Bill Text: TX HB2926 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to the reinstatement of the parent-child relationship with respect to a person whose parental rights have been involuntarily terminated and to certain requirements in relation to the termination of the parent-child relationship or placement of a child in substitute care.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 11-6)

Status: (Enrolled) 2021-05-25 - Sent to the Governor [HB2926 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB2926-Enrolled.html
 
 
  H.B. No. 2926
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the reinstatement of the parent-child relationship with
  respect to a person whose parental rights have been involuntarily
  terminated and to certain requirements in relation to the
  termination of the parent-child relationship or placement of a
  child in substitute care.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 161, Family Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter D to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER D. REINSTATEMENT OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AFTER INVOLUNTARY
  TERMINATION
         Sec. 161.301.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the
  Department of Family and Protective Services.
               (2)  "Department" means the Department of Family and
  Protective Services.
         Sec. 161.302.  PETITION. (a) The following persons may file
  a petition under this subchapter requesting the court to reinstate
  the parental rights of a former parent whose parental rights were
  involuntarily terminated under Section 161.001 or 161.003:
               (1)  the department;
               (2)  the single source continuum contractor under
  Subchapter B-1, Chapter 264, with responsibility for the child who
  is the subject of the petition;
               (3)  the attorney ad litem for the child who is the
  subject of the petition; or
               (4)  the former parent whose parental rights were
  involuntarily terminated.
         (b)  A petition for the reinstatement of parental rights may
  be filed under this subchapter only if:
               (1)  the termination of parental rights resulted from a
  suit filed by the department;
               (2)  at least two years have passed since the issuance
  of the order terminating the former parent's parental rights and an
  appeal of the order is not pending;
               (3)  the child has not been adopted;
               (4)  the child is not the subject of an adoption
  placement agreement; and
               (5)  the petitioner has provided the notice required by
  Subsection (d), if the petitioner is the former parent whose
  parental rights are sought to be reinstated.
         (c)  The contents of the petition for reinstatement of
  parental rights must be sworn by the petitioner and must include:
               (1)  the name of the petitioner;
               (2)  the name and current residence address of the
  former parent whose parental rights are sought to be reinstated, if
  that former parent is not the petitioner;
               (3)  the child's name, current residence address, and
  date and place of birth, if known;
               (4)  the name, current residence address, and contact
  information, if known, of any party that:
                     (A)  participated in the original termination
  hearing; and
                     (B)  has information relevant to the
  determination of conservatorship of or possession of or access to
  the child;
               (5)  a summary of the grounds on which the court
  rendered the order terminating the former parent's parental rights;
               (6)  a summary statement of the facts and evidence that
  the petitioner believes demonstrate that the former parent whose
  parental rights are sought to be reinstated has the capacity and
  willingness to perform parental duties under Section 151.001,
  including steps the former parent has taken toward personal
  rehabilitation since the rendition of the order terminating
  parental rights, including mental health and substance abuse
  treatment, employment, or other personal history that demonstrates
  rehabilitation;
               (7)  a statement of the former parent whose parental
  rights are sought to be reinstated requesting the reinstatement of
  parental rights;
               (8)  a statement of the intent or willingness of the
  child to consent to the reinstatement of parental rights, if the
  child is 12 years of age or older; and
               (9)  a summary of all prior requests or motions for
  reinstatement by the former parent whose parental rights are sought
  to be reinstated and by the petitioner, if the former parent is not
  the petitioner, with respect to that child.
         (d)  Before a former parent whose parental rights have been
  involuntarily terminated may file a petition for reinstatement
  under this subchapter, the former parent, at least 45 days before
  the petition is filed, must notify the department of the former
  parent's intent to file the petition. The commissioner shall
  create a form to be used by a former parent for that notice that
  includes the information listed in Subsection (c). A copy of the
  notice must be filed with the petition.
         (e)  The petition for the reinstatement of parental rights
  and notice of hearing on the petition must be served on:
               (1)  the child or the child's representative;
               (2)  the county attorney;
               (3)  the child's attorney ad litem;
               (4)  the department or single source continuum
  contractor, if applicable;
               (5)  the former parent whose parental rights are sought
  to be reinstated, if that former parent is not the petitioner; and
               (6)  if the child is subject to the Indian Child Welfare
  Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Section 1901 et seq.), the designated tribal
  service agent of the child's tribe and any other person required by
  federal law.
         Sec. 161.303.  HEARING. (a) A reinstatement hearing under
  this subchapter must be held not later than the 60th day after the
  date the petition is filed.
         (b)  The petitioner has the burden of proof in the hearing,
  and each party may call witnesses.
         (c)  The court may grant the petition and order the
  reinstatement of the former parent's parental rights only if the
  court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:
               (1)  reinstatement of parental rights is in the child's
  best interests;
               (2)  at least two years have passed since issuance of
  the order terminating parental rights and an appeal of the order is
  not pending;
               (3)  the child has not been adopted and is not the
  subject of an adoption placement agreement;
               (4)  if the child is 12 years of age or older, the child
  consents to the reinstatement and desires to reside with the
  parent;
               (5)  the former parent has remedied the conditions that
  were grounds for rendering the order terminating parental rights;
  and
               (6)  the former parent is willing and has the
  capability to perform parental duties as provided in Section
  151.001, including maintaining the health, safety, and welfare of
  the child.
         (d)  In determining whether to grant a petition for
  reinstatement of parental rights under this subchapter in regard to
  a child who is 11 years of age or younger on the date the petition is
  filed, the court shall consider the child's age, maturity, and
  ability to express a preference and may consider the child's
  preference regarding the reinstatement as one factor, considered
  along with all other relevant factors, in making the determination.
         Sec. 161.304.  ORDERS. (a)  Following a hearing under this
  subchapter, the court may render an order:
               (1)  granting the petition;
               (2)  denying the petition; or
               (3)  deferring the decision on the petition and
  rendering a temporary order expiring after a period of six months
  during which the department remains the managing conservator of the
  child and the former parent is the possessory conservator.
         (b)  If the court defers granting the petition under
  Subsection (a)(3):
               (1)  the department shall monitor the possessory
  conservatorship of the former parent during the period of the
  temporary order; and
               (2)  when the temporary order expires, the court shall
  hold a hearing to determine whether to grant or deny the petition
  for reinstatement.
         (c)  If, following a hearing under this subchapter, the court
  renders an order for reinstatement of parental rights, the court
  shall enter the court's findings in a written order stating that all
  legal rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties, and
  obligations of the former parent regarding the child, including
  with respect to custody, care, control, and support, are
  reinstated.
         (d)  If, following a hearing under this subchapter, the court
  denies a petition for reinstatement of parental rights, the court
  shall render a written order that includes:
               (1)  the court's findings and detailing reasons for
  denial of the petition; and
               (2)  a statement prohibiting the filing of a subsequent
  petition in regard to the former parent's parental rights before
  the first anniversary of the date the order of denial was issued.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter C, Chapter 161, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 161.2081 to read as follows:
         Sec. 161.2081.  NOTICE OF TERMINATION FOR CERTAIN RELATIVES.
  Immediately after a court renders an order terminating the
  parent-child relationship in a suit filed by the Department of
  Family and Protective Services, the department shall notify each
  individual described by Section 102.006(c) who has been identified
  under Section 262.1095 that:
               (1)  the parent-child relationship has been
  terminated; and
               (2)  the individual has 90 days after the date the order
  is rendered to file an original suit or a suit for modification
  requesting managing conservatorship of the child in accordance with
  Section 102.006(c).
         SECTION 3.  Section 262.1095(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  When the Department of Family and Protective Services or
  another agency takes possession of a child under this chapter, the
  department:
               (1)  shall provide information as prescribed by this
  section to each adult the department is able to identify and locate
  who is:
                     (A)  related to the child within the fourth
  [third] degree by consanguinity as determined under Chapter 573,
  Government Code;
                     (B)  an adult relative of the alleged father of
  the child if the department has a reasonable basis to believe the
  alleged father is the child's biological father; or
                     (C)  identified as a potential relative or
  designated caregiver, as defined by Section 264.751, on the
  proposed child placement resources form provided under Section
  261.307; and
               (2)  may provide information as prescribed by this
  section to each adult the department is able to identify and locate
  who has a long-standing and significant relationship with the
  child.
         SECTION 4.  Section 262.114, Family Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (d) to read as follows:
         (d)  In making a placement decision for a child, the
  department shall give preference to persons in the following order:
               (1)  a person related to the child by blood, marriage,
  or adoption;
               (2)  a person with whom the child has a long-standing
  and significant relationship;
               (3)  a foster home; and
               (4)  a general residential operation.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2926 was passed by the House on May
  11, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 146, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2926 was passed by the Senate on May
  21, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor       
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