Helping Grandparents Help their Families . . .
As a grandparent, you want the best for your grandchildren. If your children are unable to raise your grandchildren, what are your grandparents’ rights when it comes to adoption? Today in Texas, there are over a half-million grandparents raising their grandchildren. Most grandparents do not think twice about stepping in when the need arises on a temporary basis. If the temporary need becomes a permanent need, what then?
When grandparents choose to make the situation permanent through adoption, the process is very similar to any other adoption but with a very significant emotional component. Like any adoption, the birth parents’ parental rights are terminated. Unless your child and the other parent are willing to voluntarily terminate their rights, this can involve unpleasant litigation between you and your child.
There are at least 20 separate grounds for involuntary termination of the parent-child relationship. For grandparents to succeed in an involuntary termination of a parent’s rights, they must successfully prove, by clear and convincing evidence that such grounds exist. The very nature of this type of lawsuit is damaging to the grandparents’ relationship with their child. Because of this, we advise careful deliberation before embarking on this path.
Helping Grandparents Help Their Families: The Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC successfully achieves grandparents’ adoptions as a part of our adoption practice. We applaud grandparents who want to take on this very rewarding – but demanding – challenge.
Grandparents’ Rights in Custody and Visitation
Grandparents’ Rights with respect to custody and visitation are complicated issues. You have raised your children to be responsible adults, but along the way, circumstances dictate that you might be a better choice to raise your grandchild and it might be in the grandchild’s best interest for you to step into the parenting role. What are your grandparents’ rights under Texas law? Since 2000, grandparents’ rights are significantly fewer than before.
In 2000, in Troxel v. Granville, the United States Supreme Court turned the previous acceptance of Grandparents’ Rights upside down. The ruling effectively says that parents’ rights not only supersede the best interests of the child, but also take priority over the grandparents’ rights to visitation and custody. The rules changed dramatically with Troxel.
Today, grandparents can ask the court to allow them custody or possession of the children only in certain circumstances. A grandparent (or certain other people) may ask a court to appoint them conservator of a child where the present circumstances would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development. The court cannot allow a grandparent to file an original suit asking for possession of the child, but the court can allow a grandparent to intervene in a pending suit if there is satisfactory proof to the court that the appointment of a parent or both parents managing conservators would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.
Of course, there are always variations on these scenarios, but grandparents’ rights are largely determined by their children.
Helping Grandparents Help Their Families: The Bob Leonard Law group works alongside grandparents every day to help them help their families. We are honored to work with these dedicated folks.
Speak to an adoption expert! Call Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC 817-336-8500 or Contact Us online!