At Schreier and Housewirth, we have been helping families in Dallas and Fort Worth keep their families together by getting them legal conservatorship of children in need. Our Fort Worth adoption attorneys also help families to grow through step-parent adoption and by providing adoption legal services when you have already been matched with a birth mother.
What is Legal Conservatorship of a Child in Texas?
Texas family law clearly establishes a preference for parents over non-parents in conservatorship matters. In a typical Dallas divorce, the court will name each parent as a joint managing conservator of the child, allocating specific parental rights between them.
There are other times, when neither parent is able to adequately provide for the child. In these cases, it becomes necessary for a grandparent to intervene for child custody. To do so, the grandparent must show that continuation of the child in the home of a parent would significantly impair the physical health or emotional development of the child. Also, note here, that other extended family may also have the right to seek child custody.
If the grandparent is awarded custody of the child in a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child relationship, the parent is given a lesser role, called “possessory conservatorship.” In such a case, a parent will usually be permitted to still have visitation with the child and be ordered to pay child support.
Because a parent does not lose her parental rights in such a custody case, she continues to have legal rights to the child and may even petition the court to modify the orders at a later time, based upon a change of circumstances.
Creating a “Forever” Home
Adoption, on the other hand, requires the termination of all existing parent-child relationships in order to make the child eligible for adoption by a family that is usually unrelated to the child. Once a biological parent’s rights are terminated, he had no further legal rights to the child. Termination of parental rights is permanent and irreversible. While a terminated parent may have some, limited continuing contact with the child, such contact is purely at the discretion of the adoptive parents and is not subject to review by a family court judge.
Contact Us Today
At Schreier and Housewirth, we’ve been helping custody and adoption clients for over 20 years. Contact us at our Fort Worth custody law offices when you need answers to your adoption questions or child custody questions.