Sec. 161.002: Termination of the Rights of an Alleged Biological Father

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, the procedural and substantive standards for termination of parental rights apply to the termination of the rights of an alleged father.

(b) The rights of an alleged father may be terminated if:

(1) after being served with citation, he does not respond by timely filing an admission of paternity or a counterclaim for paternity under Chapter 160;

(2) the child is over one year of age at the time the petition for termination of the parent-child relationship or for adoption is filed, he has not registered with the paternity registry under Chapter 160, and after the exercise of due diligence by the petitioner:

(A) his identity and location are unknown; or

(B) his identity is known but he cannot be located;

(3) the child is under one year of age at the time the petition for termination of the parent-child relationship or for adoption is filed and he has not registered with the paternity registry under Chapter 160; or

(4) he has registered with the paternity registry under Chapter 160, but the petitioner's attempt to personally serve citation at the address provided to the registry and at any other address for the alleged father known by the petitioner has been unsuccessful, despite the due diligence of the petitioner.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 1.203(2), eff. April 2, 2015.

(c-1) The termination of the rights of an alleged father under Subsection (b)(2) or (3) rendered on or after January 1, 2008, does not require personal service of citation or citation by publication on the alleged father, and there is no requirement to identify or locate an alleged father who has not registered with the paternity registry under Chapter 160.

(d) The termination of rights of an alleged father under Subsection (b)(4) does not require service of citation by publication on the alleged father.

(e) The court shall not render an order terminating parental rights under Subsection (b)(2) or (3) unless the court receives evidence of a certificate of the results of a search of the paternity registry under Chapter 160 from the vital statistics unit indicating that no man has registered the intent to claim paternity.

(f) The court shall not render an order terminating parental rights under Subsection (b)(4) unless the court, after reviewing the petitioner's sworn affidavit describing the petitioner's effort to obtain personal service of citation on the alleged father and considering any evidence submitted by the attorney ad litem for the alleged father, has found that the petitioner exercised due diligence in attempting to obtain service on the alleged father. The order shall contain specific findings regarding the exercise of due diligence of the petitioner.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 66, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 2.16, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1090, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1283 (H.B. 3997), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.079, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 1.203(2), eff. April 2, 2015.