As the first Special Session of the Texas Legislature begins to draw to a close, the chances of passing the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (TPRRA) are diminishing. HB 2557 made it further through the process this session than our bill in the last session. More legislators understand the problem facing fit parents in the abuse of the Grandparent Access Statute, and the support for addressing this devastating problem continues to grow.
Last week a Fort Worth newspaper published a lengthy article about Chassidie Russell and the horrible actions of judges in that county who took her daughter from her for four years and in many ways almost destroyed her life. Ms. Russell was a witness in the hearing for HB 2557 and at the Parental Rights Rally at the Capitol in April. Her case is very similar to many others across Texas and the country and is an example of why the law must be changed. Please read the article here and pass it on to others to bring attention to this state-sponsored assault on parental rights.
The single father that we have been helping for more than a year is in the same court, with the same judge, and unfortunately his case is following a similar pattern. The judge removed his daughter and placed her with her grandparents as a result of missing one scheduled visit with the grandparents three years ago. The judge has required a psychologist to examine both the grandparents and the father but not the child. Now he has issued orders, at the request of attorneys for the grandparents, for the child to be interviewed by the psychologist as well. In other cases like Ms. Russell’s, this judge has used the opinion of social workers or psychologists to justify giving the grandparents custody of the child. All of this in spite of the fact that the fit parent has been accused of no abuse, neglect, or anything else that would justify the court’s action.
This is why we must pass legislation like HB 2557 that would prohibit a judge from issuing any temporary order (including placing a child with the grandparents) and would require a hearing to be held that would require the grandparent show that denial of access or possession would “significantly impair the physical health or emotional well being of the child.” Using the law that allows courts to issue temporary orders in cases involving a child, the judges like the one above drag the case out indefinitely and “create” facts to justify the taking of the child from the fit parent.
Please continue to pray for this father and his attorneys and our ability to help in covering the cost of this case. We have now spent more than $100,000 to support the parental rights of this father. Please also join us in praying that we may get the law changed soon to end this continuing judicial tyranny and assault on parental rights.