This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).






In the Matter of the Welfare of:  K.A.S., Child.


Filed June 20, 2000


Crippen, Judge


Lac Qui Parle County District Court

File No. J49850100



Ronald R. Frauenshuh, Jr., 129 N.W. Second Street, Ortonville, MN 56278 (for appellant father)


Thomas G. Kramer, Special Assistant County Attorney, Lac Qui Parle County, 132 Eighth Avenue, P.O. Box 128, Granite Falls, MN 56241 (for respondent county)


Carter Greiner, 432 S.W. Litchfield Avenue, Willmar, MN 56201 (for respondent child)


Jennifer Fischer, 432 S.W. Litchfield Avenue, Willmar, MN 56201 (for respondent mother)


            Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Davies, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




            Appellant I.S., seeking to terminate his own parental rights regarding his 14-year-old daughter K.A.S., appeals the trial court’s determination that appellant presented no good cause for obtaining such relief.  Because appellant’s petition is substantively inadequate on its face, we affirm.



            In July, 1999, appellant petitioned that his parental rights with his daughter be terminated because she caused him “extreme mental cruelty,” she desired no relationship with him, and because appellant believed that public officials had acted improperly toward him in collateral proceedings in which the child had been determined in need of protective services and placed in foster care.



Appellant’s petition identifies no legal basis on which termination could be granted.  A court may allow termination of parental rights with the written consent of a parent who, for “good cause,” desires termination.  Minn. Stat. § 260.221, subd. 1(a) (1998).[1]  The Minnesota Supreme Court has determined that good cause would be found when termination would “enable the judicial system to legally remove a child from a destructive or unhealthy home environment,” or would “facilitate adoption procedures.”  In re Welfare of Alle, 304 Minn. 254, 257, 230 N.W.2d 574, 576 (1975). 

Appellant contends, principally, that the law should not protect a parental relationship that is no longer meaningful for either the parent or the child.  There is no provision of state law allowing termination of parental rights on those grounds.  In addition, appellant contends that a determination of his financial obligations should be commensurate with the poor relationship he has with his child.  This proposition likewise has no support in the law.

We also note appellant’s substantial emphasis on the purported need that he have a remedy regarding child protection actions taken by public authorities.  The conduct of public officials as recited in appellant’s accusation is in matters wholly collateral to the termination petition.  There is no lawful cause for appellant’s suggestion that he is entitled to sever his relationship with his child in the aftermath of public action to protect the child from harm. 

Finally, our affirmance of the order is also dictated here in deference to the trial court; under the statute, the court “may” terminate parental rights when good cause is shown, the exercise of this broad discretion under the statute must be given deference by this court.  Also, a trial court’s determination that no good cause for termination exists will be upheld if the findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence and are not clearly erroneous.  In re Welfare of Clausen, 289 N.W.2d 153, 156 (Minn. 1980) (citing In re Welfare of Sharp, 268 N.W.2d 424, 428 (Minn. 1978)).  The trial court properly reasoned in this case that allowing appellant to terminate his parental rights voluntarily would not “further the adoption of [the child] and no other ‘good cause’ has been presented.”

We take note of appellant’s recitation of the wishes of the child to see her father’s parental rights terminated, and this bears upon the rule of law that the child’s best interests are of “paramount” concern.  In re Welfare of M.P., 542 N.W.2d 71, 74 (Minn. App. 1996).  But standing alone, the wishes of the child have little impact in determining the child’s best interest with regard to the effects of terminating her father’s parental rights.  See, e.g., In re Welfare of J.D.N., 504 N.W.2d 54, 57 –58 (Minn. App. 1993) (the child’s rights that would be affected by allowing the parent to terminate his or her parental rights include: the right to receive social security benefits, the right to inherit via intestate succession, the right to recover in a wrongful death action, and the right to receive child support).


[1] This provision now appears in Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(a) (Supp. 1999).  See 1999 Minn. Laws ch. 139, art. 3, § 29; 1999 Minn. Laws ch. 245, art. 8, §§ 59-64.