Understand grandparent's rights in family law cases can be difficult, especially if there's debate about the role a grandparent (or grandparent) should play in the legal process. If you're interested in adopting a grandchild as a grandparent, knowing your rights moving forward is vital.
Are Grandparents Capable of Legally Adopting a Child in TX?
Yes, grandparents can adopt a grandchild in Texas. However, the circumstances in which a grandparent can adopt a child are generally rather unique.
First, it's important to establish that there's a difference between a conservator, and an adoptive parent.
In situations where a child's biological parents can no longer care for them, a court can use a SAPCR (Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship) to appoint a new individual, such as a grandparent, as that child's conservator. As a conservator, that person gains the powers that the court grants them.
However, adopting a child generally entails gaining more parental rights than being appointed a conservator by a court. As such, grandparents who want to maximize their legal rights to raise and look after a child may prefer legal adoption to conservatorship.
Let's look over some common scenarios in which a grandparent can apply to adopt a grandchild:
- The parents have their biological rights terminated, either due to their actions or other extenuating factors;
- The parents voluntarily consent to a grandparent adoption, giving the grandparent(s) adoptive rights;
- A court decides that grandparent adoption is in the child's best interests. This can occur in a variety of scenarios. For example, the court could proceed with a grandparent adoption due to parental actions such as child abuse or neglect or due to parental death or other factors outside the parent's control.
Parental rights can be voluntarily or involuntarily revoked. Generally, cases that involve a voluntary revocation of parental rights are easier to handle for all parties.
At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, we'll work with you to find the best path forward in your grandparent adoption case.