It is fitting that this bill is being heard during Holy Week as it rests on the ideas of redemption and restoration that are central to the observance of Easter. Although these ideas receive special emphasis during this season, humanity’s capacity to change for the better and heal that which is broken is a universal truth, regardless of faith tradition.

House Bill 2926 recognizes that this even applies to parents whose past mistakes led to the involuntary termination of their parental rights. An analysis of data obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that Texas ranked second behind California for the highest number of total terminations of parental rights between 2010 and 2018. In 2018, there were more than 5,500 terminations of parental rights in Texas for a rate of 7.53 per 10,000 child population. Many of these terminations involved children in the foster care system.

Testimony Submitted to the Texas House Committee on Juvenile Justice & Family Issues