Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Jan. 26, 2022
The relationship between a parent and child is a special bond based on love and care. However, certain circumstances may warrant the revocation of parental rights. The process of taking away a parent’s rights to their child against the parent’s will is called “an involuntary termination of parental rights.”
If you are facing issues surrounding the termination of parental rights or have questions about the legal process in Texas, reach out to an experienced adoption and family law attorney at James P. Peterson Attorney at Law. Mr. Peterson serves clients dealing with adoption, family law, and termination of parental rights concerns in San Antonio, Texas, and surrounding areas, including New Braunfels and Boerne.
What Is Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights?
When a child is born, the law grants parents automatic authority to care for their children and make decisions regarding their welfare, including healthcare and education, in the child’s best interests. While most parents fulfill their parenting duties, some end up neglecting, abusing, or endangering the physical or emotional wellbeing of their children.
When this happens, the court can take away parental rights. This is known as an involuntary termination of parental rights. Under Texas law, the termination of parental rights can be either voluntary or involuntary. As its name implies, involuntary termination occurs without the parent’s agreement to the revocation of their parental rights. If a parent’s rights are terminated, that parent no longer has the right to any visitation with the child.
It is not common for courts in Texas to terminate a parent’s parental rights against their will. A judge must consider a number of factors before taking away a parent’s rights. However, certain circumstances may warrant involuntary termination. Such circumstances include non support, neglect, abuse, addiction to alcohol or drugs, imprisonment, and others.
Common Reasons for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Texas law outlines several circumstances under which a judge may terminate parental rights without consent. The behaviors that can lead to involuntary termination of parental rights include but are not limited to:
Endangerment of the child’s physical or emotional wellbeing
Abusing the child
Neglecting the child
failing to support the child or pay court-ordered child support for one year or more
Failure or refusal to support the child
Criminal activity and imprisonment
Having a mental or emotional illness that endangers the child or prevents the parent from properly caring for the child
It is vital to understand the reasons parental rights can be terminated without consent, whether you are the parent whose parental rights are being taken away or you are considering taking legal action to terminate your ex-spouse’s parental rights. Speak with a family law attorney to determine if your particular situation warrants involuntary termination of parental rights.
Foster Care After the Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Whether a parent has endangered, abandoned, neglected, abused the child, or did anything else that results in the termination of parental rights, the child may enter the foster care system if the state becomes involved. Once the child’s parents’ rights are terminated—voluntarily or involuntarily—the child can legally be adopted.
Foster care is a term used to describe a system in which a child is placed into an institutional setting or home (group or private) after being removed from the physical custody of the birth parents by the state. The child may be placed into the care of the state either temporarily or permanently.
Family Law Attorney in San Antonio, Texas
The family law attorney at James P. Peterson Attorney at Law helps clients navigate the process of an involuntary termination of parental rights in Texas. This process can be stressful and overwhelming, whether you are the parent at risk of losing parental rights or someone who needs assistance with petitioning the court to terminate a former spouse’s parental rights. James P Peterson serves clients in San Antonio, Texas, and neighboring areas. Set up a free consultation regarding your family law matter today.