In the Interest of K.S.L., a Child

The San Antonio Department of Family and Protective Services brought suit on behalf of K.S.L., an infant, stating that Mother had tested positive for drugs. Father later admitted he had relapsed. There was an open legal case concerning the parents and another daughter. The affidavit detailed several incidents of possession, use, and sale of illegal drugs by both parents, including a high-speed chase with the children as passengers. The Department initially sought reunification but the court concluded that the parents were not able to provide K.S.L. with a safe environment and that returning her to the parents was not in her best interest. Both parents signed affidavits of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights, represented by counsel. The caseworker testified that the relinquishments were in K.S.L.’s best interest and that arrangement had been made for an uncle to adopt her. The court signed an order of termination, finding by clear and convincing evidence that the parents had signed irrevocable affidavits of relinquishment, and the terminations were in K.S.L.’s best interest. Days later, both parents appealed on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to support the best-interest finding. The court of appeals reversed, holding, “the Department did not meet its burden to establish ... that termination … is in the child’s best interest.” The Supreme Court of Texas reversed, rejecting due process arguments. The parents’ affidavits complied with all statutory directives, Family Code sections: 161.001(b) and 161.211. View "In the Interest of K.S.L., a Child" on Justia Law

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