Losing your child under any circumstance is a devastating experience. You don’t know where to turn for help, and the process to get your child back can feel overwhelming and confusing. These concerns are compounded if your child keeps reaching out to you from foster care. Though you love hearing their voice, those calls seem only amplify the fears you already have for their well-being and safety.
If the court has terminated your parental rights have and your child keeps reaching out to you, here are some next steps.
Your child may be reaching out because they miss you, or they may be in real danger. You won’t know until you talk with your child and get more information about what may be happening for them. If you are in contact with family members or friends that have contact with your child, you can ask them to reach out to your child as well. You can also reach out to your child’s teachers, coaches, and after-school program aides to ask them to talk with your child to assess their well-being too.
In Texas, Child Protective Services (CPS) becomes responsible for your child care and placement once the state removes them from your home. Your child’s caseworker will do everything they can to ensure that your child can lead a normal, happy life while in foster care and beyond. If your child is constantly reaching out, this might be the perfect time to check in with that caseworker. If you’ve stayed in touch and on good terms with the caseworker, you can alert them to any issues or problems your child might be facing in foster care. You can also ask the caseworker to visit your child or move them to a different foster care home.
Your child doesn’t have to be with you to raise concerns about their safety with the authorities. If you feel your child is in real danger or has been the victim of violence, you can call 911 or one of these organizations:
• CPS, 1-800-252-5400
• National Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline, 800-799-SAFE (7233);
• Crime Victims, 888-343-4414;
• Family Violence Legal Line, 800-374-4673; or
• Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault, 844-303-7233.
In Texas, you can challenge the validity of an order terminating your parental rights if the following circumstances apply to your case,
• The judge signed the order to terminate your rights less than 6 months ago, and you were put on notice of the hearing to terminate your rights by personal service of the court notice or publication of the case citation;
• If you signed an affidavit to relinquish your parental rights voluntarily, there is proof of fraud, duress, or coercion related to your execution of that affidavit; or
• You were served by publication, and there was a deprivation of fundamental your due process because service was fatally defective.
If you successfully petition the court for reinstatement of your parental rights, there may be a chance that the state will return your child to you as long as it serves your child’s best interest.
Whether it’s filing a petition to reinstate your parental rights or advocating on your child’s behalf to CPS or other authorities, protecting your child is not something you want to take on alone. If the state has terminated your parental rights, people may have biases against you or your past circumstances that prevent them from really hearing your concerns. So retaining credible and experienced legal counsel is crucial to ensuring your child’s well-being.
If your child keeps reaching out even though your parental rights have been terminated, Angela F. Brown and Associates can help. Contact us to schedule a private and confidential consultation for your custody case today.