Post Termination Suits

If your parental rights have been terminated, or those parental rights of your adult children, grandparents, adult siblings, and aunts and uncles now have an avenue to fight CPS for custody of the child. The above relatives have 90 days after the parental rights have been terminated to file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to fight for custody of the child.

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24 Responses to Post Termination Suits

  1. cindy justinger says:

    I am looking for an attorney to file an intervention on behalf of our foster child in Angleton, Tx.
    How much do you charge?

  2. tautianna cofield says:

    What if its been since 2010 my rights were taken and they are trying to get them?

  3. Michele Kay Fields says:

    My parental rights were terminated on grounds of instability in 2008. I never flunked a drug test and was doing all required classes but had a wreck,lost my job, and was living in my oldest daughters basement. I never even spoke with my (so-called) appointed attorney. There were many discrepencies in my case. Is there a possibility that I could
    appeal this and regain custody of my daughter?

    • jketterman says:

      Unfortunately, the time period to appeal your case has long since expired. I’m sorry. It looks as though your only remedy is to file a claim against your attorney for ineffective assistance of counsel. This, however, won’t get your child back.

  4. Please allow me to introduce our family..we are a therapeutic foster/adoptive/respite family that is trained and experienced in caring for children from hurting places. We adopted our almost 5 year old little girl from the Department on National Adoption Day 2008. She was prenatally exposed to crack cocaine and alcohol but with the support of therapists, trainings by Dr. Karyn Purvis and other trauma experts as well as a support network of other foster/adopt parents she is thriving.and so is our family.

    Approximately two years ago, we met three children who had come into the care of the Department. Their foster mother attends our church and we have been blessed to have spent much time with them while they have been in foster care. They have been in our home hundreds of times and we have hosted their birthday parties, have celebrated holidays with them and have gone to parent-teacher nights as well. The children enjoy time spent with us and have bonded closely with our family. At a hearing in January of this year, all parental rights in regards to the children were terminated. There have been no appeals and the children have been legally free for adoption for some time now.

    We have had every intention of seeking the adoption of this sibling group and have even moved into a larger home in the same school district to accommodate their placement. Sadly, the agency we were working with was told by CPS that they would not consider our family for the children because we have already adopted children. Off the record, we have also been told that the children’s CASA worker does not care for our family because of our choices to home educate our children and because of our larger-than-normal family and because we have not respected the children’s privacy. It is noteworthy that our eldest son is a sophomore at Texas A&M University with a 3.5 GPA and he was home educated. It is also noteworthy that our adopted children are thriving and are overcoming their hurtful pasts daily. In regards to respecting the children’s privacy, we have only read what is published on the internet, which anyone can read.

    The children we are interested in adopting are not children who are considered “easy to place”..they are an almost 14 year old girl who is Cognitively Delayed and functions far younger than her chronological age. Additionally, she was continually sexually abused by her step-father who has been convicted and sentenced to four life terms. She suffers from PTSD and is on 4 psychotropic medications. Along with this young lady, is a little boy who is 5 and a little girl who is 3.5. The 5 year old was born prematurely and suffered some of the effects of his early birth for quite some time. He demonstrates all of the signs of having Attachment Disorder and ADHD. The 3.5 year old was born with a cranio-facial deformity which was surgically corrected but she is the size of a 1 year old. To be sure, all of the children have special needs..needs that we can and that we desire to meet.

    Despite the negative comments from CPS, we decided to pursue their placement with our family. However, today I learned from the agency we were working with that they will not approve our home study because we are a “liability”. This is a direct quote in that regard – “The liability is also what we have shown to be your strength, advocacy. It is well noted in all your past work in foster care and with your attempt for licensure with Arrow that you are very savvy within this system and you go to the lengths necessary to advocate for your kiddos . This is very noteworthy, but the concern/liability that comes into play with this can be agency reputation with funding source ect.” It appears that because we are educated advocates for our children, that we are not considered appropriate adoptive parents for children in DFPS conservatorship since our advocacy could negatively affect an agency’s cash flow.

    This is unacceptable, unethical and is, as our children would say, “Just plain wrong!”. We have had substantial past contact with the children to warrant Fictive Kinship status and we believe that it is in their best interests to be placed with our family. We are asking for you to consider assisting us with the matter. Many thanks for your kind consideration.

    • jketterman says:

      Good for you in fighting for your family and for what is right. It’s absurd that your agency and CPS are not welcoming you with open arms. I would love to talk to you further. You have the law and public policy on your side.

  5. Tina Gentile says:

    My niece whom lives in harris county texas had her two sons taken into cps area 5 custody in march.2012. My sister their grandmother had them placed in her home until august 23 2012. she was in the hospital and had no one two watch.the.children. she called the cps caseworker for help and.instead.they came.and picked.up.the kids and put them with a foster family with . I being the maternal great aunt asked for an interstate home they placed with me in illinoiswhere the.majority of our family.lives. my homestudy was sent back and was denied. I have filed an appeal with my state however now that the parental rights have been terminated. I now have to become licensed in illinois before illinois can approve placement in my home accordinh to illinois childcare act. Can I still file a suit in Harris county to petition for custody or can my sister still.file suit even if cps took them.from her. The cps supervisor did confirm with me and during the trial on 1/31/13. That if another home study was sent or an amended one was sent with approval from Illinois they would place the childten with me. Do you recommend I retain legal counsel in texas and will I need to get an adoptive homestudy done asap. The current foster parents have expressed their wish to adopt the children. placement hearing is set for 2/21. Can

    • jketterman says:

      I believe that we talked on the phone. But in case we didn’t. Yes. I can help. A grandparent has 90 days to file a suit for placement of the child — including adoption — after the termination of parental rights. You have an absolute right to have your grandchildren placed with you. If we haven’t talked, you’re welcome to call me at 713.652.2003. If you do not call me, call someone in Harris County who can help you file your suit. There are very good lawyers that can help. The clodk is ticking, though.

  6. Michelle Emerson says:

    I am 14 years post parental-rights severance and only add this comment as a THANK -YOU for the awesome news you share. I would’ve given my own life, were it an option, to see my daughter placed with a maternal relative. I battled Phoenix’s CPS and paternal grandparents for 3.5 years. I struggled through the decline of my relationship with my daughter due to loss of time spent together. From Unsupervised visits at the onset of CPS’s intervention, to one hour per week at CPS’s office; my child became a stranger to me. Let me just add this (wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t lived it) one fact; the original complaint filed by my daughter’s paternal grandparents was contrived (by their own admission) due to concern with my decision to move back to my home-state of Ohio. I can’t possibly get into the years of Foster Care Reviews (recomending return to parent), U/A’s 3x’s weekly (never a positve for drugs), Hearings, Reviews by couselors, Parent Aid assignments (while my oldest son finished college and middle son made honor roll and became involved in student government.. a true reflection of my parenting abilities, if anyone really had any doubts) and on… and on…! My parents suffered miserably over their powerlessness to change the situation. Bravo to anyone who supports family members remaining an active part of a child’s life. My father died without seeing my child after my parental rights were severed. He loved her dearly and she will never know this.

  7. Qouwanna Howard says:

    My parental rights was terminated do to a false postive hair folicle. I payed for a diffrent test that went back 180 days but the court didn’t allow it into evidence cause my court appointed attorney forgot to file it. Do i have a good chance of appealing the courts decision. If so how many times can i appeal

    • jketterman says:

      Termination cases are accelerated appeals. You have 15 days to file your points of appeal and your notice of appeal (it’s really 20 days but there are some technical issues and it’s safer to file within 15 days). It sounds like you do have a good “ineffective assistance of counsel” argument on appeal. There is an appeal process. From the trial court you can appeal to the court of appeals. If you lose there you can then appeal to the Supreme Court of Texas (assuming this is a Texas case).

  8. Qouwanna Howard says:

    The test i paid for was negative

  9. jane says:

    So My parental right Were terminated years ago In Alaska , My Mom adopted THE Kids ,In Washington and Now she just Gave me My Son Back . There dad was brutally murdered and he wants to be with me . Can CPs take him from me?

    • jketterman says:

      First, did your mom give your son to you legally? If so, then no. CPS can only take him from you if there is a new referral/allegation and proof that you have put your son in harms way.

  10. jessica benitez says:

    my bfs ex had lost the children in Texas about 3/4 yrs ago and her rights were terminated. at the time he was in prison in Calif where we live and had spoken to a social worker and nothing else ever happened. he is out of prison now and doing well. he can support and take care of the children. what if anything can he do? we requested the file from Texas months ago and no one seems to be able to tell us anything. mom hasn’t had any contact with them for awhile. maybe 2 years now. he was never contacted by anyone other then during investigation of the case. thank you.

    • jketterman says:

      If dad’s rights were terminated also, there is nothing that can be done.

      If his rights were not terminated, then he needs to determine where the children are and file a modification to have them returned to him. I will say, though, that after this much time has gone by it will be very, very difficult for him. His best bet is to try for visitation rights.

  11. Sandy says:

    My rights was terminated in 2011.The court never gave us any paperwork letting me or the father no we have 90 days for grandparents to get the kids out of foster care.The case have been going on for a while under appeal.I lost the appeal.Now the kids just got adoption about 6 weeks ago is any change that the grandparents can file for a Motion to intervene in stop the adoption process.

  12. Norma G. says:

    My friend had her children taken away and placed with her aunt around 5-6 years ago. Her rights were then terminated and she has never seen them again. The aunt happened to work for CPS so I’m sure there was some fast tracking going on. The aunt refuses to let my friend see them and the oldest is probably around 14 now. Is she destined to have to wait til each child turns 18 to see them again? Will she be in contempt of anything if she attempts to make contact? Can she counter sue for at least visitation? Is she allowed a copy of the CPS case if its closed? I don’t know if she was informed that she could have a court appointed attorney for her case because I know at the time there was no way she could afford hiring her own. Is there a statute of limitations on her time frame if she wasn’t aware of that?? Sorry for all the questions but as a mother I feel for her and would like to help her as I see the changes in her life she has made. Thanks.

    • jketterman says:

      If this case is in Texas:

      Yes, your friend must wait until each child is 18. She no longer has any legal relationship with her children; she is a legal stranger.

      If she makes contact she can’t be held in contempt, but the aunt could cause her problems.

      Based on what you’re telling me, she can’t sue for visitation, she doesn’t have standing to file suit.

      It would be very difficult to get a copy of the CPS case. I do believe that she’s entitled to it, tho.

      There is no statute of limitation when it comes to a Bill of Review to determine if her case was properly handled. But it doesn’t help that she’s waited so long.

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