A. Removal or Conservatorship of a Child

1. Authorized Actions by Governmental Entity

A governmental entity with an interest in the child may file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship requesting an order or take possession of a child without a court order. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.001(a).

2. Child's Health and Safety is Paramount Concern

When determining if reasonable efforts have been made with respect to preventing or eliminating the need to remove a child from the child's home or to make it possible to return a child to the child's home, the child's health and safety is the paramount concern. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.001(b).

3. Restriction on Removal

Tex. Fam. Code § 262.116 prohibits DFPS from taking possession of a child based on evidence that:

•   The parent homeschooled the child;

•   The parent is economically disadvantaged;

•   The parent has been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor (other than one listed in Tex. Penal Code Title 5 or 6, or involves family violence as defined by Tex. Fam. Code § 71.004;

•   The parent provided or administered low-THC cannabis if the low-THC cannabis was prescribed for the child;

•   The parent declined immunization for a child for reasons of conscience, including religious belief;

•   The parent allowed a child to engage in independent activities;

•   The parent tested positive for marijuana unless the parent's marijuana use caused significant impairment to the child's physical or mental health or emotional development; or

•   The parent sought a second opinion for a child's medical care or transferred a child's medical care to a new provider or facility.

Tex. Fam. Code § 262.116 does not prohibit DFPS from gathering or offering evidence of these actions as part of an effort to take possession of a child.