When children must be removed from their parent, relative placements are the least harmful. Allowing the nonoffending parent to gain custody of their child is not only in the best interest of the child, but is also the parent’s constitutional right.

Key Points:

  • The sanctity of the family and parental rights have been affirmed by the Supreme Court since the 1920s.
  • The Texas Family Code also upholds this principle with language suggesting courts must make separate findings for each parent; yet in practice, nonoffending parents’ rights are often terminated along with the offending parent’s rights.
  • Stanley v. Illinois made clear that presuming the unfitness of a parent without finding is unconstitutional.
  • Children who must enter substitute care, instead of the care of the noncustodial parent, face an increased likelihood of adverse, long-term outcomes.
  • Terminating rights of the nonoffending parent is unconstitutional, hurts the family, and hurts our Texas children.