If a parent designates one person to care for a child and relinquishes their rights to make it happen, the parent can still lose their rights even if the intended plan doesn’t work out. Parents should never sign a document that has a permanent or lasting effect on their parent-child relationship without first obtaining the advice of competent legal counsel.
In two separate cases, the Texas Supreme Court recently held that statements by a parent that termination is in the best interest of the child, in either an Affidavit of Relinquishment or in a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA), are sufficient without other evidence of best interest to support termination, even if the intended permanency plans for the children’s placement change after the execution of the document.
The Supreme Court held that neither the Relinquishment nor the MSA were revocable (meaning they cannot be revoked or canceled), and even if the parent had a change of heart, the parties are entitled to a judgment on the documents containing their admission. In short, unconditional statements in an Affidavit of Relinquishment or in a Mediated Settlement Agreement that termination is in the best interest of the child, are sufficient evidence to support termination.
It is critical that parents engage attorneys that are experts in the area of family law, relinquishments, terminations and adoptions. At Connolly & Shireman, we deal with these issues on a daily basis. Whether it is a CPS case or a private family law matter, we are able to properly and competently advise parents of their rights and protect the interests of their children.