Adoption/Termination of Parental Rights
Stepparent, foster parent and relative adoptions are sometimes called termination-adoptions, because the legal rights of the biological parent must first be terminated before the adoption can take place. This can be accomplished either with the voluntarily agreement of the biological parent whose rights will be terminated or involuntarily by court order.
In a voluntary termination proceeding, a biological parent relinquishes parental rights via an affidavit, clearing the way for adoption of the child. If a parent will not voluntarily relinquish his or her rights, then the adoptive parent(s) must file a petition seeking termination of the biological parent’s rights.
Please be aware, however, that the involuntary termination of a parent’s rights regarding his or her child is one of the most difficult legal hurdles to overcome in the entire area of family law in Texas, and understandably so. In the United States, a parent’s right to care for and raise his or her child and a child’s rights to be raised and cared for by his or her parent, is of constitutional dimensions.
While the involuntary termination of a parent’s rights to his or her child can be challenging, there are definite instances of parental conduct that may warrant such termination. Following are some examples of legal grounds in Texas for the involuntary termination of parental rights:
The parent failed to support the child to their ability for a period of at least one year ending within six months of the adoption.
The parent abandoned the child.
The parent voluntarily left the child in the care of someone else.
The parent left the child and remained away for at least six months.
The parent endangered the child.
The foregoing list is certainly not exhaustive and there are many more facets to this process than can be described here. If the legal matters of termination of parental rights and/or adoption of a child are of interest to your or someone you care about, please contact Kimberly Levi today to set up a consultation to discuss the options available to you in Texas.