If the child was conceived from a sexual assault, can the offender's rights be terminated?
The mother of the child (or the mother's parent/guardian if the mother is a minor) can file a petition in district court to terminate the offender's parental rights if the child was conceived due to an act of gross sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, or incest (or a similar crime in another state). The offender does not have to have been convicted of the crime (but be sure to include that information if relevant).
Note: If a parent/guardian is filing the petition on behalf of a victim of statutory rape (gross sexual assault section (1)(B)), the judge can deny the petition if:
- the victim is at least 12 years old;
- the victim says that the sexual act was "consensual;" and
- the victim doesn't want the offender's rights to be terminated.1
1 M.R.S. 19-A § 1658(1), (2), (4)