In a recent hearing in a case (In the Interest of R.R.A., H.G.A., H.B.A.) currently before the Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX), Counsel for the TX Department of Family & Protective Services stated, “[The parent’s behavior] can be endangerment even if it doesn’t impair the parent’s ability to care for the children in the immediate moment.”
This broad interpretation of “endangerment” increases the risk of wrongful parental rights terminations. Family Freedom Project has filed a brief in the case urging the court to require that any finding of “endangerment” be linked to an actual risk of harm to the parent’s actual child, not just a theoretical risk of harm to a theoretical child.
We contend that, to terminate a parent’s rights—rights granted by God and protected as fundamental under the US Constitution—CPS must establish the specific circumstances of danger that necessitate such action.
A theoretical risk of harm to a theoretical child is not enough. When CPS removes a child from their home, the harm done to that child is not theoretical. That harm is tangible and often lifelong. When considering whether to remove a child from their home, then, CPS should be required to prove an actual risk of harm to the child.
We aim to assert, as a matter of constitutional principle, that CPS must be compelled to establish a direct link between the parent’s actions and actual threat of harm to the specific children involved, rather than relying on theoretical harm that may result to a theoretical child.