Bill Text: TX HB2536 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to neglect of a child and the grounds for termination of the parent-child relationship and possession of a child by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 14-4)

Status: (Passed) 2021-05-15 - Effective immediately [HB2536 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB2536-Enrolled.html
 
 
  H.B. No. 2536
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to neglect of a child and the grounds for termination of
  the parent-child relationship and possession of a child by the
  Department of Family and Protective Services.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 161.001(c), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  A court may not make a finding under Subsection (b) and
  order termination of the parent-child relationship based on
  evidence that the parent:
               (1)  homeschooled the child;
               (2)  is economically disadvantaged;
               (3)  has been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor
  offense other than:
                     (A)  an offense under Title 5, Penal Code;
                     (B)  an offense under Title 6, Penal Code; or
                     (C)  an offense that involves family violence, as
  defined by Section 71.004 of this code;
               (4)  provided or administered low-THC cannabis to a
  child for whom the low-THC cannabis was prescribed under Chapter
  169, Occupations Code; [or]
               (5)  declined immunization for the child for reasons of
  conscience, including a religious belief; or
               (6)  sought an opinion from more than one medical
  provider relating to the child's medical care, transferred the
  child's medical care to a new medical provider, or transferred the
  child to another health care facility.
         SECTION 2.  Section 261.001(4), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
               (4)  "Neglect":
                     (A)  includes:
                           (i)  the leaving of a child in a situation
  where the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical
  or mental harm, without arranging for necessary care for the child,
  and the demonstration of an intent not to return by a parent,
  guardian, or managing or possessory conservator of the child;
                           (ii)  the following acts or omissions by a
  person:
                                 (a)  placing a child in or failing to
  remove a child from a situation that a reasonable person would
  realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child's level of
  maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results
  in bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the
  child;
                                 (b)  failing to seek, obtain, or follow
  through with medical care for a child, with the failure resulting in
  or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily
  injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material
  impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child;
                                 (c)  the failure to provide a child
  with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or
  health of the child, excluding failure caused primarily by
  financial inability unless relief services had been offered and
  refused;
                                 (d)  placing a child in or failing to
  remove the child from a situation in which the child would be
  exposed to a substantial risk of sexual conduct harmful to the
  child; or
                                 (e)  placing a child in or failing to
  remove the child from a situation in which the child would be
  exposed to acts or omissions that constitute abuse under
  Subdivision (1)(E), (F), (G), (H), or (K) committed against another
  child;
                           (iii)  the failure by the person responsible
  for a child's care, custody, or welfare to permit the child to
  return to the child's home without arranging for the necessary care
  for the child after the child has been absent from the home for any
  reason, including having been in residential placement or having
  run away; or
                           (iv)  a negligent act or omission by an
  employee, volunteer, or other individual working under the auspices
  of a facility or program, including failure to comply with an
  individual treatment plan, plan of care, or individualized service
  plan, that causes or may cause substantial emotional harm or
  physical injury to, or the death of, a child served by the facility
  or program as further described by rule or policy; and
                     (B)  does not include:
                           (i)  the refusal by a person responsible for
  a child's care, custody, or welfare to permit the child to remain in
  or return to the child's home resulting in the placement of the
  child in the conservatorship of the department if:
                                 (a) [(i)]  the child has a severe
  emotional disturbance;
                                 (b) [(ii)]  the person's refusal is
  based solely on the person's inability to obtain mental health
  services necessary to protect the safety and well-being of the
  child; and
                                 (c) [(iii)]  the person has exhausted
  all reasonable means available to the person to obtain the mental
  health services described by Sub-subparagraph (b); or
                           (ii)  a decision by a person responsible for
  a child's care, custody, or welfare to:
                                 (a)  obtain an opinion from more than
  one medical provider relating to the child's medical care;
                                 (b)  transfer the child's medical care
  to a new medical provider; or 
                                 (c)  transfer the child to another
  health care facility [Subparagraph (ii)].
         SECTION 3.  Section 262.116(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  The Department of Family and Protective Services may not
  take possession of a child under this subchapter based on evidence
  that the parent:
               (1)  homeschooled the child;
               (2)  is economically disadvantaged;
               (3)  has been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor
  offense other than:
                     (A)  an offense under Title 5, Penal Code;
                     (B)  an offense under Title 6, Penal Code; or
                     (C)  an offense that involves family violence, as
  defined by Section 71.004 of this code;
               (4)  provided or administered low-THC cannabis to a
  child for whom the low-THC cannabis was prescribed under Chapter
  169, Occupations Code; [or]
               (5)  declined immunization for the child for reasons of
  conscience, including a religious belief; or
               (6)  sought an opinion from more than one medical
  provider relating to the child's medical care, transferred the
  child's medical care to a new medical provider, or transferred the
  child to another health care facility.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2536 was passed by the House on April
  13, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 148, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2536 was passed by the Senate on April
  29, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor       
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