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Foster Care Parents Can Intervene in Texas CPS Cases

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
July 20, 2021
 | Category: 

Intervene in Texas CPS Cases: Foster Parents Join the Case

Foster care parents can intervene in Texas CPS cases under certain circumstances. When children are suspected to be abuse and or neglect victims, CPS (Texas Child Protective Services) steps in to investigate the situation, and when in the best interest of a child, removes the child from a parent or parents and places the child in the Texas foster care system. It is possible to start an original lawsuit as a foster parent if you have standing, meaning the legally established right as a proper person to bring the lawsuit. It is also possible to intervene in an existing case when the legal standards are satisfied.

Foster parents are not the only ones who can file a lawsuit to intervene in a Texas CPS case. A stepparent, for example, can petition to intervene in a CPS matter when the other parent is having issues causing CPS to get involved. Grandparents can also assert standing to sue for custody and visitation rights under the right circumstances. Note that not all foster parents are strangers to the children in their care; many foster parents are related to the children they seek to foster and adopt.

When CPS investigates and makes a positive finding of abuse or neglect, the professionals involved in making foster placement determinations will try to keep children with known family members and friends with whom a child has an established relationship.

See the Adoption Page with FAQs on Our Website: Adoptions in Tarrant County

At the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Attorneys Leslie Barrows and Amanda Roark, advise and represent both people seeking to intervene in Texas CPS cases, as well as those who may be on the other side, responding to another person trying to intervene in an existing CPS matter or an originally filed petition affecting a parent-child relationship and parental rights.

Steps to Become a Foster/Adoptive Parent in Texas

Standing: Will You Have a Legal Right to Intervene in a Texas CPS Case

Intervening in a Texas CPS or lawsuit affecting a parent-child relationship requires legal standing to be involved in the case or file an original lawsuit as a foster parent. Standing means that a person has a personal stake in the controversy at hand. In family law matters involving children, standing also involves the Court examining the relationship a child has with the person who wants the Court to recognize their standing to sue for rights and to adopt the child.

Parents naturally have standing to be involved in a CPS case. Established legal guardians also have the standing to intervene. A person who cannot already asset standing through a parent or guardian relationship must petition the Court to first recognize whether they have standing to get into the CPS case to foster and adopt a child.

Foster parents proving standing have two options to intervene in a Texas CPS case. First, they can file an original lawsuit as the foster parent if they can prove the child was in their placed care for at least12 months and that time is within 90 days of filing the petition to intervene. Second, standing to intervene is possible if the person filing can prove past substantial contact with the child, and prove the parent or both parents would threaten the child’s health or emotional development if those parents are joint managing conservators.

Learn More From Our Article: CPS Investigations During a Divorce

Actual Care, Control, and Possession of a Child for Determining Standing

There is a standard of proof in Texas legal decisions involving issues of standing for foster placements, conservatorship issues, and possession and access to a child. The Courts require a non-parent, non-guardian, seeking standing to show actual care, control, and possession of a child to intervene in a Texas CPS case.

Factors proving actual care, control, and possession of a child:

·        The child lived in the home with the person seeking standing, on a consistent and frequent basis, often shown by having their own space and sleeping arrangement when staying overnight.

·        The foster parent seeking standing supports the child financially, providing food, shelter, clothing, medical, and schooling expenses.

·        The individual seeking standing of the child participates in the child’s education, drives them to school, and helps them with schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

Based on the circumstances, there are all kinds of possible situations to show the foster parent or individual seeking standing to become a foster parent or adopt, can show their actual care, control, and possession of the child involved in the CPS matter.

Attorney Leslie Barrows Speaks on a Podcast: Adoption Laws and Procedures in Texas with Attorney Leslie Barrows

Responding to Another Trying to Intervene in a Texas CPS Case

When talking about parental rights, it is important to always consider the importance of mothers and fathers being involved in the lives of their children. To remove children into foster care, and to terminate the parental rights of a parent are significant events. As a family law attorney working with all kinds of Texas CPS cases, there are so many situations that an outside person really cannot understand, not walking in the shoes of another. And defending the rights of a parent is something that should also be taken very seriously.

The Barrows Firm family attorneys are experienced and aggressive when necessary to help clients win. And we hope we must work hard to prove the alleged facts and law that applies in every case involving a child and their best interests. And whatever side on which we are representing someone, we expect a proper legal procedure and application of the law to the facts in every situation. At the end of the day, only the family and people directly involved in peoples’ lives can understand complex family relationships and dynamics. That said, we do all we can to protect natural parents, foster parents, and children.

To Intervene in Texas CPS Cases and to Learn About Adopting Foster Children with the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Call to Schedule a Consultation Today (817) 481-1583