorneys at Andalman & Flynn are here. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 301-563-6685.
You may also be interested in: