Sometimes parents fail in their responsibilities to care and provide for their children. Many parents recover and continue to be good parents, some do not. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) can initiate court proceedings to take away a parent’s rights. This process may be voluntary or involuntary on the part of the parents.
The following reasons do not guarantee that a parent’s rights would be taken away, but they could be contributing factors. Many times, there is a combination of factors that make the case stronger for terminating a parent’s rights.
What grounds could qualify for terminating parental rights?
The legal justification for terminating a parent’s rights can fall into three main categories: abuse, parental factors, as well as some additional factors. Let’s take a closer look:
- Abuse factors: If there has been a history of chronic physical or sexual abuse that was inflicted on the child by a parent, then this could be grounds for terminating parental rights. This could include abuse of other children in the household as well. If a parent neglected to provide food, housing and other basic needs, then this, too, can qualify as abuse.
- Parental factors: If a parent has a history of drug or alcohol addiction or a mental illness, then this too could qualify. If serving a long-term prison sentence resulted in a child being placed in foster care then this could result in parental rights being forfeited. Other parental factors include giving birth to three or more babies that were affected by their parent’s drug abuse.
- Additional factors: If the child was a result of incest or rape, then this could lead to termination of parental rights. Furthermore, if a child has been in foster care for 15 out of the last 22 months and has made a significant bond, then the court may decide it is in the best interest of the child to stay with the foster family.
The above are the most common reasons why a parent voluntarily or involuntarily has their parental rights terminated. Multiple more factors could lead to the same result.
If parents want to make sure that their rights are protected under Texas child custody laws, it could be helpful to have professional guidance.