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Under What Circumstances Can a Parent Lose His or Her Parental Rights?

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Wise County Parental Rights LawyerA child's biological parents have certain rights, including their right to be involved in the child's life and make decisions about the child's upbringing. However, there are circumstances in which a parent may give up those rights or lose parental rights involuntarily.

Most of the time, a parent’s rights are terminated in order to allow an adoption to proceed. A child can only have two parents under Texas law, so sometimes the termination of parental rights is needed to allow adoptive parents to adopt a child. However, Texas courts require a very high degree of proof before terminating parental rights.

A Parent May Give Up His or Her Rights Willingly

Sometimes, a parent voluntarily gives up his or her parental rights. A parent who knows that he or she cannot give a child the life that the child deserves may make the selfless decision to put the child up for adoption. This decision is never easy, but sometimes it is in the child's best interest to do so. A man who finds out that he is not a child's biological father may also file a parental rights termination case.

A family court judge will make the final decision regarding the termination of parental rights and adoption.

A Parent’s Rights May Be Terminated Involuntarily

Texas courts have the authority to terminate parental rights and end the parent-child relationship in some cases. Cases like these may be initiated by either parent, a person with court ordered visitation with the child, a foster parent, a prospective adoptive parent, or family members such as grandparents. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or another government entity may also petition the court to terminate a parent's parental rights.

The court will only terminate parental rights if doing so is needed to protect the child from harm and serve the child's best interests. For example, if a parent has engaged in criminal conduct against a child, abused or neglected a child, or abandoned the child, the court may decide that terminating the parent’s rights is the necessary action.

Parental rights may also be terminated if a baby is born addicted to alcohol or illicit drugs. If a newborn has alcohol or a controlled substance in his or her body fluids, this is an indication that the mother used substances during the late stages of pregnancy.

The party seeking to terminate a parent’s parental rights must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the elements for termination of parental rights have been met. Evidence in a case like this may include photographs, videos, medical records, text messages, statements from social workers and other child experts, and eyewitness statements.

Contact our Fort Worth Termination of Parental Rights Attorneys

If you wish to terminate the parental rights of your child's other parent, your own parental rights are being threatened, or you are interested in adopting a child, we can help. Wise County family law attorney J.A. Griffin knows how complex these cases are - in both a legal sense and an emotional sense. He and the rest of the team at J.A. Griffin Law Firm, P.C. can provide the skilled legal representation and advocacy you need. Call 817-926-6153 for a consultation. 



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