- In order to go about legally obtaining custody of your child-relative, you must file what is known as a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). This may be with our without the removal of parental rights.
- The caregivers representation must be able to show that the appointment of a parent as the sole managing conservator of the child or the appointment of both parents as joint managing conservators would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.
- Caregivers will be background checked and have criminal history checks.
- Demographic information will be collected from all household members and regular visiting family members.
- The court will order a Home Study- which includes visits with all household members and inspection of all parts of the home, grounds, and outbuildings. This includes fire, health, and safety inspections.
- The court may appoint an Amicus attorney to find the best interest of the child at the expense of the caregiver filing the case.
- Parents, who remain to have parental rights, must be given 45 days notice of all final hearings.
- The court will decide if conservatorship is given, and may give conservatorship while allowing the birth parents to keep parental rights (and visitation, as decided on by the court), or the court may remove bio parents parental rights if that is a suit that was filed along with the conservatorship.
After your final hearing for conservatorship or permanency- in order to adopt- a caregiver must file an adoption on their own separately. If parental rights were not removed in conservatorship, they can be removed in the adoption hearing combined.