How to Terminate Parental Rights in Texas

By Sameca Pandova
You can file a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights in Texas.

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Texas law allows for both the voluntary and involuntary termination of parental rights under the Texas Family Code. Voluntary termination typically occurs in cases of adoption, and involuntary termination typically occurs by action of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services where there is a finding of a defect in the parent. In order to terminate rights to a child at birth, you must file a petition to terminate parental rights and include with the petition an affidavit.

File paperwork in county court for termination of parental rights. You can file the petition before the child is born if you so choose. If the child is not yet born, then under Section 161.102 the petition shall be titled "In the Interests of an Unborn Child." You can obtain a blank copy of the form from the clerk's office.

Create an affidavit of voluntary relinquishment pursuant to Section 161.103 of the Texas Family Code. If you are an unmarried mother giving up the rights to a child that is yet to be born, you must create a statement which contains the full information on the biological parents, that you are not presently obligated to pay child support and a statement that termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child. You must also include a statement that the child has no presumed father, and the affidavit must be signed by two witnesses.

File the affidavit alongside the petition with the family court in the county where the child resides. The court will set the matter for review and hearing. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that grounds for termination exist, it will render an order terminating the parent-child relationship.

About the Author

Based near Chicago, Sameca Pandova has been writing since 1995 and now contributes to various websites. He is an attorney with experience in health care, family and criminal prosecution issues. Pandova holds a Master of Laws in health law from Loyola University Chicago, a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Case Western.

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