Russia’s Supreme Court on grounds for withholding parental rights
Following a plenary session of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation a draft resolution has been released listing the circumstances under which children can be removed from their families.
According to the draft resolution, adults cannot be deprived of their parental rights due to problems beyond their control, for example, as a result of sickness, psychiatric disorders or other chronic diseases.
There are, however, exceptions for people suffering from chronic alcoholism or drug addiction and parents who abuse their parental rights; if they involve their children in sects or extremist organisations, become verbally abusive to them, force them into gambling, make them homeless, have them beg or steal, or lead them into prostitution, drug or alcohol abuse. Reporting on the Supreme Court’s resolution, the Russian News Agency Novosti stated that if parents behave in a way that jeopardises the safety of their children the court has the authority to limit their rights.
However, experts stress that parents should only be deprived of their rights in exceptional circumstances, where there is clear evidence that the court needs to intervene to protect the interests of the child. As a first step the court may issue a warning to parents that they need to change the way they treat their children.
Parents may also forfeit their rights if they commit a crime against their child or against a second parent, even if a criminal case is dropped for rehabilitation reasons (if the statute of limitations expires or there is an amnesty or pardon).