What happens to a child when their parent goes to prison? If a child is placed with the state agency, such as Children and Youth, a parent may still be able to visit with their child during the time that the parent is incarcerated. It is important for an incarcerated parent to do everything possible to maintain contact with their child and to be active in order to protect their parental rights. Failure to maintain contact or interest can result in a termination of parental rights and adoption if the child is in agency care. Even if visits do not occur, it is important to write, request information about the child, attend hearings and take parenting classes while in prison. If drug and alcohol abuse is an issue, it is important to seek help while incarcerated through the programs offered through the prison.