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Child custody case upholds right of foster parents to adopt

Texas family law practitioners are well aware of the contentious nature and emotionally charged intensity of child custody battles. A seasoned and knowledgeable attorney does not want to see a child custody case go in that direction and will always pursue every prospect for settlement as early as possible. When the dispute is one that cannot be resolved, litigation and a child custody trial will become necessary.

A recent case in another state was tried and then appealed all the way to the state's supreme court. The dispute pitted the rights of a biological father against that of the adoptive parents who raised the 5-year-old child starting when she was only 3 weeks old. The adoptive parents started out as the foster parents to the baby. After a few years, they decided to adopt.

In the adoption proceeding, notice was duly sent to both parents, and their parental rights were declared terminated by the judge. The father, however, complained of the procedure because he was incarcerated and could not attend the proceedings to wage a contest. He appealed to an appellate court in South Carolina that agreed with him and struck down the adoption based on the superiority of parental rights over adoptive parents who were originally foster parents.

The adoptive parents appealed to the Supreme Court of the state, stressing the right of foster parents and children to join their bond in a permanent child custody relationship. The Supreme Court sided with the adoptive parents, pointing out various deficiencies in the father's actions, including failure to support the child and not making an effort to see her. The facts of the case favor the high court's decision, and it is reasonable to conclude that those facts would be favored with the same decision by the Supreme Court of Texas. 

Source: wistv.com, "5-year-old Rock Hill girl to stay with adoptive parents, likely", May 9, 2018

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