Birth Father Rights after Termination Hearing
The birth father and birth mother rights have been terminated, but now father is saying he wants to contest and that he has 90 days. Is this true? The adoption has not been finalized yet, but termination of rights has occurred.

Birth mother still supports the finalization of the adoption.

This was a voluntary termination of parental rights by both the father and mother.
It really depends on the state that TPR was done. In my state, birth parents have 30 days to contest. They have to prove that TPR was done due to fraud or duress, not that they just changed their mind. It's very difficult in my state, but easier in others to revoke consent.
Beth. said...
It really depends on the state that TPR was done. In my state, birth parents have 30 days to contest. They have to prove that TPR was done due to fraud or duress, not that they just changed their mind. It's very difficult in my state, but easier in other to revoke consent.

This is Texas with no out of state component.
smiles2012 said...
This is Texas with no out of state component.

I don't know about Texas, but there are typically two parts to the termination of rights. 1. The TPR paperwork - this is paperwork typically signed at the hospital or shortly after birth and 2. The (TPR) termination hearing where the court terminates the parental rights (it looks like Texas may waive this component). Have you had a hearing? I would ask your attorney.
I have called attorney, but she is "not in the office for today and possibly tomorrow"...annoying.

yes, the hearing has already occurred for the TPR. Name has been changed to my last name. Just waiting on finalization of adoption.

In my head it appears that he cant do much, but my heart has a huge knot in it. Difficult to be at work today...

I did find this, and we are past the 11th day.

revocability of relinquishment: irrevocable on or after the 11th day after the date the affidavit is executed.

But I wonder if he can contest the finalization? Also, where is he getting this 90 day thing? I think maybe thats from involuntary foster to adopt? but his was voluntary.
In all likelihood, his period to contest is over. I'm sure your attorney will answer that question once they get back to you. That usually needs to be done prior to the hearing. The hearing usually just makes sure that all the proper things were done to terminate the rights and then terminates them. I'm surprised you were able to change the name at the hearing. We didn't get to do that until the finalization when they issued a new BC. I bet the 90 days is something someone told him and he is just repeating. My guess is that he had 90 days applies in cases where the birth father is unknown. They probably have 90 days to prove paternity to contest the termination (this is just a guess). Does he say why he wants to challenge now?
I havent heard, but the timing suggests its because they broke up....

smiles2012 said...
I havent heard, but the timing suggests its because they broke up....


I'm sorry. I wouldn't stress about it until you talk to your attorney. Enjoy the time you have with wee one.
I adopted C from Texas. What I was told is that the termination hearing happens 31 days after signing of voluntary relinquishment. Bparent(s) could contest at or before the hearing, but even then they would have to prove fraud or duress; after the TPR hearing there is no ability to contest. Even in cases of unknown birthfather, there is only a 30-day window for someone to register with the putative father's registry in Texas. He could be thinking about involuntary TPR, which does sometimes have different rules, he may be repeating something someone told him, or he may just be making up what he wants. I know it's easy to say this and harder to believe, but I don't think you have much to worry about.
We had been told that once the birth parents sign over their rights, it is irreversible in the State of TX.
In Texas there are two separate time periods. If you used an agency, as soon as the relinquishment papers were signed, it was irrevocable except in cases where a parent can prove duress, coercion, or fraud involved in the signing. If you used an attorney only, I believe the time to revoke relinquishment is 10 days. Then after that there is a court hearing to do permanent TPR. Our agency told us they do this at 90 days, but I don't know if that is their policy or law. It is my understanding that once a judge grants the TPR it is permanent and final even if it takes several more months to finalize the adoption (which it almost always does since TX doesn't allow finalization until 6 months after placement unless you get a waiver granted). I can see why you're nervous, but I think you should be fine. However, for your own peace of mind and for the sake of answering your child's questions later on, I think I'd want to know why birthdad is deciding this now...
Not sure where he is getting the 90 days from. Rights are terminated. He doesn't have a right to notice of the adoption finalization nor does he have a right to be heard at the finalization. Try not worry until you talk to your attorney. I suspect the worst case is that he will cost you more money. Its such a difficult place to be in when bmom and dad do not agree.
You may have already checked here, but just in case, it's a summary of 'Birth Father Rights'.




There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. ~Robert Brault
I believe that you should be fine and that the bdad does not have a leg to stand on--if he signed the papers and the time to back out has passed.

Worst case is that this could cost you more money should he decide to presue this with the courts saying he signed under duress or fraud.

In our case both parents signed and TPR was granted a few days later we received notice that the Bmom was contesting the adoption. This cost us time, emotional stress and money ($5000 which was prorated by the attorney). She claimed duress which she could not prove. Our adoption still finalized on time, since the courts put this case at the front of the docket in order to settle the custody issue in a timely manner.
Hi Smiles,
I found this on an agency web-site:
"Termination and adoption judgment in Texas become final 30 days after the judges signature. If a motion for new trial has not been filed within the 30-day period, or an appeal to the court of appeals has not been perfected within the same period, a termination and/or adoption judgment in Texas is extremely secure. With agency adoptions, it is unlikely a birth parent would file such an appeal since the vast majority of adoptive placements are voluntary and consensual. Furthermore, under no circumstances may an adoption judgment be attacked directly or collaterally more than 6 months following entry of the judgment."
I think that what others said was true - if the presumed father or biological father signed the appropriate TPR paperwork, then he would have to file an appeal within the 30 day time frame post-judge's signature at the TPR hearing, and he would have to prove coercion, duress, or the like. So, hopefully you are just fine - have you learned any further information?
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