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Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

James P. Peterson Attorney at Law Feb. 3, 2022

African Father Holding Embracing Cute Little Child DaughterParent-child relationship – the unique relationship between a parent and child – is essential to help nurture the physical, social, and emotional growth and development of a child. However, a parent may recognize their inability to cater to the child’s needs and relinquish their parental rights. Termination of parental rights involves ending the parent-child relationship between a child and one or both parents. An experienced Texas family law attorney can enlighten you about the legal consequences of giving up your parental rights and help you navigate crucial decisions.

Attorney James P Peterson has experienced legal services and can guide parents through the complexities involved in terminating parental rights. Attorney James P Peterson can help guide you through every step involved in the legal proceedings and ensure that you’re making such a decision in your child’s best interests. The firm is proud to serve clients across San Antonio, Boerne, and New Braunfels, Texas.

Understanding Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of parental rights can be described as the legal process whereby the court ends the parent-child relationship between a child and one or both parents. Once the parental rights are terminated, the concerned parent will have no legal right or responsibility to the child.

In Texas, termination of parental rights may be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary termination of parental rights is a choice for the parent to give up the child, usually when they’re unable or unfit to take care of a child.

Conversely, involuntary termination of parental rights isn’t a choice. It is a termination of parental rights due to criminal allegations. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about situations when voluntary termination may be advisable and help you make informed decisions regarding your parental rights.

Circumstances Under Which
Voluntary Termination is Accepted

Here are some common examples of circumstances where voluntary termination may be in the best interest of the child:

  • To make way for adoption.

  • The parent is unable or unfit to care for the child.

  • Due to long-term mental illness or incapacity.

  • Inability to maintain regular contact with the child.

  • The parent is dealing with long-term substance abuse or addiction issues.

In any of these cases, a parent may recognize their inability to care for a child and give up parental rights voluntarily. Giving up parental rights can be done by signing an “affidavit of voluntary relinquishment” of parental rights or by signing an “affidavit of waiver of interest” in the child.

Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment

An “affidavit of voluntary relinquishment” of parental rights may be signed if the parent agrees that a court should terminate their parental rights to a child. Under Texas law, an affidavit for voluntary relinquishment of parental rights must be:

  • Signed by the parent – whose parental rights are to be relinquished – at least 48 hours after the birth of the child,

  • Witnessed by two credible persons, and

  • Verified before a person authorized to take oaths.

Additionally, the affidavit must contain the following information:

  • The name, county of residence, and age of the parent whose parental rights are being relinquished.

  • The name, age, and birth date of the child.

  • The names and addresses of the guardians of the person and estate of the child, if any.

  • A statement that the affiant is or is not presently obligated by court order to make payments for the support of the child.

  • A full description and statement of the value of all property owned or possessed by the child.

  • An allegation that termination of the parent-child relationship is in the child’s best interest.

  • A statement that the parent has been informed of parental rights and duties;

  • A statement whether the relinquishment is revocable or irrevocable.

  • The designation of a prospective adoptive parent.

The parental rights will be terminated once a judge signs a court order terminating those rights.

How Legal Counsel Can Help

Filing for voluntary termination of parental rights in Texas usually involves a lot of complexities. Moreover, you will be giving up your rights as a parent, financial obligations to your child, your ability to participate in your child’s life, or make crucial decisions concerning your child’s upbringing. Therefore, you must speak with an experienced family law attorney to better understand your unique situation and enlighten you about your legal rights and available options.

Attorney James P Peterson has the experience, diligence, and expertise to advise and guide clients in complex family law matters involving voluntary termination of parental rights. As your legal counsel, he can review the surrounding circumstances of your unique situation, help you understand the legal ramifications, and seek to explore your possible options. Also, he can help review your court forms, help assist you with the hearing, and seek to guide you through the legal process from start to finish.

Contact James P. Peterson, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a simple case assessment with a skilled family law attorney. Attorney James P Peterson has knowledgeable legal guidance and the reliable advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions in your termination of parental rights case. The firm proudly serves clients across San Antonio, Boerne, and New Braunfels, Texas.