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Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Texas

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Statute: Family Code §§ 161.001; 161.003(a)

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination


Abandonment or Extreme Parental Disinterest

Abuse/Neglect

Mental Illness or Deficiency

Alcohol or Drug Induced Incapacity

Felony Conviction/Incarceration

Failure of Reasonable Efforts

Abuse/Neglect or Loss of Rights of Another Child

Sexual Abuse

Failure to Maintain Contact

Failure to Provide Support

Child's Best Interest

Felony assault of child or sibling

Murder/Manslaughter of sibling child

Circumstances That Are Not Grounds for Termination

Failure to Establish Paternity

Child Judged in Need of Services/Dependent

Child in care 15 of 22 months (or less)

Full Text of Statute

Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001 (West, WESTLAW through End of 2001 Reg. Sess.)


The court may order termination of the parent-child relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has:

Voluntarily left the child alone or in the possession of another not the parent and expressed an intent not to return;

Voluntarily left the child alone or in the possession of another not the parent without
expressing an intent to return, without providing
for the adequate support of the child, and
remained away for a period of at least 3 months;

Voluntarily left the child alone or in the
possession of another without providing adequate
support of the child and remained away for a
period of at least 6 months;

Knowingly placed or knowingly allowed the child
to remain in conditions or surroundings which
endanger the physical or emotional well-being of
the child;

Engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child
with persons who engaged in conduct which
endangers the physical or emotional well-being of
the child;

Failed to support the child in accordance with
the parent's ability during a period of one year
ending within 6 months of the date of the filing
of the petition;

Abandoned the child without identifying the child
or furnishing means of identification, and the
child's identity cannot be ascertained by the
exercise of reasonable diligence;

Voluntarily, and with knowledge of the pregnancy,
abandoned the mother of the child beginning at a
time during her pregnancy with the child and
continuing through the birth, failed to provide
adequate support or medical care for the mother
during the period of abandonment before the birth
of the child, and remained apart from the child
or failed to support the child since the birth;

Contumaciously refused to submit to a reasonable
and lawful order of a court under Chapter 264;

Been the major cause of: the failure of the child
to be enrolled in school as required by law; or
he child's absence from the child's home without
the consent of the parents or guardian for a
substantial length of time or without the intent
to return;

Executed before or after the suit is filed an
unrevoked or irrevocable affidavit of
relinquishment of parental rights as provided by
this chapter;

Been convicted or has been placed on community
supervision, including deferred adjudication
community supervision, for being criminally
responsible for the death or serious injury of a
child or adjudicated for conduct that caused the
death or serious injury of a child and that would
constitute a violation of one of the following:
murder; capital murder; indecency with a child;
assault; sexual assault; aggravated assault;
aggravated sexual assault; injury to a child,
elderly individual, or disabled individual;
abandoning or endangering a child; prohibited
sexual conduct; sexual performance by a child; or
possession or promotion of child pornography;

Had his or her parent-child relationship
terminated with respect to another child based on
a finding that the parent's conduct was in
violation of the sections pertaining to
endangering the health and well-being of the
child, or substantially equivalent provisions of
the law of another State;

Constructively abandoned the child who has been
in the permanent or temporary managing
conservatorship of the Department of Protective
and Regulatory Services or an authorized agency
for not less than 6 months, and the Department or
authorized agency has made reasonable efforts to
return the child to the parent; the parent has
not regularly visited or maintained significant
contact with the child; and the parent has
demonstrated an inability to provide the child
with a safe environment;

Failed to comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically established the actions necessary for the parent to obtain the return of the child who has been in the permanent or temporary managing conservatorship of the Department for not less than 9 months as a result of the child's removal from the parent for the abuse or neglect of the child;

Used a controlled substance in a manner that
endangered the health or safety of the child, and
failed to complete a court-ordered substance
abuse treatment program; or repeatedly, after
completion of a court-ordered substance treatment
program, in a manner that endangered the health
or safety of the child;

Knowingly engaged in criminal conduct that
results in the parent's imprisonment and
inability to care for the child for not less than
2 years from the date of filing the petition;

Been the cause of the child being born addicted
to alcohol or a controlled substance, other than
a controlled substance legally obtained by
prescription; or

Voluntarily delivered the child to a designated
emergency infant care provider under § 262.302
without expressing an intent to return for the
child; and

That termination is in the best interest of the
child.

Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.003(a) (West, WESTLAW through End of 2001 Reg. Sess.)

The court may order termination of the parent-child relationship in a suit filed by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services if the court finds that:

The parent has a mental or emotional illness or a mental deficiency that renders the parent unable to provide for the physical, emotional, and mental needs of the child;

The illness or deficiency, in all reasonable
probability, proved by clear and convincing
evidence, will continue to render the parent
unable to provide for the child's needs until the
18th birthday of the child;

The Department has been the temporary or sole
managing conservator of the child of the parent
for the 6 months preceding the filing of the
petition;

The Department has made reasonable efforts to
return the child to the parent; and

The termination is in the best interest of the
child.
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Visitor Comments (1)
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Angela - 11 months ago
0 0 5
I have more than four grounds for termination of parental rights of my husband who I am divorcing by publication. I can not locate him and need to know if the rights can als be terminated by publication? #1
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