Select your state

Child support

termination of parental rights

A parent’s voluntary relinquishment of parental rights is the legal process in which the parent of a minor child asks the court to terminate the parent-child relationship. Termination of the parent-child relationship terminates the parent’s right to visitation or custody of the child, and terminates the parent’s obligation to support the child. But most courts will not allow a parent terminate parental rights and obligations such as child support unless there is a qualified person who is willing to adopt the child, and the court determines the adoption is in the best interest of the child. And even if a parent is able to voluntarily relinquish parental rights—and if the court approves the termination of parental rights and the child is adopted—the parent’s past due child support obligations will generally not be extinguished.

In Texas, a parent may voluntarily relinquish their parental rights through a legal process that requires court approval. This process involves the parent asking the court to terminate the parent-child relationship, which, if granted, ends the parent's rights to custody or visitation and their obligation to support the child moving forward. However, Texas courts typically require that there be someone else, such as a stepparent or other relative, willing and qualified to adopt the child before they will approve the termination of parental rights. The court must also find that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. It's important to note that even if a parent successfully relinquishes their parental rights and the child is adopted, any past due child support owed by the parent up to the point of the termination is not erased and remains the responsibility of the parent.

Legal articles related to this topic

Parental Abandonment and Termination of Parental Rights
When it comes to the well-being and rights of a child, courts take matters very seriously. One of the gravest actions a court can take is to determine that a parent has abandoned their child.